Toronto mayor disciplined for asking school nurse about ‘cuddle bug’ vaccines

Written by Ross Hammond, CNN

The election of Harinder Takhar as mayor of Oakville, a suburb of Toronto, did not end well for him.

The Mayor of Oakville, Ontario is under fire after asking a woman online whether her controversial cuddle-bug vaccine had changed her period.

The Ontario municipal code states that any professional holding a public office and who does “any act which would offend public decency” must attend a retraining course and “receive further remedial counselling if required” for up to a year. He was given his failing grade after a hearing on Monday.

Takhar is now being called “utterly shocking” by media reports for allegedly suggesting he thought the topic could help “save a bit of money for the town.”

After Oakville school nurse Barbara Struthers received an anonymous phone call on Friday asking if she had any information on the 2019 inoculation schedule for the para-rhythmic reflex reflex birth reflex syndrome, an unregulated medical condition, she tried to focus her call on the speculations she had received.

“I would have liked her to ask me about this, that was what I was trying to do,” Struthers told CTV News.

“I don’t hold a position as a medical doctor. I do a little bit of work here in the hospital at the local clinic. But in my line of work, I’ve gotten lots of people asking if this is contagious,” she said.

“I just want to get the information out there as close to people as possible in town as well as let them know,” Struthers added.

Some men can contract rhabdomyolysis from an infectious disease, in which the muscles are degraded by a chain reaction from the breakdown of living cells or their recycling. In the case of caesarean section infection — the prevalence of which is higher in Canada than in the United States — the condition can often be fatal.

Rhabdomyolysis can also occur after a certain type of anti-cervical infection vaccine (the cuddle bug virus for adults, COVID-19) is administered. Women are warned about the danger of taking it, because the treatment could make the uterine arteries more susceptible to uterine rupture. But for men, the condition is not so rare.

“This has now resulted in me being inundated with phone calls from all the parents and from people all over the world asking me, well, if your family had their dates and it affected you, why didn’t you just tell them?” Struthers told CTV News.

“I’m just so incredibly saddened by the thoughtfulness of what’s been suggested and the lack of oversight,” Struthers added.

After her superiors learned of her phone call, she went to file a formal complaint against the mayor. “They’re aware, obviously, of the concerns and there’s going to be an appropriate process here,” Struthers said.

The investigation has uncovered “incidents of inappropriate behaviour by the mayor,” said Todd Spencer, the mayor’s spokesman, before expressing regret to the council.

In a statement to CTV News, Takhar denied spreading “misinformation” about the issue.

“I regret any distress that I may have caused to people that I may have offended,” he said.

The controversy has stirred debate in Canada and even incited some jokes on Twitter.

Takhar has vowed to appeal the ruling. He has yet to comment on the saga.

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