Quebec town of Asbestos votes to change name to Val-des-Sources – by Eric Andrew-Gee (Globe and Mail – October 20, 2020)

The town of Asbestos, Que., has finally chosen a new name: Val-des-Sources. The former mining community two hours east of Montreal, long synonymous with the carcinogenic substance it produced for more than a century, will make the change pending provincial approval.

Municipal officials decided to rechristen the town last year as a way of spurring economic development, long stalled by the grim associations of its namesake mineral.

The new moniker, which refers to the valleys and bodies of water of the surrounding landscape, as well as the figurative source of future hopes, received 48 per cent of first-place votes in a ranked ballot with six options.

In a special session of council, where the change was unanimously approved, Mayor Hugues Grimard called the decision “historic.” “With the new name, I’m confident that we will be prosperous and happy,” he said.

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