The 2011 Rideau Institute Leadership Award has been awarded to Kathleen Ruff for her work to end Canada’s export of asbestos. The Rideau Institute Leadership Award is given by the Rideau Institute Board of Directors to a person or group for making an outstanding contribution to a progressive vision of Canada.
Ms. Ruff has brought to public attention the destructive role that Canada plays on the world stage as propagandist for the asbestos industry. Working with health experts, environmentalists and asbestos victims, she has challenged Canada’s political leaders to put human lives ahead of political expediency. She has challenged the influence of the asbestos lobby on Canada’s policy on asbestos and has called on the government to heed independent, reputable scientists.
“Kathleen Ruff has successfully urged Canadians to consult their consciences on the asbestos issue,” said Steven Staples, President of the Rideau Institute. “While it may be uncomfortable for some, Canadians must face the fact that we are harming others. Clearly, Canada must end the export of asbestos.”
Ms. Ruff is the founder of RightonCanada.ca, and a former director of the Court Challenges Program and the BC Human Rights Commission. She was the founding editor and publisher of the Canadian Human Rights Reporter and host of the CBC TV program Ombudsman. Kathleen has written and contributed to several articles on asbestos. She is the author of Exporting Harm: How Canada Markets Asbestos to the Developing World.