Freedom of Choice at Risk

The Right of Parents to Refuse Vaccination of Their Kids Is Under Renewed Attack

In recent years, the drumbeat of mandatory vaccination has gotten louder, nastier, and more threatening. At the same time, the corporate-controlled media has imposed a strict blackout on voices attempting to shed light on the health catastrophe unleashed by aggressive vaccination programs on several generations of children. The dissenting voices include parents of vaccine-injured children, vaccine risk-awareness groups, and scientists whose research is revealing the biochemical and molecular pathways by which vaccines can derail normal brain and immune system development in young children – and even trigger devastating autoimmune disease(s).[1] This emerging knowledge is being suppressed by mainstream medicine and public health policy makers whose goal is to defend the vaccine program at all costs. Discounted as collateral damage are the untold numbers of children and adults whose lives have been devastated by vaccine injuries.

With mounting alarm, we watched last year as mandatory vaccination fervour swept across the U.S. Thanks to the diligence of activist parent groups across the country, mandatory vaccination legislation was defeated in most states. But California, once seen as the most liberal state, buckled to medical industry pressure despite huge protest rallies that exceeded the anti-Vietnam war protests in the ’60s. By the end of June, the draconian SB277 anti-choice legislation was pushed through, ending the right to personal belief vaccine exemptions for children attending school and daycare in California.[2]

In lockstep with the pharma/medical industry lobby efforts south of the border, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) tabled a mandatory vaccination resolution to be voted on at its annual meeting last August in Halifax. In protest, Vaccine Choice Canada launched a “No Vaccine Mandates” petition which garnered thousands of signatures and angry letters of protest, all of which landed at the CMA executive office prior to the meeting.[3] The Canadian public made it very clear that it wants freedom of choice, and rejects the concept of mandatory vaccination.

Parents Opposed to Mandatory Vaccination May Be Subject to Forced “Education”

Perhaps the fierce public backlash jolted the CMA leadership into rethinking its position. In the end, the 80,000-member doctors’ trade group voted for mandatory immunization status reports for school entry and mandatory parent meetings or “education” sessions with public health officials if children are “under-vaccinated.” In other words, the CMA voted for more intimidation and coercion of families who resist some or all vaccines for their children.

There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that the CMA’S well-oiled political lobby has played a key role in persuading the Ontario Ministry of Health to craft legislation reflective of its own policies. Within a few months of the CMA vote, the Ontario government announced its intention to amend the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) [4], the law which since 1984 has enabled the provincial government to require vaccination of school children, but which crucially also provides legal vaccine exemptions for medical reasons as well as personal belief exemptions based on conscience and religion.[5] If passed, the ISPA amendment (Bill 198) would force vaccine-hesitant parents to attend mandatory vaccine education sessions prior to being allowed to file a conscience- or religious-based vaccine exemption for their children.

Forced “education” of vaccine-hesitant parents is the flagship initiative of Ontario’s “Immunization 2020” roadmap, unveiled in December 2015. Immunization 2020, a strategic 24-page document, promises to modernize, streamline and increase vaccine delivery to all ages (read “cradle-to-grave” vaccination), enhance immunization communications strategies (read “intensify the barrage of pro-vaccine propaganda), and provide immunization education in schools (read “Big Pharma capturing our children’s minds”).[6] The global human vaccine market is predicted to reach over $55 billion (USD) by 2020, and our tax dollars are funding government propaganda initiatives like Immunization 2020 to ensure the success of this surging market. [7]

Although it passed first reading during the spring 2016 legislative session, Bill 198 has now been deferred to the fall. If passed, however, Bill 198 will compel parents to attend a mandatory vaccine education session prior to being allowed to file a personal belief exemption. It’s a punch in the gut but predictable, considering the toxic climate that has been stoked by the media, medical industry lobby groups, and governments in North America against anyone questioning the safety of injecting children with multiple doses of over a dozen vaccines and many more coming down the pipeline.

