"Ask Dr. Fernand Turcotte, a grizzled veteran of the tobacco wars, whether he thinks his side's latest salvo against another deadly industry will be successful, and there is a long sigh on the other end of the phone line.
"I am an optimist by nature," he says. "Telling the truth eventually worked in our fight against the tobacco industry, and I think it will work with asbestos, if not this time, then eventually. ... We will just keep proving our case until this issue is resolved."
Turcotte, an occupational health expert and retired professor of public health and preventive medicine at Université Laval, is at the forefront of an escalating battle over chrysotile asbestos, with most of the country's medical and scientific community lining up on one side, and the asbestos industry and most federal and provincial politicians on the other."