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Alberta UCP to host town hall to discuss COVID-19 vaccines in children

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The United Conservative Party says it has gathered a panel of medical experts for a town hall meeting next month that's expected to discuss the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in children.

The meeting, called 'An Injection of Truth', is scheduled to take place June 17 at Calgary's Southside Victory Church.

According to the UCP's website, the meeting is expected to address what it claims is a 350 per cent increase in number of children who've died in Alberta since 2021 and points a finger at COVID-19 vaccination.

No data sources, age ranges, date range or causes of death are provided.

"Was your child killed or injured by a COVID shot? Do you have a story to tell? You should be heard," a statement about the town hall reads.

The meeting, organized by Calgary-Lougheed MLA Eric Bouchard, is advertised to discuss "current scientific data and victim statements" about the "negative impact of COVID mRNA injections" in children.

The UCP is describing current participants of the meeting as "Calgary pediatrician Dr. Eric Payne, Edmonton ER doctor Dr. William Makis, Dr. David Speicher, Dr. Craig Shoemaker, Dr. Jessica Rose, Bryam W. Bridle and Dr. David Wiseman."

Alberta Health Services (AHS) has since clarified Makis is "not an Edmonton ER physician" despite the UCP billing him as such.

"He has not had AHS privileges for a number of years," said a spokesperson in an email to CTV News.

Payne was among a group of four Alberta doctors who, in 2021, filed a lawsuit against Alberta Health Services over a mandatory order for physicians to be vaccinated against COVID-19 while Makis actively speaks out against COVID-19 vaccination and was reprimanded in a 2018 tribunal hearing by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta.

"As a result of the hearing the Tribunal has been, and remains, concerned both for Dr. Makis' fitness to practice, and as a result, for the safety of the public," the hearing said.

Meanwhile, Shoemaker had his licence suspended by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) in January 2023 over allegations of professional misconduct.

"(Shoemaker) has engaged in an act or omission relevant to the practice of medicine that, having regard to all the circumstances, would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional," the CPSO said.

A family arrives for an appointment at a COVID-19 immunization clinic in Regina, Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michael Bell

Rose, who the UCP says recently testified before Congress about plasma DNA in COVID-19 injections, withdrew one of her 2021 National Library of Medicine publications about myocarditis adverse events in association with the vaccine and has spoken out against the CDC's vaccine adverse event reporting system, calling it "poorly designed and badly implemented."

Bridle, an Ontario veterinarian, sued the University of Guelph, a number of faculty members and other individuals in 2022 for treating him unfairly over his views on the COVID-19 vaccine.

The lawsuit sought $3 million in damages including loss of income, equipment and lab materials as well as damage to his career and "mental anguish."

In a separate court case, Bridle was called to provide expert testimony for an Ontario mother battling her husband over whether or not their 11-year-old child would be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The father's expert witness was University of Toronto infectious diseases specialist Dr. Abdu Sharkawy.

Justice Sheilagh O'Connell ruled in favour of the father of the child in that case, giving him "sole authority to make decisions about all vaccinations to be administered to the child going forward."

A vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine rests on a table at an inoculation station next to Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss., Tuesday, July 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File, File)

'Several successful town halls'

Bouchard, in a statement to CTV News on Monday, said the meeting is being hosted by his constituency association.

"We have had several successful town halls about issues my constituents care about and they have all been incredibly well attended and well received," he said. "We always welcome diverse viewpoints and open dialogue because it's important for people to listen to different ideas and perspectives, even if they disagree."

He added that he owned a business that was "adversely affected by mandates, lockdowns and restrictions" during the pandemic.

"I believe in advocating for a better approach to dealing with businesses during emergency situations."

He declined further requests from CTV News for an interview.

CTV News reached out to the Alberta government for comment. The following statement from Premier Danielle Smith was provided:

"As Premier, I represent and govern on behalf of all Albertans, and I take my direction from all Albertans. As part of the grassroots party process, our members put forward and vote on policy at our party's AGM," the statement read.

"Minister of Health, Adrianna LaGrange, will continue to work with public health experts to review the international evidence and the safety and efficacy of all vaccines. It is important to note that the COVID-19 vaccine for children is not mandatory, and parents have the choice to decide what’s right for their own family.

"I'm not involved in this event and I do not plan to attend. Any questions about it or the speakers should be directed to the party."

LaGrange, meanwhile, said the following:

"This is being put on by a constituency Association in Calgary. And so, you know, you really need to go and talk to them about who their speakers are and why they're putting this forward," she said.

"We have vaccines COVID vaccines available for children. They've been in existence since 2022 here in the province, and parents do have that option to choose what is best for their family and make those decisions informed by talking to their primary care provider.

"We will always and I will always look at emerging evidence, etc., but these vaccines are available for children and parents do have the right to choose."

The numbers don't match

Timothy Caulfield, with the University of Alberta's School of Public Health, says the statistics the UCP are attaching to the town hall are wrong.

"You hear these ridiculous, completely unproven stats associated with vaccines all the time, giving the impression they're dangerous and they're killing people.

"There's absolutely no evidence to support that."

According to the most recent data available from the Alberta government, since a COVID-19 vaccine was approved for use in Canada in October 2021, unexplained child deaths went down by 27 per cent from the year before.

Experts say more children have died from respiratory illnesses following exposure to COVID-19, influenza, RSV and Strep A, but there is no evidence to say those deaths were caused by mRNA vaccines.

Caulfield says the panelists are still allowed to express their views, but anyone attending should understand their perspectives have already been discredited.

Deaths in Children

2019 Other ill-defined and unknown causes of mortality

Gender     0-4       5-9       10-14       15-19

M                 9            1           1                 5         

F                 16          0           1                 2         

T                 25          1           2                 7                         

Total:         50           2           4               14                        Grand total : 70

Total COVID-19 : 0

 

2020 Other ill-defined and unknown causes of mortality

Gender     0-4       5-9       10-14       15-19

M                30          3           2                 21

F                 15          5           2                 12                                                                                                                                       

T                 45          8           4                 33                                                       

Total:         90         16          8                 66                        Grand total : 180

Total COVID-19 : 0

 

2021 Other ill-defined and unknown causes of mortality

Gender     0-4       5-9       10-14       15-19

M                29           1           5                42                                                                                                                                        

F                19           3           7                 21        

T                48           4          12               63        

Total:        96           8          34              126                       Grand total : 264

Total COVID-19 : 6

 

2022 Other ill-defined and unknown causes of mortality

Gender     0-4       5-9       10-14       15-19

M                20         3            5                32

F                19          0            5                12

T                39          3           10               44

Total:        78          6           20               88                         Grand total : 192

Total COVID-19 : 6

Note:

Adult vaccinations began in Canada in December 2020

Pediatric vaccinations began in Canada in November 2021

Source: Government of Alberta

(With files from CTV Calgary's Teri Fikowski and CTV Kitchener)

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