Members of Calgary’s Catholic board say they have no problem with a vaccine aimed at preventing cervical cancer, but still don’t believe it has a place in city schools.
This comes despite claims by an advocacy that it will publicly fundraise to fight the board’s position on the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine in court — potentially under the assertion that it violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
“No one has an issue with the vaccine,” said Calgary Catholic School District chair Mary Martin. “I think that’s a point that’s being lost.”
Martin along with board members Serafino Scarpino and Lois Burke-Gaffney have all indicated in the past week to Metro that their position on the HPV vaccine is unlikely to change.
Nearly every other metropolitan Canadian school board has incorporated the vaccine into their health programs under the belief it prevents a virus widely considered to be a leading cause of cervical cancer.
The board has long maintained its direction on the vaccine comes from Calgary Bishop Fred Henry. A secretary indicated Monday the bishop would not be speaking on the matter, but Henry has claimed in the past that the vaccination promotes sexual promiscuity among teens.
“When parents send kids to a Catholic school, they accept the permeation of faith . . . everything that happens is done through the lens of our faith,” — Calgary Catholic School District trustee chair Mary Martin
But researchers out of McGill University in Montreal who assisting pro-vaccine advocacy group HPV Calgary found no link between teenaged sexual activity and the vaccine during statistical analysis, an assistant with the group confirmed Monday.