On Wednesday, the council stated it was shifting forward with the identify change, saying it was serving as "brake on the town's need to develop financial relations overseas".
The town's asbestos mine closed in 2012, leaving a crater more than a mile wide.
Asbestos Mayor Hugues Grimard said that when representatives of the town go overseas to drum up business or seek investors, they encounter a certain reluctance. With the product being the main economic driver the town itself had always been named Asbestos. Canada was a latecomer, exclusively banning its manufacture, import, use and export final 12 months.
The Canadian town of Asbestos is trying to shed its toxic association and rebrand itself after city officials said the name, linked to the once-popular building insulation material has cost the city outside investments. For decades, the town thrived on asbestos mining and product manufacturing.
"I have a local development agent who went to OH and he tried to give his business card and people actually didn't even want to take the card", the mayor said.
He also added that citizens "as the ambassadors of a municipality" will be involved in the choice of the new name. "I find that stupid", said one commenter.
The new name will be announced in 2020 at an event open to the city's residents. "Back in the day, the name attracted businesses because (asbestos) was considered white gold". Big companies avoid us because of the name.
Officials in Asbestos have confirmed that they're exploring new titles for the community after the area's name has caused "nothing but trouble" for the people who live there.
"We're going to have to explain the situation to the entire population", Grimard said.
But not everybody is in favor of the name change.
Commenters have already proposed many new names on the town's Facebook page, some clearly in jest, for example: Poumontousse (Lungcough), Asbestose (French for asbestosis, a disease caused by asbestos), Emphysème (French for emphysema), Trou-sans-fond (Bottomless Hole) and New Asbestos.