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Ronald McDonald House holds firm on vax policy

“We appreciate that this policy will impact those who have made a decision not to vaccinate, however, we must continue to prioritize the health, safety, and welfare of the vulnerable populations that we serve.”

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After a flood of negative press over the eviction of a four-year-old cancer patient and his family for being unvaccinated, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) says it won’t back down on its vaccination policy.

The Furgason family of four has been staying at the RMH Vancouver location since October while their four-year-old son Jack undergoes treatment for leukemia at the BC Children’s Hospital.

On January 10, the family was given notice of RMH BC & Yukon’s decision to evict anyone from their houses nationwide who has not been fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

Austin, Jack’s father, had his wife Lindsey, confronted the RMHC administration the following morning and filmed the discussion which they then posted on Facebook and it has since gone viral.

The flurry of attention has caused a social media storm — some commenting on rumours RMHC had backed down from its vaccination policy requiring all those “working, visiting or staying at RMH BC & Yukon” to be fully vaccinated.

“Caring for families with sick children in a safe environment has always been our top priority at Ronald McDonald Houses Charities. Throughout the pandemic, Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon has had specific procedures and policies such as limiting visitors to the House, daily wellness checks, and physical distancing in place that are designed to ensure the highest level of safety for families, staff and volunteers within our communal living environment,” said company officials in a statement to the Western Standard.

“On the recommendation of our local public health unit, the 14-member Board of Directors made the decision to mandate vaccinations for everyone working, visiting, or staying at RMH BC & Yukon to ensure we continue to meet the highest standards of health and safety and protect the vulnerable population of sick children we serve in congregate settings and limit the spread of COVID-19 and its variants.

“We have informed all stakeholders of this decision including families, staff, and volunteers. Where residents request an exemption due to various circumstances, Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon will review those case-by-case basis, and a decision will be made. All requests will be approved for exemption for child patients undergoing treatment, and therefore unable to be vaccinated. Ronald McDonald House will support any family in need of alternate accommodation if needed after the grace period. No family will ever be evicted from our House.

“Our team has been in contact with the family in regards to this specific situation, and we are supporting arrangements for alternate accommodations.”

Although RMH BC indicated they are willing to work with the Furgason family to find them alternate accomodations, Austin told the Western Standard on Thursday he and his family were accepted at the Easter Seals House a short distance away from the RMH they are currently staying at.

A GoFundMe page was started months ago by a friend of the Furgason family to help assist with expenses the family incurred for Jack’s cancer treatment.

“A goal of $5,000 was set for the GoFundMe page and in three months it had hit $3,000,” Austin told the Western Standard.

“But, after our video went viral, it jumped to over $80,000 in one day,” said Austin adding it was answer to prayer.

The incredible media attention the story has garnered landed Austin on Fox News Wednesday evening and support for the family continues to pour in. The GoFundMe page now sits just shy of $164K.

“At this point, all our needs are met, but we want to use that money to help others who are facing a similar situation,” said Austin.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

Melanie Risdon is a Calgary-based Reporter for the Western Standard. She has over 20 years experience in media at Global News, Rogers and Corus. mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. William Clark

    January 15, 2022 at 3:19 pm

    It’s all about health for the people eh ? Government lying scum. Kids with cancer kicked out because they haven’t gotten the almighty vax How could any CEO, Manager sleep at night knowing what they are doing. . Pathetic , I will never support charities that are on that train. But hey they don’t care because the scum in Ottawa are paying them with our money.

  2. Lee Morrison

    January 15, 2022 at 3:10 pm

    Interesting sense of entitlement. The Furgasons are happy to accept the charity of Ronald Macdonald House provided that they can set the rules. When faced with the option of abididing by Macsonald’s regulations, the organization is publicly vilified with the contention that their grieviously ill four year old is being “booted”. Macdonald’s rules are intended, efectively or not, to protect sick children including Jack Furguason.

