Tom Baker Cancer Centre refuses $6,000 donation from cannabis club
Club calls it ‘discrimination,’ while foundation says it needs to catch up with legalization
When Rick Beaver, a well-respected member of the Calgary Cannabis Club, died of cancer in November, the club’s membership wanted to raise money for the clinic that had treated their friend so well.
At a memorial auction in early December, members raised $6,000 for the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Beaver’s name. The 65-year-old retired mechanic battled bladder and esophageal cancer and used weed to manage the pain, nausea, and appetite issues that went along with treatment. But last Friday, the centre refused the donation because the money came from a cannabis-oriented group.
The club called the decision “discrimination, plain and simple” in a Facebook post on Friday.
“I just think it’s a little shameful of a cancer society Calgary Cannabis Club’s Rick Beaver died in November. Club members wanted to donate in his name. to refuse any sort of funding,” said Gordon Hayes, the club’s director of fundraising and events.
Phoebe Dey, vice-president of communications and marketing for the foundation — which raises funds for all of Alberta’s cancer centres — cited the Canada Revenue Agency’s rules on fundraising by registered charities.
According to the regulations, fundraising isn’t acceptable
if it is “illegal or contrary to public policy.” She said the foundation understands the need to change its rules now that recreational cannabis is legal, but it needs to do its due diligence first.