Doctors pushing for FSJ Hospital Foundation executive’s resignation didn’t want to go public

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Dr. Paul Mackey and his wife, Lori Bonertz, say they never wanted a letter they sent to …

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Dr. Paul Mackey and his wife, Lori Bonertz, say they never wanted a letter they sent to the Fort St. John Hospital board to go public.

The letter sent last week aimed to inform the board and push for the resignation of their executive director, Niki Hedges, after she was seen at a protest against BC’s vaccine passport outside city hall on September 13th.

“We felt the foundation should be aware of this, as someone who’s an executive director, you have a fiduciary duty to uphold the mission, vision and values of the organization to represent,” says Mackey.

While the couple awaited a reply from the board, a local media outlet had gotten a hold of the letter.

“Someone from the Foundation passed on that letter,” says Mackey, noting that they only sent the letter to the Foundation and no one else.

The board replied to Mackey and Bonertz this week, stating they’re seeking legal advice to decide how to proceed. Some of the board members were also allegedly unaware of Hedges’ participation in the protest until they received the letter, Mackey notes.

It’s no secret that over the last couple of years, as the executive director, Hedges has helped raise millions of dollars through the Foundation. Mackey agrees, saying Hedges has been an excellent executive but believes there are specific responsibilities the face of an organization must take on.

“All this fuss is distracting from what’s necessary. What we need is for every eligible person in Fort St. John to be vaccinated. It’s simply the endpoint that’s required. And everyone who has a public persona or is in a position of authority should be working towards that same goal.”

“If you want to protect our nurses, the answer is get vaccinated. If you want to maintain hospital services, the answer is to get vaccinated. If you want to keep our schools open, the answer is to get vaccinated. If you want to protect businesses in the community, the answer is to get vaccinated. That should be the message of coming from anyone and everyone.”

The Foundation board couldn’t be reached for immediate comment.

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