A national grocery chain said on Sunday it’s no longer a sponsor of a series of “wellness” expositions where a man convicted in the death of his toddler was listed as a featured speaker.
Sobeys had been sponsoring the Health and Wellness Expos of Canada, which on Sunday morning listed David Stephan as a speaker at events this month and next in Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton.
In an emailed statement, a spokeswoman said the company couldn’t support the organizers’ decision to host Stephan as a speaker.
And by Sunday afternoon, Stephan’s name was removed from the expo’s website and links to the events’ schedules no longer worked.
Representatives for the Health and Wellness Expos did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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.
The expo website previously said Stephan works for a “research-based” organization that offers “nutrient supplementation” in an effort to improve brain and thyroid function naturally.
Sobeys spokeswoman Cynthia Thompson said the company won’t be associated with any future Health and Wellness Expo events.