Organizers of an exhibition on health and wellness being held in Calgary this weekend have canceled the presentation of a man who was waiting for a retrial for the death of his son's baby, reached meningitis.
David Stephan was scheduled to speak at the Calgary Health Show, which will be held Saturday and Sunday at the BMO Center on Stampede grounds. However, the organizers published a tweet Saturday morning to announce that his appearances had been canceled.
"David Stephan will not talk to health shows," we read.
"It was heartbreaking to see how some members of the online community treated our sponsors, exhibitors and charities.
"Out of respect for the generous people behind these brands, we ask you to stop engaging with them disrespectfully."
The Twitter account was later removed and the event website was no longer active on Saturday afternoon.
The show's organizers have not responded to CBC News's requests for comment.
Despite the cancellation of his appearances, Stephan's company, Truehope, remained on the exhibitors list of the event's website.
Some sponsors withdrew their support after learning that Stephan had to speak.
Lakeview Bakery co-owner Joanne Schmidt said she decided to withdraw from the Calgary Health Show after hearing that David Stephan was scheduled to speak. (Anis Heydari / CBC)
"We talked for about five minutes and the decision was clear: we could not tolerate any event that would invite her to speak," said Joanne Schmidt, co-owner of Lakeview Bakery.
In 2016, Stephan and his wife Collet were found guilty of failing to provide the necessities of life to their 19-month-old son Ezekiel.
The conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court and a new trial is scheduled for June.
Last month, an Alberta judge dismissed the couple's $ 4 million claim for paying past and future legal bills.
Judge John Rooke stated at the time that the application was in a civil court.
He also told Stephan that the upcoming trial will not be an investigation into his son's death, but will decide the guilt or innocence of the couple.
A screengrab of the Calgary Health Show's website before it was deactivated on Saturday. (Calgary Health Show)
Stephan was scheduled to speak at a similar event in Calgary last April, but this appearance was also canceled as a result of a public criticism.
"We would never have imagined that they would invite him back.That was an absolute shock for us," Schmidt said.
"We've had a lot of shows and there are usually a lot of great people we support, but we do not normally go to a list [of speakers] in advance."
On Saturday morning, Inn From the Cold issued a statement in which he stated that he was not affiliated with the event, while his logo appeared on the website.
"It's important for us to note that we are not a sponsor of the health show, but a beneficiary of a third-party fundraiser," he said.
"Our logo has been posted on the Health Show website without the consent of our organization."
According to the statement, they contacted the organizers to have it removed.