Asbestos victims appeal to McGill University to support asbestos victims, not asbestos industry

Thu, Feb 23, 2012


February 6, 2012

Dear Members of the McGill Board of Governors,

On behalf of victims of asbestos, we would like to express our support for the requests that have been made to your Board by 76 international health experts and academics. We would like to echo the requests of those health experts: that the McGill Board of Governors cease inviting Roshi Chadha – who is involved in exporting asbestos from Canada – to sit on the BoG, and that McGill cease using and promoting the use of asbestos. We, the victims (wives, daughters, sons and grandchildren of those who have died from asbestos-related diseases), add a further request, and ask that the McGill University Board of Governors take a clear stand supporting the World Health Organization, the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Cancer Society and the myriad other national and international health agencies in their call to end all use of asbestos. Please join with us in this fight to save lives.

McGill University has a Code of Ethics in relation to financial procurement. It states

– Give first consideration to the objectives and policies of the University.

– Foster fair, ethical and legal trade practices.

Surely this Code of Ethics should apply to the Board of Governors as well. Roshi Chadha is involved in exporting asbestos to India and other nations, where it is put in schools and students sit directly under broken asbestos-cement roofing. There are zero safety protections and no oversight of deteriorating and broken asbestos-cement materials in the school and littering the ground outside the school. This situation would be illegal in Quebec, where schools are required to carry out regular surveillance and to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to cover up or remove deteriorated asbestos-containing materials. However, Roshi Chadha’s public relations agent, speaking for her on CBC Montreal radio in December 2011, said they are not responsible for what happens once their asbestos is put into communities overseas. This is an indefensible double standard. Surely the McGill BoG and the students representatives on the BoG support the human right to health of students overseas? No?

McGill University’s curt, dismissive response to this issue is not acceptable. Our loved ones surely should not have died in vain and we, as their remaining loved ones, should not have to live on with the knowledge that respectable members of our community and a leading institution of higher education continue to aid and abet an industry that delivers pain and suffering that we saw our loved one endure.

Please support the science, the integrity, the honesty and the truth. Please support us, as victims of asbestos, and stand strongly against the Canadian asbestos industry.

On Behalf of Canadian Voices of Asbestos Victims,

Dr. Cathy Conrad

Stacy Cattran

Leah Nielsen

Michaela Keyserlingk ‎

Heidi von Palleske ‎


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