Bill 198 Violates Constitutional Rights

Vaccines are complex biochemical substances that by definition are drugs. Once injected, vaccine ingredients can cross the blood-brain barrier and cannot be deactivated or removed if something goes wrong.[8] Bill 198 threatens our basic human right to give voluntary, informed consent to medical risk-taking and to refuse unwanted medical treatments like vaccines. Bill 198 contravenes the fundamental rights we are guaranteed by the Canadian Constitution, i.e., the right to freedom of conscience and religion, and the legal right to security of the person. Forcing parents to attend “vaccine education” sessions against their will in order to obtain legal vaccine exemptions they already have the right to, imposes an unacceptable restriction on our Constitutional Rights as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.[9]

Bill 198 is blatantly coercive and violates the essential parameters of Informed Consent as articulated by Ontario’s Health Care Consent Act, Canadian Medical Law, and physician guidelines in obtaining consent to medical treatment(s):

“Patients must be free to consent to or refuse treatment, and be free of any suggestion of duress or coercion. Consent obtained under any suggestion of compulsion either by the actions or words of the physician or others may be no consent at all and therefore, may be successfully repudiated.” [10],[11]

Bill 198 adds insult to injury to the government’s decades-long campaign to foil parents’ access to vaccine exemptions. By placing yet another layer of restrictions on our civil rights, the provincial government sends a chilling message to all Canadians that it is willing to trample citizens’ most fundamental Constitutional rights in order to achieve maximum compliance with its vaccination goals.

Ontarians Have the Legal Right to Refuse Vaccination

For three decades, Vaccine Choice Canada and its predecessor groups have watched the Ontario government sanction words and actions that subvert information about the availability of legal exemptions from vaccines, state that vaccination is mandatory for school-age children when it is not, and coerce consent from students and parents with suspension threats without clearly informing them of their legal right to refuse vaccines. The provincial government has used every underhanded tactic imaginable to prevent the public from knowing they have the right to refuse vaccines, a right protected by law since 1984 by the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA). Our complaints to the Ontario Ombudsman document the lengths the provincial government has gone to, to obstruct parents’ access to vaccine exemptions.[12]

Each year, thousands of Ontario students are threatened with school suspension if vaccine records are incomplete, yet they are not informed of their legal right to vaccine exemptions for reasons of conscience and religion. Most disturbingly, we have received reports from distressed parents whose children as young as 11 have been coerced into submitting to vaccination in the school setting without parental knowledge or consent.

Violation of Privacy Laws  

Requiring parents to reveal their children’s medical (vaccine) records conflicts with Ontario privacy laws, as this legal opinion on the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) indicates. Consent is a cornerstone of privacy legislation. “Fundamental to the concept of consent, PHIPA recognizes the right of the individual to withhold or withdraw his or her consent for the collection, use or disclosure of PHI, including for health-care purposes.” [13]

No Infectious Disease Emergency

Since vaccine compliance among Canadian families is already high, and since there is no infectious disease public health emergency, why is this government intent on violating citizens’ most fundamental civil rights? It is important to reiterate that the dramatic decline in mortality from infectious diseases occurred well before mass vaccination programs. The occasional outbreak of ‘vaccine preventable’ diseases has much more to do with vaccine failure than with vaccine refusal.[14],[15],[16]

Wasting Scarce Healthcare Dollars While Trampling Informed Consent Rights

Bill 198 places an unacceptable burden on families who will be forced under duress to submit to pro-vaccine messaging they already reject. Mandatory vaccine education sessions are a waste of limited healthcare dollars that could be better spent elsewhere, such as training doctors to diagnose and report vaccine injuries.
It is well known that the majority of parents who refuse vaccines for their children, or who vaccinate selectively, are well educated and have already thoroughly researched the risk/benefit equation of injecting their children with the myriad complex biochemical substances that comprise vaccines, which like all drugs, carry a risk of injury and death for some. Forcing parents to submit to mandatory vaccine education sessions in an attempt to influence their personal beliefs will not sway them, but will create more resentment, anger, and polarization, and will be taken as an infringement of their Charter rights.

No Compensation for Vaccine Injury Victims

Canada is the only G7 country without a vaccine injury compensation program (except for Quebec). Neither the Province of Ontario, nor the Government of Canada takes any responsibility whatsoever for the vaccine injuries and deaths that occur every year. By contrast, the U.S. government has paid out more than $3 billion in compensation to people injured and killed by vaccines. Stunningly, when several Quebec doctors at last year’s CMA meeting proposed that the doctors’ group adopt a resolution supporting a national vaccine injury compensation program in Canada, it was defeated by 70% of the vote. Their stated reason for opposing compensation for vaccine injury victims is the fear that such a program would “be used” by those opposed to vaccines. [3]

It seems that doctors are unaware that vaccine injuries are real, and that the Canadian government has been tracking vaccine adverse reactions for decades. In the 20 years between 1992 to 2012, the Canadian Adverse Events Following Vaccination System (CAEFISS) recorded 87,911 vaccine adverse reaction reports, which represent approximately 10% of adverse reactions that actually occur following vaccination. Canada operates a dual vaccine adverse events reporting system that is confusing, lacks transparency and is mostly inaccessible to the public. [17],[18]

