Michaela Keyserlingk holds a picture of her husband Robert as she poses for a photograph at her home in Labelle, Quebec on Saturday, August 13, 2011. On her laptop is the banner advert she created to put pressure on Canada's Conservative government to stop the production and export of Asbestos.
Michaela’s husband Robert died in 2009 of mesothelioma and she has been running an online banner since the spring that reads, "Canada is the only western country that still exports deadly asbestos!"
Canada’s Conservative party Executive Director Dan Hilton warned Keyserlingk to stop using the Tory symbol immediately. "Failure to do so may result in further action," Hilton wrote in an email on 29th July 2011. Michaela's blurb, which she says appears randomly on Canadian web pages, is flanked with a "DANGER" warning label and an image of the Tories' official symbol and directs readers to her website.
"I just want to have the asbestos trade stopped because it's such a horrible death," said Michaela, doesn't belong to any organization and pays more than $300 per month for the ad out of her pocket. "It's just so terrible -- and to even contemplate doing that to other people is unforgivable.
This exchange comes as Canada faces intensifying international criticism over its asbestos exports. We at MAVS have written to Stephen Harper (Canadian Prime Minister) in support of this courageous widow’s continuing fight for justice for asbestos victims.