In a furious letter to Ontario’s civil service board, the mayor of Peterborough, Ontario, asks for a 30% pay cut after being informed that his personal appearance should have nothing to do with health policy.
This conflict-of-interest tale, reported last month in the Toronto Star, began when Mayor Mike Bradley posted an online poll. The anonymous entry was titled, “Should a woman receive the Gardasil vaccination at any age?” The only question in the poll was whether she received “the Gardasil vaccine as a girl, as an adult, or as an older woman?” The poll received “about 500 votes in less than a week.”
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The response, Bradley told the Toronto Star, was “some ugly responses.” Bradley tweeted: “One lady even said she doesn’t want to be in a relationship with a man that has had the HPV vaccine.”
The Star reported: “Bradley made these comments shortly after being introduced on stage at a health care symposium in Peterborough as Canada’s health minister.”
A spokesman for Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins’ office, David Jensen, told the Star, “The Minister is very concerned that his private conduct and public office are a concern for so many.”
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Bradley posted on Facebook that he spoke at the symposium with Barb Goldsmith-Jones, a prominent Ontario lawyer and a former Liberal cabinet minister. “I’m shocked the present Health Minister did not share this with Barb,” Bradley wrote. “Perhaps she could have given me counsel? She should have explained to me that there has to be a broader range of information available to parents than the contraceptive and sexual health information.”
Bradley maintains he didn’t leave health policy up to any kind of health information, which is why he’s taking a pay cut.
Meanwhile, his poll has gained attention from the Liberals who pushed the Liberals through and are now in power. “The Liberals are in damage control mode because they themselves have been in this mess,” one Toronto Star journalist wrote. “Not since the Mike Duffy scandal has their agenda been so horribly exposed.”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s spokesman issued a statement to the Star about the situation: “It is unacceptable for the public sector to be put in the position of policing its leaders, but that is exactly what has happened with Mr. Bradley’s error in judgment. The public service board has now voted unanimously to take appropriate action in response to this serious matter.”
Cameron Payne, associate director of communications at the World Health Organization, told the Star that the idea that women shouldn’t be allowed to receive the Gardasil vaccine without being told they’re carrying the HPV virus is “alarmingly invasive.”