  3. Katherine Cornelius

    January 15, 2022 at 12:25 pm

    I would suggest that your donations to these “uncharitable charities” be given second and third considerations that they are indeed aligning with your own values. I personally will not donate to, or support, Ronald McDonald House going forward after this. Let the fearful support them as best they can while they sit at home, too scared to leave their homes. Let the rest of us support the unbiased, openly accepting organizations that see us all as human beings first. This is bullshit.

  4. GreatWhite

    January 15, 2022 at 8:21 am

    RMH must be getting a load of cash to keep that policy. Probably from Trudeau giving away our money.

  5. Stan Leonard

    January 14, 2022 at 3:51 pm

    I always thought Ronald McDonald was in psychosis with a cult following.

  6. Andrew Red Deer

    January 14, 2022 at 12:26 pm

    Over the years I have never been much of a donor to Charity. The Legion, Sally Ann and some locals upon occasion. With this action Ronald McDonald has taken the same path with Make a Wish denying access to kids whose parents judge the risk too great for them and their kids to be jabbed with an unproven bolus. This will have ramifications for all Charities when the COVID panic falls flat on its face, and all these tyrants will face the music one way or another, by reduction of income, all the way up to capital punishment for supporting or creating tyranny. Just ask Nicolae Ceasescu of Romania what happens when the people rise. Oh wait he was hung,….by the people.

  7. Bruce

    January 14, 2022 at 10:47 am

    All for a jab proven not to work. Hmm go figure.

  8. Left Coast

    January 14, 2022 at 10:13 am

    Ronnie McD house is sticking with the VAX that we all know Does NOT Work.

    The VAXED today are the Super Spreaders . . . you are much saver amongst the un-vaxed.

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News

Ottawa press gallery discusses letting Chinese propaganda agency in

Xinhua has been accused of misusing press privileges at the direction of Chinese diplomats.

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Officials with the Parliamentary Press Gallery held a behind closed doors meeting on Tuesday to talk about letting reporters from Xinhau, the Chinese Community Party’s propaganda agency, into the club, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

“The gallery is not bound by any outside political considerations,” said gallery president Catherine Levesque of the National Post. 

“We are doing our due diligence to ensure Xinhua meets certain criteria and we will be making a decision shortly.”

Xinhua has been accused of misusing press privileges at the direction of Chinese diplomats.

“Membership in the Parliamentary Press Gallery allows access to the secure physical buildings of the parliamentary precinct and the opportunity to directly question individuals who drive and shape public policy,” gallery directors wrote in a 2020 code Journalistic Principles And Practices.

“As a result, accreditation is a privilege, not a right.”

Xinhua had been a member until 2020 when its press pass lapsed.

The Department of National Defence in 2012 blacklisted the agency from attending its press briefings, and a Xinhua correspondent in 2012 disclosed he was asked to maintain surveillance on Chinese dissidents in Canada.

The gallery would not discuss the Xinhua application but the gallery code states members must “respect the rights of people involved in the news.”

The Commons by a unanimous 266-0 vote last February 22 condemned China for human rights atrocities including the genocide of its Uyghur Muslim community. MPs also voted to petition the International Olympic Committee to relocate the 2022 Winter Games from Beijing.

“We need to move forward, not just as a country but as a world, on recognizing the human rights violations that are going on in China,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier told reporters.

“This is an issue that matters deeply to me, to all Canadians, and we will continue to work with our partners and allies on taking it seriously.”

Xinhua was originally granted Press Gallery membership in 1964 at the request of then-Foreign Minister Paul Martin Sr.

“It is a step in the direction of mutual understanding between Canada and mainland China,” Martin said at the time. Membership was approved in a press credentials swap that saw the Communist Party permit the Globe & Mail to open a Beijing bureau.

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News

PHA head says cellphone snooping fears unwarranted

Dr. Harpreet Kochhar said managers at no time collected information that personally identified any of 33 million cellphone users.

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The president of the Public Health Agency (PHA) says Canadians need not fret over the fact his organization snooped on 33 million cellphone users, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Dr. Harpreet Kochhar said managers at no time collected information that personally identified any of 33 million cellphone users.

