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Spotted: Fake quotes in Terry Fox booklet

Categories: Canada, Community, News Promo

The Terry Fox Foundation admits it used fabricated quotes by fictitious people in a booklet sent to Saskatchewan donors. (CBC)

Our story Tuesday about fake quotes appearing in a Terry Fox Foundation booklet for donors garnered a great deal of reaction from the CBC Community.

Robert Barr, the director of the Saskatchewan office of the Terry Fox Foundation, confirmed he told former employee Gregory Procknow to write the fabricated fundraising stories.

The reaction from our readers partly stemmed from the reputation that Terry Fox holds in Canadian society.

  •  "Terry Fox is a name and essentially a brand that Canadians cherish. This person should be removed from a management position," said dasticks.

Some of the readers thought that the cancer charity was being unfairly singled out for using fake quotes in this way.   
  • "Think about all the commercials and magazine & newspaper ads and their fake testimonials. It doesn't make it right - but it's ironic that an organization with such a noble cause is targeted because they have noble people working for them," wrote Aaron from Winnipeg.

  • "Banks and insurance companies do it all the time and don't come clean," said SayWhatThe. "At least someone is admitting it."

  • "They aren't the only ones doing it. I've seen charity groups do the same thing, because I used to work in one," said civicboy. "The stories were typically based on real life events people had seen...but they were certainly not factual quotations in any sense."

Some of the commenters were divided about where the blame should lie in this case.

  • "Mr. Procknow was probably not FORCED to do anything. If he truly felt disgusted about the idea then he wouldn't have made up the quotes. In my opinion he is just as much to blame as his former employer," said superunknown.

  •  "Looks like the summer student was thrown under the bus. He was told to do this by his boss. And presumably he did not have final approval on the organization's public relations products. Robert Barr needs to explain why he is not taking responsibility for what the organization that operates under his leadership has done," said Bureaucrat.

Some members of the CBC Community expressed skepticism about cancer fundraising in general, some of them citing a Marketplace story from this summer about the administration spending at the Canadian Cancer Society.
  • "Yet another good reason not to donate...and the trouble is, too many people already have too many good reasons. Million dollar 'volunteers' is top of my list. 2012 cars for the 'leadership' of the charity to drive around in is a close second. Outright lying to us though...that might hit number one in the charts!" wrote Vain Zero.

Many audience members expressed worry that such revelations would make people less likely to donate to cancer charities.

DrRajah was one of many to come to the defence of the Terry Fox Foundation.

"For all the people concerned about how this charity is spending your money:

"According to the financial statement on the website the expenses of the organization only run about 15% compared to its distribution of funds, which was a guideline set out by Terry Fox when the organization was formed."

Thank you for all your comments.

Tags: Health, Saskatchewan

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