Isn’t it long past due that Canadian doctors re-examine their one-size-fits-all vaccine policy and wake up to the fact that vaccine resistance is the byproduct of vaccine injury experienced by growing numbers of parents who trusted their doctors’ reassurances that vaccines are “safe and effective,” then witnessed their healthy child descend into a nightmare of lost health, lost skills, brain injuries, neurological disorders, immune system dysregulation, learning disabilities, behaviour disorders, life-threatening allergies and chronic diseases that have exploded since the tripling of vaccination schedules over the past four decades?

The right to bodily integrity and voluntary informed consent is a basic human right enshrined in international treatises such as the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, to which Canada is a signatory. “Any preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned, based on adequate information. The consent should, where appropriate, be expressed and may be withdrawn by the person concerned at any time and for any reason without disadvantage or prejudice.”[19]

Speaking in defense of the basic human right to voluntary informed consent, legal scholar Professor Mary Holland reminded the UN’s 25th International Health and Environment Conference United Nations that:

“Individuals, for themselves and their minor children, should have the right to accept or refuse these preventive medical interventions based on adequate information and without coercion, such as the threat of loss of economic or educational benefits. Informed consent must be the default position because compulsion, on its face, not only undermines trust, but limits the fundamental rights to life, liberty, bodily integrity, informed consent, privacy and to parental decision making.”[20]

The provincial government needs to be reminded that it does NOT have the right to impose legislative restrictions on civil and legal rights that we are already granted by the Canadian Charter and human rights treatise. Let us send a resounding message to Health Minister Eric Hoskins that it’s time to scrap Bill 198.

Vaccine Choice Canada’s Take Action campaign against Bill 198 can be found at this link: We’re asking all concerned people to arrange a personal meeting with their provincial member of parliament to present their MPP with the free educational booklet we’ve developed for politicians about the vaccine issue and why they must protect our right to vaccine exemptions. Please also sign our petition against Bill 198, which you can download from our Take Action page. For more information, email or write to VCC, P.O. Box 169, Winlaw, BC, Canada V0G 2J0.

[1] Celeste McGovern; Big Pharma’s Dirty Little Secret: Vaccine-Induced Autoimmune Injury:
[2] New California Law Threatens Human and Civil Rights in America:
[3] No Vaccine Mandates in Canada Petition – August 2015:
[4] Ontario Strengthening Requirements for School Vaccine Exemptions:
[5] Exemptions from Vaccinations: Vaccinations are NOT mandatory in Canada:
[6] Immunization 2020:
[7] Global Human Vaccines Market to Reach Close to USD 61 Billion by 2020:
[8] When Vaccines Cross the Blood Brain Barrier – A Formula For Disaster:
[9] Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms:
[10] Consent: A Guide for Canadian Physicians
[11] Health Care Consent Act, Ontario:
[12] Ombudsman Complaint – Vaccine Choice Canada:
[13] Consent and the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004: Creating the right Balance:
[14] Gregory Poland et. al: the Re-Emergence of Measles in Developed Countries:
[15] Pertussis Microbe Outsmarts the Vaccine:
[16] Whooping Cough Vaccine Does Not Stop Spread of Disease:
[17] Vaccine Safety Report:
[18] Report on the Canada Vigilance Database, April 2015:
[19] Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights:
[20] Vaccination Policies and Human Rights,  25th International Health and Environment Conference United Nations, presenter Mary Holland Research Scholar, NYU School of Law:

Edda started researching vaccine safety issues after her daughter's severe reaction to MMR vaccine in 1977. In response to the 1982 passage of Ontario's Immunization of School Pupils Act, she and a group of concerned parents formed the Committee Against Compulsory Vaccination (CACV) in protest of the unconstitutionality of the new legislation which failed to provide comprehensive vaccine exemptions. Following a two year lobby effort, in 1984 the CACV won an amendment to the Act which, to this day, guarantees all families the legal right to exempt their children from vaccination for reasons of conscience or sincerely held belief as well as for religious reasons. No child in Ontario can be deprived of education if they have not received any or all of the "required" vaccines. Edda West is co-founder and President of Vaccine Choice Canada (formerly VRAN), a not-for-profit educational society which advocates for voluntary and informed consent prior to vaccination through its website, Facebook page and acclaimed newsletters:

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