It has been quite the spring and summer for Canada’s asbestos exportation debate. Every time it looks like the discussion has hit a stalemate, and the Conservative government won’t budge on the issue, a new backlash rises up.
The latest: the relatives of asbestos victims are rallying against Dr. Kellie Leitch, a Conservative MP, on the grounds that she shouldn’t support the Tory party’s asbestos exportation because she clearly understands the danger of asbestos given her medical training.
On Monday, The Canadian Press obtained a letter signed by more than 40 people whose loved ones were killed by asbestos. The letter demands that Dr. Leitch give up her medical license if she wants to continue supporting the Conservatives.
“If you choose to continue to support medical misinformation and to support asbestos, we ask that you hand in your medical licence and cease being a physician, since you are in violation of the most fundamental standard required of all medical doctors: do no harm,” the letter said.
The letter also explains that asbestos victims won’t sit idly while Dr. Leitch and the Tories “aid and abet the creation of more asbestos victims amongst the poorest and most unprotected people on the planet, who don’t even have the medical assistance or pain killers to help them when they die terrible deaths from asbestos.”
Dr. Leitch, considered a star Tory candidate for the May election, recently stated that the Conservatives will continue supporting the “safe, controlled use” of asbestos. In light of the criticism she’s received, she’s also reminded the public that her area of medical expertise is bones, not lungs.
Hmm. Interesting for a doctor to claim ignorance when average Canadian citizens know how dangerous asbestos is and how prudent asbestos removal is. Dr. Leitch knows the term “mesothelioma” and that it’s a cancer caused by inhaling asbestos fibres.
The rest of Canada is fighting asbestos by removing it from schools and other buildings and undergoing asbestos remediation wherever possible. It’s time for the Tories, and any medical professionals supporting the party, to take the next step and stop exporting asbestos.
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