Davis defends candidate's right to her opinions on ‘self curing’ cancer

Daniel MacEachern dmaceachern@thetelegram.com
Published on November 18, 2015

Tina Olivero

©Twitter photo

Premier Paul Davis says he doesn't plan to rein in a candidate under fire for her controversial views on health.

Tina Olivero, running for the party in St. John's East-Quidi Vidi, tweeted Tuesday night that some diseases — including cancer — can be cured with thought.

"SOME people can cure cancer with self awareness, self healing, self curing…yes, SOME DO!" she wrote. When pressed for proof, Olivero pointed to a blog that claims people can cure all diseases with their thoughts, and an unverified account of a person who cured cancer with distilled water.


A selection of Tina Olivero's Twitter conversations on health care

On Wednesday, Davis noted his own experience with cancer, having survived bouts with melanoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

"I'm a cancer survivor. I'm still a regular visitor to the health professionals who have been treating me and continue to do so," said the premier. "I relied on chemotherapy. I fully believe if I never had chemotherapy, I wouldn't be alive today. And chemotherapy was based on science, and it was based on professionals who studied hard to find best practices and best treatments and so on."

But a lot of people agree with Olivero's views on proper attitudes, said Davis.

"She's expressed an opinion. We're a party that's open to people's opinions and are allowed to express those opinions," he said. "We live in a democracy where people are allowed to do it."

Davis then pointed to last week's Remembrance Day ceremonies and said soldiers sacrificed their lives for people's freedom to express opinions.

Asked if he planned to rein Olivero in from expressing her opinions — which aren't supported by the medical or scientific communities — he said he planned to meet with her to discuss viewpoint and intentions on the matter.

"I'm certainly not going to tell a candidate that she can't express her views," he said. "We have to be sensitive to all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, but I also have people, my candidates have the right to express their viewpoints."

Earlier Wednesday morning, Olivero initially agreed to an interview with the Telegram, but then stopped responding to the Telegram's messages.