Province to review $40K annual grant for society linked to anti-vaccine claims

B.C. ministry confirms funding is under review for the Health Action Network Society

Provincial funding to the Vancouver-based Health Action Network Society is under review in the wake of reports that the group promotes anti-vaccine messages.

The society receives roughly $40,000 annually through B.C.’s Community Gaming Grant program.

But the CBC reports it violated one of the main requirements to receive grant money: that the funds not be used for lobbying or go towards any programs that do not comply with B.C. laws or general public policy.

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, which oversees community grants, confirmed to Black Press Media the funding is under review.

“Applications are reviewed at the public service level and approved by a statutory decision maker, not ministers or cabinet,” the ministry said in an emailed statement.

READ MORE: Most B.C. residents concerned about recent measles outbreaks: poll

READ MORE: Second case of measles reported in the B.C. Interior

Vaccinations have been a contentious issue since the late 1990s when a now-debunked scientific journal linked vaccines to higher risks of autism in children.

An outbreak of measles was declared in the Vancouver Coastal Health area in February, sparking debate over whether children must be vaccinated in order to attend school. In total, 20 measles cases have been confirmed – 18 in the Lower Mainland and two in northern B.C.

READ MORE: B.C. launches immunization program at schools to stamp out measles resurgence

According to CBC, the society has screened the controversial film “Vaxxed,” which has been removed from Amazon because of its misleading information on vaccinations.

The group’s website describes itself as a non-profit society that aims to inform people the “powerful and effective properties of natural, complementary and alternative medicines and therapies.”

The website also lists homeopathic-approved facilities for services such as hypnotherapy, dentistry, herbalism. No vaccine-related physicians are listed.

Society president Ted Kuntz wrote, Dare to Question: One Parent to Another, a 2018 book that questions the safety of immunizations. His social media platforms, including his public Facebook profile, are riddled with anti-vaccination messages.

Screenshots taken from Ted Kuntz Facebook profile.

In a news release posted online, the society said the claims made in the CBC report are untrue.

“The Health Action Network Society refutes any association with an ‘anti-vaccination’ position, and dissuades the irresponsible reporting associated with such allegations.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Man possibly arrested at Rutland stand off

Water is flooding Highway 33 in Kelowna Monday afternoon

McCurdy project in Rutland gets go-ahead from Kelowna councillors

Controversial supportive housing project expected to break ground this summer

Judas Priest rocks Kelowna’s Prospera Place

Judas Priest is on a 32 date tour of North America

Restrictive policies affecting labour mobility for care aides in B.C.

‘I had to take two competency exams and pay over $1,400,’ said an Okanagan care aide

Kelowna fundraiser brings in almost $100,000 for diabetes research

2019 Sun Life Walk to Cure Diabetes fundraiser has been in Kelowna for 17 years

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Emerging artists given chance at Shuswap’s Roots Blues Festival

Chosen participants can perform two 40-minute sets on the Wednesday or Thursday night, and more.

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

Most Read