This highly interesting project involving environmental and public health issues keeps me busy. Since a few weeks I am contracting for the newly created law firm of Québec lawyers Charles Veilleux and Stephen Clarke who started the firm to deal with an unprecedented case of an extremely high rate of cancer amongst the residents of Shannon. Scientific evidence links the cancers to environmental pollution started a few decades earlier.
The story has been lingering for years. It is finally taking momentum and is reported in the media after an hour long heart-breaking documentary on Radio-Canada, the French Canadian national broadcaster.
In a nutshell: Shannon is a small and beautiful village 25 Km to the North of Québec-City. For decades it has been sitting on a ticking bomb.
The nearby army base of Valcartier, and more specifically an ammunition factory, dumped dangerous chemicals in open swamps. At least one chemical, TCE, infiltrated the groundwater and affected drinking water wells.
Pollution is in itself already bad. Worse is that those who knew did not find it necessary to take corrective action or alert the population. The human suffering and loss could have been prevented.
Using state of the art techniques, researchers have demonstrated that the genetic mutation in the cancers observed in Shannon is one that can be directly attributed to exposure to TCE.
I feel sorry for the victims and I am proud to support the lawyers that will eventually obtain justice for them.