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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wounded Warriors runners arrive in Port Alberni

Fundraising dinner will take place at Royal Canadian Legion

Arrowvale Farm near Port Alberni hosts maple syrup fest

Taste west coast maple syrup on Leap Year Saturday and watch demonstrations too

ACRD urges B.C. gov’t to upgrade Bamfield Road in wake of winter storm

ACRD board to write letter to Premier John Horgan, expressing urgency

More businesses in Port Alberni need a voice at city council, says one Uptown owner

Business owner says all businesses in the Alberni Valley need a louder voice

Port Alberni finishes strong in men’s bonspiel

Home teams make it to the finals at Alberni Valley Curling Club’s Men’s Open Bonspiel

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Ryan nets hat trick in return as Senators beat Canucks 5-2

Ottawa winger received assistance for admitted alcohol problem

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Comox 442 Squadron carries out two sea rescue missions north of Vancouver Island

Submitted by Lt. Alexandra Hejduk Special to Black Press 442 Transport and… Continue reading

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs optimistic ahead of talks with feds, province

Discussions with provincial and federal governments expected to start later today

Most Read