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Ottawa to spend $30M on helping Quebec homeowners who have pyrrhotite

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks at the foundation of a house weakened by pyrite, Wednesday, April 6, 2016 in Trois-Rivieres, Que.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks at the foundation of a house weakened by pyrite, Wednesday, April 6, 2016 in Trois-Rivieres, Que. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

TROIS-RIVIERES, Que. – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated Wednesday a commitment to spending $30 million over three years to help Quebec homeowners whose property is affected by a mineral species that can produce cracks in concrete.

He made the announcement after visiting a residence in Trois-Rivieres, where pyrrhotite is a problem in possibly several thousand houses.

A local coalition says $30 million would cover 400 homes but estimates there might be up to 4,000 residences affected by the problem.

Trudeau says $30 million is a considerable sum and will make a big difference in the lives of many families.

The money was contained in the recently tabled federal budget and Trudeau said his government will work closely with Quebec, which also has a program to help pyrrhotite victims.

Trudeau estimated homeowners could get up to $75,000 for repairs.

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“I saw with my very own eyes the difficult situation in which too many families live because of pyrrhotite,” he said.

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“This mineral destroys foundations and causes serious problems in the structures of houses.”