Tories tell asbestos widow to stop using their logo
The Conservative Party of Canada has raised the spectre of legal action against a Quebec widow who is fighting to stop Canada's export of asbestos.
On July 29, Michaela Keyserlingk received a cease-and-desist email from Conservative party executive director Dan Hilton.
The email concerned an ad banner that Keyserlingk had been using to promote www.canadianasbestosexports.ca, her anti-asbestos website.
"Canada is the only western country that still exports deadly asbestos!" reads the banner's text, which is nestled between a "Danger" symbol and the Conservative logo.
"It has come to our attention that your organization is currently using a trademark of the Conservative Party of Canada in your advertising material," Hilton wrote. "This usage is unauthorized and must cease immediately. . . . Please govern yourself accordingly."
"I am delighted that someone in the Conservative Party of Canada is finally reacting after years of work by chrysotile asbestos victims," wrote Keyserlingk in a reply. "(Hopefully) we could come to some agreement before the ads get replicated too often."
In 2007, Keyserlingk's husband, Robert, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a cancer that attacks the internal walls of the lungs. As a non-smoker and marathon runner, Keyserlingk's doctors soon traced the illness to a string of summers he had spent as a naval cadet. Living on a ship in close-quarters with asbestos-insulated pipes, Keyserlingk had inhaled enough of the fibres to lay the seeds of an asbestos-linked disease 40 years later. He died of the disease in December 2009.
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