Open Letter to Canada’s Prime Minister

August 30, 2011
Open Letter to Canada’s Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

You have successfully silenced all Conservative Members of Parliament. Not a single conservative MP right across this country has been allowed to answer or comment on the question “Why does your party support the export of chrysotile asbestos to developing countries?” Your own silence since the election has been deafening! The Conservative Party has refused to contact me since it gave me the order to cease and desist from using their logo.

Canadians trust you as an intelligent man. We also know that you are well aware of Canadian medical and scientific established facts that chrysotile asbestos carries the deadly seed of mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. 100,000 people die of it world wide every year and we Canadians are contributing to this appalling statistic by exporting asbestos to the developing world.

Perhaps you only care about us Canadians? I know that you, your Cabinet and most Conservative MPs have heard from a shockingly large number of Canadians who have lost or are losing husbands, wives, fathers, siblings and friends to mesothelioma. Asbestos is in our schools, our factories, our houses, community centers and offices as it was in our Parliament buildings. There is plenty to do in Canada to protect people from chrysotile asbestos. Why are you supporting and protecting the asbestos industry that is sending misery and death to developing countries? There are less than 350 asbestos workers left in this country who could easily be retrained for a rewarding, well paying and secure career in asbestos removal.

Your silence clearly states that you think Canadians have short memories and soon will forget the asbestos issue. There are so many difficult and complex issues to solve in this world which confront us daily. Therefore our attention often wanders because we do not feel able to effect change or do not believe that obvious workable solutions are at hand.

But the asbestos issue is one of the very simple issues which you can solve: Stop being the last western country which props up a deadly industry. With a word you can do what Canadians are proud of: show empathy for others at home and abroad by respecting their right to live.

Canadians will not let you forget the asbestos issue until you do what is right and honourable.

You clearly have shown the power of your office, now show us your humanity and do what Canadians are asking: stop the mining and export of chrysotile asbestos.

We are looking to you for a firm decision which will reflect your compassion and leadership.

Michaela Keyserlingk
Chrysotile asbestos widow