January 20, 2020
On Sunday, it was brought to the attention of Autistics United Nova Scotia that two screenings of the film “Vaxxed II: The People’s Truth” are taking place in Bedford on Friday, January 31.
For the few who may not be aware, this film promotes the long-discredited theory that vaccines cause autism. Such beliefs have brought substantial harm to the autistic community, and to the general public.
Because of the anti-vaccine propaganda that is so readily available online, many people around the world have stopped vaccinating their children. Consequently, there have been localized outbreaks of vaccine-preventable illnesses such as measles and whooping cough throughout Canada, the United States, and other countries. These illnesses can be fatal if not treated promptly.
In addition, anti-vaccine views have brought untold harm and stigma to autistic people, as the belief that vaccines cause autism has led many people to see autism as something to fear, and to look upon autistic people as damaged or broken.
The Eventbrite page for the screening gives the address of the screening location, but not the name of the venue. We have determined that the venue is the LeBrun Recreation Centre.
We have been in touch with the rec centre, the municipal Director of Parks and Recreation, local city councillor Tim Outhit, and Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Robert Strang.
Mr. Outhit has also been in touch with the Director of Parks and Recreation, as well as the City Solicitor. Dr. Strang has asked one of his colleagues to express their concerns to HRM, as well. We thank them for the prompt response.
By hosting the screening of Vaxxed II, the LeBrun Recreation Centre is harming public health and contributing to the stigma towards autistic people. As a municipally-owned recreation centre, LeBrun Recreation Centre must uphold values of equity, anti-ableism, and human rights.
We, members of the autistic community in Nova Scotia, urge the LeBrun Centre to cancel this screening immediately.