If not Asbestos, then what?

By Gordon Lambie

The Town of Asbestos revealed the four options its citizens will have to choose from in picking a new name on Monday night. Following a vote in the month of October, the community will be known as one of Apalone, Jeffrey, Phénix, or Trois-Lacs.
According to Stéphanie Girard, the town’s communications manager, the four names were drawn from a collection of nearly 1,000 suggestions provided by the community over the months of February and March. After the complete list was collected, it was then reviewed by an advisory committee to eliminate options that did not conform to norms and established municipal and provincial naming criteria before being passed on to the town council. The four options selected for the final vote all have their own significance to the region.
Apalone refers to apalone spinifera, the endangered spiny softshell turtle that has, historically, been native to this region.
Jeffrey is an option based in local history, referring to William Henry Jeffrey the original owner of the local mine and namesake of the Jeffrey Mine.
Phénix is the French name for the phoenix, the mythological bird that catches fire at the end of its life and is reborn from the ashes.
Trois-Lacs refers to a nearby community that was merged with Asbestos in 1999.
Girard said that space was limited in the municipal library for the announcement of the chosen options on Monday night, but the livestream of the meeting had 300 viewers at that point when the names were made public. Residents who are 14 years of age or older now have a month to consider their choice before going to vote between October 14 and 18.
The vote will be a ranked ballot that must be cast in person in the town council chambers ong Greenshields Street. A name must receive a 50 per cent plus one majority in order to be selected. In the event that one name does not have this lead on the first round of voting, the least popular option will be eliminated from the ballot until a clear winner emerges. Voters are asked to come with a piece of ID and proof of residence when the time comes to vote. Youth 14 to 17 must be accompanied by one of their parents.

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