Tuesday, September 27, 2011 | Categories: Episodes
Part One of The Current
It's Tuesday, September 27th.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is giving women the right to vote for the first time in the kingdom's history.
Currently, they just need to identify themselves with a valid driver's license.
This is the Current.
Misconceptions of Asbestos Campaign - Baljit Chadha
We started this segment with a clip from Heidi von Palleske, remembering her childhood on The Current this past summer. Asbestos ultimately killed Wolfgang von Palleske, Heidi's father. He died four years ago of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer linked to asbestos exposure. His wife died this summer of the same cancer. And now his two daughters worry that they, too, may fall victim to the tiny fibres their father once shook from his clothing.
The family is among a growing chorus now speaking out against Canada's asbestos industry, which still exports the mineral - a known carcinogen - for use in developing countries. In fact, earlier this summer, the federal government played a role in keeping chrysotile asbestos off an international list of substances that require importers be warned of health risks. For that, Canada and its asbestos industry came under intense scrutiny.
And now the industry is scrambling to rebuild its public image at a pivotal time. Investors trying to raise money to reopen the Jeffrey mine in Quebec have until Saturday to reach their goal, or else the provincial government is likely to withdraw an offer of a loan guarantee. And so with days to go, the head of the consortium raising the money is going on the offensive.
Baljit Chadha is the president of Balcorp Limited and the head of the consortium raising investments to reopen the Jeffrey Mine in Quebec. And yesterday, in the nation's capital, as part of an effort aimed at changing the negative reputation of asbestos - he met with two of the industry's most vocal critics. Mr. Chadha joined us from Montreal.
Misconceptions of Asbestos Campaign - Glenn Selig
We've mentioned the comparison between asbestos and tobacco -- both products with vile reputations. Dave Laundy knows something about defending those. Before he retired, he was a spokesperson for the Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers Council. And he says he has no regrets about defending a legal and regulated industry against accusations he says were untrue.
Glenn Selig is also no stranger to mounting difficult PR campaigns. He's a crisis management public relations expert, and the founder of a PR firm called The Publicity Agency. He represented former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted of 17 of 20 public corruption charges - including trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama when he became President. Glenn Selig was in Tampa, Florida today.
Other segments from today's show: