Exhausted of having his town associated with a cancer-causing mineral responsible for killing tens of thousands of people globally, the mayor of Asbestos, Que., says it's time for a name change.
In a telephone interview with a CBC reporter, the mayor says industries and businesses won't set up in the area because they don't want their names associated with the town and the mineral.
Asbestos is home to the Jeffrey mine, which was once the world's largest producer of the commodity and the town's largest employer.
Officials in Asbestos have decided the town's name is holding it back.More news: Jennifer Aniston celebrated Thanksgiving alongside Justin Theroux?
The mineral was widely used around the world to insulate buildings, before it was discovered that its fibers lead to various lung conditions and cancers.
The name is not an issue locally because "amiante" is the French word for the mineral, but asbestos, the English word, is of course very well known worldwide, and no longer as something positive.
"I have a local development agent who went to OH and he tried to give his business card and people actually didn't even want to take the card", the mayor said.
World demand for the product plummeted as worldwide locations world wide started banning it.More news: Singapore demands Facebook corrections
In 2018, Canada banned asbestos and asbestos-containing products, with some exceptions.
'As citizens are the ambassadors of a municipality and are the representatives of its vitality, it was obvious that the public would be involved in the process and the choice of the new name, ' Grimard is quoted as saying on Fox News.
The World Health Organization says the inhalation of asbestos fibres causes lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other diseases, and it has killed tens of thousands of people.
A new name for the town has not yet been settled upon, but it will be debated among residents over the coming months.More news: Trump faces two impeachment deadlines on Sunday as inquiry shifts focus
While it will cost $100,000 to go through with the name change, the Mayor believes the benefits outweigh the costs.