The complainant objected to being described as a former board member of Vaccine Choice Canada because she said she appeared on air as a “concerned parent.”

By Esther Enkin for the CBC

The complainant, Heather Fraser, objected to being described as a former board member of Vaccine Choice Canada because she said she appeared on air as a “concerned parent.” CBC policy says it is important information to understand an interviewee’s affiliations. On this and a question of accuracy there was no violation of policy.

COMPLAINT

You had two concerns about an interview you did on Metro Morning regarding your decision to not vaccinate your children. The interview was done in the context of a new provincial policy announcement regarding childhood immunization. The government was introducing legislation which would require any parent of school-age children to attend an education seminar if he or she declined to vaccinate. The interview is now on the CBC website and you are requesting two changes to the accompanying text.

You are described as a former board member of Vaccine Choice Canada. You said you had resigned over a year ago, and was interviewed as a “concerned parent.” You have asked that the reference to you as a former board member of VCC be removed.

In fact, the interview was originally taken down from the website after it was posted, and you first wrote to inquire why that had happened. You were told CBC news staff felt they had to check some of the things you said for accuracy. Ultimately, the interview was reposted with some text. The text regarding the PENTA vaccine is the basis of your second concern. The CBC site says that “the vaccine referred to in the interview was approved by Health Canada between 1994 and 1997. It has since been replaced by a vaccine with much lower risk of side effects.” You said the vaccine was never approved in this country:

I do not know who wrote the paragraph but to say the vaccine in the discussion called PENTA was approved is incorrect. This combination vaccine was not licensed. To suggest it was approved implies that it was approved for injection. In Canada it is not legal to administer an unlicensed vaccine. Again, I have provided an email from Health Canada confirming that the vaccine was not licensed. I have suggested that CBC contact Health Canada directly for verification.

Unless CBC takes the time to do this, the caption can only state that the information in the interview has not be confirmed by CBC.

Continue reading this story on the CBC website, where it was first published.