Monday, August 15, 2011

Conservatives pursue asbestos widow

My, Conservatives should be so proud of themselves: "Tories tussle with asbestos widow over use of party logo in ad campaign." There is no other party quite like them in Canada today. Check out the picture accompanying the report.
The federal Conservative party has sent a threatening email to the widow of an asbestos victim in the latest chapter of Canada's debate over the hazardous mineral.

A top Tory official is warning the woman to stop using the party logo in an online ad campaign against the controversial industry — a campaign she started after her husband died of an asbestos-related cancer.

Michaela Keyserlingk, whose husband Robert died in 2009 of mesothelioma, has been running an online banner since the spring that reads, "Canada is the only western country that still exports deadly asbestos!"

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 a July 29 email which carried the subject title, "Unauthorized use of trademark." The email, which The Canadian Press obtained from Keyserlingk, went on to advise her: "Please govern yourself accordingly."
It's true that the usage here might be a problem if the Conservatives have indeed registered their logo as a trademark. But just because they may have legal grounds to pursue Ms. Keyserlingk doesn't mean they should. They've created some terrible political optics for themselves now.

Especially when they don't have clean hands themselves on fair dealing issues. And especially when they're harassing a widow over asbestos, an industry that's on its last legs in any event and is bringing us mega international disrepute.

The health of the Conservative party of Canada seems to be the foremost consideration here, irrespective of the sensitive personal situation and the asbestos controversy. What a sad display.

See also: Sister Sage's Musings, Sixth Estate, Rusty Idols.