A national grocery chain says it’s no longer a sponsor of a series of “wellness” expositions where a man convicted in the death of his toddler is scheduled to be a featured speaker.
Sobeys had been sponsoring the Health and Wellness Expos of Canada, which lists David Stephan as a speaker at events this month and next in Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton.
But in an emailed statement on Sunday, a spokeswoman said the company couldn’t support the organizers’ decision to host Stephan as a speaker.
In 2016, Stephan and his wife were both found guilty of failing to provide the necessaries of life in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis.
Their trial in Lethbridge, Alta., heard they treated the 19-month-old boy with garlic, onion and horseradish rather than taking him to a doctor. The Stephans eventually called 911 but the little boy died in hospital.
Stephan was sentenced to four months in prison, and his case is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court in May.
Some people took to Twitter to call on Sobeys to pull its support of the expo, given Stephan’s involvement.
Sobeys spokeswoman Cynthia Thompson says the company won’t be associated with any future Health and Wellness Expo events.
The expo website says Stephan works for a “research-based” organization that offers “nutrient supplementation” in an effort to improve brain and thyroid function naturally.
Representatives for the Health and Wellness Expos did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Canadian Press