Montreal

Asbestos executive steps away from boards

A Montreal woman with ties to the asbestos industry has taken a "leave of absence" from the boards of both St. Mary's Hospital Foundation and McGill University.
Seja Trade Ltd. exports asbestos produced in Quebec. (Canadian Press)

A Montreal woman with ties to the asbestos industry has taken a "leave of absence" from the boards of both St. Mary's Hospital Foundation and McGill University.

The public institutions have been under pressure to cut ties with Roshi Chadha because of her executive role with Seja Trade Ltd., a Montreal-based asbestos export company.

Ontario-based asbestos opponent Stacy Cattran has led a letter-writing campaign targeting various institutions for several months.

This week Chadha announced her leave of absence "from a wide variety of public causes, community and charitable organizations."

"I do not want the focus of these important causes to be distracted or diluted by issues that are unrelated to them," she said in a statement sent to the boards at St. Mary's and McGill University.

"These valuable public institutions have faced undue pressure from groups who have made them targets in order to put pressure on me personally."

Chadha says that pressure has been unjustified and unacceptable.  

In January Chadra resigned from the governing body of the Canadian Red Cross, after Cattran's letter-writing campaign lobbied the humanitarian organization.

Seja Trade Ltd. has exported Quebec-produced asbestos for more than two decades.