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

Work on the Mission seniors’ centre, housing project to start in the fall

Facility consists of an 11,000 square foot community centre with 74 studios above it

Charge laid in Abbotsford motorcycle crash that killed Maple Ridge woman

Megan Kinnee, 19, died in collision on July 13, 2018

Young musicians get chance to win opening act spot at Chilliwack Fair

Three finalists will vie for top spot at the Fair’s Saturday night show

Abbotsford couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

PHOTOS: Fraser Valley Pride Celebration kicks off in Mission

The Stage hosted two events, including the fundraising dinner and talent showcase

VIDEO: B.C. MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first steps in nearly 30 years

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Dog recovering after being drenched in hot coffee, B.C. man charged

Man was taken into custody, charged, and released pending a court date

Taekwondo instructor, 21, identified as B.C. bat rabies victim

Nick Major, 21, an instructor at Cascadia Martial Arts in Parksville

Science expedition to Canada’s largest underwater volcano departs Vancouver Island

Crews prepared for a two-week research mission to the Explorer Seamount

B.C. shipyard to get one-third of $1.5 billion frigate-repair contract

The federal government has promised to invest $7.5 billion to maintain the 12 frigates

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

Most Read