Anti-vaxxers vow to challenge N.B. bill as far as Supreme Court
The question of whether to make vaccinations mandatory for New Brunswick school children might not be answered at the public hearings underway in Fredericton.
Some of those speaking against the idea are warning if the law is passed, they'll take their fight all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.
Ted Kuntz spoke at the hearing on Wednesday. He said his son began having seizures at five months old -- by his count, as many as 15 a day after getting vaccinated.
Kuntz is adamant it was the cause of his son's lifelong struggle with disabilities.
"When your child begins to seize after a vaccine shot, I don't need a doctor to tell me what happened to my son," Kuntz said.
Kuntz heads up Vaccine Choice Canada, a federally-registered not-for-profit group that questions the safety of vaccines.
Wednesday, he took those questions to the legislative committee on Bill 39 and says even if it passes, his fight isn't over.
"I was asked the question if Vaccine Choice Canada would take this to the Supreme Court and the answer is yes," Kuntz said.
Of 13 presenters Wednesday, almost all were against mandatory vaccinations.
Some travelled to New Brunswick for the opportunity to speak.
"I want to hear from people who are taxpayers here in the province so that we can get a perspective of the people who are going to be affected by this law," said committee member Glen Savoie.
"The people who are from away are only going to be affected by New Brunswick law if they happen to be here and break one."
The lone supporter of the bill during Wednesday's hearing was New Brunswick's Child and Youth Advocate Norm Bosse.
And there were grumbles from the crowd when he stated that in front of the committee.
"They're entitled to their opinion," Bosse said. "I'm not saying they're right, I'm not saying they're wrong. That's up to them. What we're saying is that's our position. And it's not about to change because some people are dissatisfied or grumbling about it."
In fact, Bosse doesn't believe the bill is enough. He says more needs to be done to ensure immunization rates increase -- like making it easier for parents to get their children vaccinated.
He also says he believes the bill could hold up in court.
"In any event, I've got to say this," Bosse said. "We've got to do more than what we've been doing."
At hearings this week, there have been passionate pleas from people on both sides of a sensitive debate.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Laura Brown.