On April 10, 2019, the Liberal Senate Forum hosted a panel discussion on Vaccination: We know what the problem is; what are the solutions? in Ottawa, Ontario.
The panelists were:
Timothy Caulfield: Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health, and Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta
Dr. Theresa Tam: Chief Public Health Officer of Canada and Interim President
André Picard: Health Columnist with the Globe and Mail
Dr. Noni MacDonald: former Dean of Medicine at Dalhousie University, Professor of Pediatrics at Dalhousie University
Dr. Anna Banerji: Faculty Lead, Indigenous and Refugee Health, Post MD Education, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
Thanks to Margreet who allowed us to share her e-mail to Senators.
From: Margreet van der Berg
Sent: Monday, April 08, 2019 7:37 PM
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Subject: Liberal Senate Forum
Dear madams and sirs, members of the Liberal senate,
I see you have a meeting tomorrow morning at 8 am about vaccine politics:
The program and the speakers seem to create a very one-sided presentation of the issue. The starting point for the meeting is that “we know the problem”, the only thing left to do is find a solution.
It is implied that vaccine hesitancy is the problem. But is it? Many people around the world claim something very different: they see denial of serious adverse events including death by vaccines as the main issue. As long as this denial continues, there will not be any balanced discussion in Canada or worldwide and division and hate speech will increase. Voices are being stifled, freedom of speech is absent.
The fact that the World Health Organization calls vaccine hesitancy as one of the ten major problems in health in the world should alarm you but not so much because people are (labeled as) vaccine hesitant. I would invite you to ask yourself: why is there is such a hesitancy. Why would researchers, policy makers, politicians and parroting media call people who raise the alarm about the lack of safety of a pharmaceutical product: vaccine hesitant, or even worse stigmatize them as anti-vaxxers?. I would invite you to ponder on the question: Why DO more and more parents world-wide speak up?
I would invite you to go beyond the demonizing rhetoric. If you do not deeply investigate this question, with an open mind, this issue will become more and more divisive. Speakers like Cauldfield, MacDonald and a G&M journalist (?) such Andre Picard are not open anymore to deep listening. A Globe and Mail health journalist who goes around promoting a shingles vaccine for GlaxoSmithKline -one of the big vaccine four manufacturers holding over 90 % of the market- has lost all impartiality. For these speakers the problem and the answer seem clear: “vaccine hesitant” parents do not know what is good for their children, and we do. It is only a matter of communicating or enforcing when communication would fail.
It is very unfortunate that this outdated authoritarian, patronizing and dogmatic attitude is still so very prevalent in the field of infectious disease. It leads to professional blindness and alienation from parents who are capable enough to do their research, and see that the narrative is too simplistic.
To broaden the narrative, to present you with other angles to look at the issue of vaccines, I have added some study material to begin with. I would ask you to read the attached letter from the European Forum of Vaccine Vigilance:
and Robert Kennedy’s observations about the stance of many Liberal parties worldwide when it comes to vaccines:
There is so much more to say, to convey, but let this be a start. I ask you to dig deeper than the rhetoric that will be served to you tomorrow morning. I would like to invite you to ask the speakers to inform you about their possible conflicts of interest.
A proper consultation with all constituents is lacking, which is what we would expect from a country such as Canada. I urge you to uphold the values of democracy. The well-being of our society depends on it.
Margreet van den Berg
* Please realize that Renzi’s Democrats partly lost their elections in Italy because they enforced 10 mandatory vaccines, a year after GlaxoSmithKline invested a billion euro’s in a new vaccine manufacturing plant in Siena: your Globe and Mail and other Canadian media failed to inform you about that.
* Please realize that Les Gilets Jaunes/ the yellow vests in France also protested about Macron’s introduction of 10 mandatory vaccines, and that the Elyse is nicknamed Elysee Sanofi (Sanofi Pasteur is another of the big vaccine four).
* the other two main manufacturers are Merck and Pfizer (US)