Quebec doctors call on Premier Legault to take action on arsenic emissions in Rouyn-Noranda

Quebec Premier Francois Legault makes a funding announcement for a new music hall, Thursday, June 23, 2022, in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

The Quebec College of Physicians is asking the provincial government to act to protect the health of Rouyn-Noranda citizens from the high atmospheric concentrations of arsenic, a known carcinogen, emitted by the Horne smelter.

On Monday morning, the Twitter account of the Collège des médecins du Québec published a reaction to an open letter published on Sunday by a collective of physicians and health professionals from the Rouyn-Noranda region.

"The scientific data is clear. We must quickly put in place measures to ensure better air quality. The health of the citizens of Rouyn-Noranda is paramount," the college wrote. 

The professional order of doctors told The Canadian Press that it "will not comment further beyond the tweet" it published Monday morning.

"We will certainly follow this file closely this week," the the college's communications branch added in an email.

The Association québécoise des médecins pour l'environnement (AQME) also gave its support to the request of the College of Physicians Monday through the voice of its president. 

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on July 4, 2022.