“No personal information was asked or was received,” Kochhar told the Commons health committee.

“No individually identifiable data is contained in any part of the work.”

The Commons ethics committee last Friday voted 10-0 to examine the data collection program using cellphone tower tracking. The PHA said it sought the information to monitor compliance with lockdown orders.

“The actual reason why we collected this data is reliable, timely and relevant public health data comes out of it for other policy and decision making,” said Kochhar.

“This is population-level mobility data analysis. This is what we have collected.

“That would help us to understand the possible link between the movement of populations within Canada and the impact on COVID-19. We did that in terms of a very clear way of getting that open and transparent means of collection. We never, ever actually know when we use that information that it is individually identifiable. It is aggregated data.”

MPs on the ethics committee earlier noted cellphone users were never told the PHA was collecting the cellphone tracking data. Conservative MP John Brassard (Barrie-Innisfil, Ont.), noted the scope of the monitoring was only detailed when the Agency issued a December 17 notice to contractors to expand the program.

“It becomes increasingly concerning that government is seemingly using this pandemic as a means and a cause for massive overreach into the privacy rights of Canadians,” said Brassard.

“As parliamentarians, it’s incumbent upon us to make sure we protect those rights, that there is proper scrutiny and oversight.”

“The Public Health Agency was collecting data without the knowledge of Canadians, effectively doing it in secret. We need to know what security measures were in place to protect the privacy rights of Canadians.

“It is vital we do not allow the COVID response to create a permanent backslide of the rights and freedoms of Canadians including their fundamental right to privacy.”

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News

Health Minister Duclos has no info on $150-million COVID contract to SNC-Lavalin

But testifying at the Commons health committee, Duclos had no answer when asked why the contract was issued.

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SNC-Lavalin was given a $150-million sole-source contract to provide “urgently” needed field hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic — but Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos doesn’t seem to know much about it, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

The field hospitals were never used.

“This is obviously in support of the needs at the request of provinces and territories,” said Duclos.

But testifying at the Commons health committee, Duclos had no answer when asked why the contract was issued.

“What is the status of the mobile field hospitals SNC-Lavalin was contracted to produce?” asked Conservative MP Shelby Kramp-Neuman (Hastings-Lennox, Ont.).

“It was an example of the significant level of preparation that we did throughout the crisis,” replied Duclos.

“Why have the field hospitals from SNC-Lavalin not been deployed?” asked Kramp-Neuman.

Duclos replied he had no information on “the exact nature of the state of that equipment.”

“Did the Prime Minister’s Office approve of this?” asked MP Kramp-Neuman.

“That’s a public works question,” replied Duclos.

“We’re not getting a lot of clarity here,” said MP Kramp-Neuman, adding: “The buck stops with you. Sadly, I recognize you don’t have all the answers to everything, but it doesn’t seem like we’re getting a lot of answers to anything.”

An unidentified Department of Public Works manager finalized the SNC-Lavalin contract on April 9, 2020 without notice to other bidders.

“A public call for tenders was not issued due to the urgency of the need as a result of the pandemic,” said an internal e-mail.

However, as late as Sep. 9, 2020, the Québec contractor had still not fixed a delivery date, according to staff emails.

Paul Thompson, deputy minister of public works, Tuesday said he knew little of the contract details.

“I personally don’t have all the details at my fingertips,” said Thompson.

SNC-Lavalin was paid to supply field hospitals equipped with 200 hospital beds, ventilators, masks, medical gowns and ten days’ worth of medication, back-up generators, water and oxygen tanks, X-ray machines, shower bays and latrines.

“The self-sufficiency of the unit makes it extremely flexible for deployment where the need is greatest in Canada,” said a memo.

Internal records dated Oct. 13, 2020 disclosed no one wanted the field hospitals.

The department said spending included $2 million for design work and millions more on warehousing medical supplies for presumed future use.

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