Vote begins for town of Asbestos name change

The town sign is seen in from of a mining truck in Asbestos, Que. on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

The vote began on Wednesday in the Eastern Townships town of Asbestos after citizens were called to choose a new name for their town. 

Residents aged 14 and up have been invited to put the following six names in their order of preference: L'Azur-des-Cantons, Jeffrey-sur-le-Lac, Larochelle, Phenix, Trois-Lacs and Val-des-Sources. 

If no names receive a majority vote during the first round, the one with the smallest share of votes will be eliminated and the electors' second choice will be redistributed. The process will continue as such until one name receives a majority of the votes. 

Citizens can cast their votes from their vehicles. The "vote-by-car" election will be held until Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Connie-Dion arena parking lot.

People without access to a vehicle can vote in person on Thursday and Saturday at the council chamber. 

Just over 30 cars had arrived on site in the first half hour following the start of the vote and "it's going fairly well," said Stephanie Girard, a town spokesperson. 

The new name is expected to be announced on Monday during a special city council meeting, broadcasted live on Facebook. 

About a year ago, Asbestos announced its intention to rid itself of the negative connotation associated to its name, which represents a carcinogen substance in English, having relegated the industry to oblivion after the closure of the Jeffrey mine in 2012.

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