‘It was a terrible hoax’: Fake flyers put up around Esquimalt advising to register for family doctor

'It was a terrible hoax': Fake flyers put up around Esquimalt advising to register for family doctor
Lexi Developments
Flyers were put up around Esquimalt encouraging people to contact the council to register for a family doctor, but the flyers were a hoax.

Over the weekend, Esquimalt council’s emails got flooded with people asking to be registered to the new medical clinic opening up as was promised on flyers put up around the town — only issue, the flyers were a hoax.

The flyers put up had the logo of the developer of the project at 899 Esquimalt Rd., which will have a medical clinic on the ground floor once it is complete.

It touted factual information about the eventual doctor clinic, but then at the bottom told people to contact Esquimalt council by noon on March 26 in order to be registered to a doctor at the clinic.

Ahead of the council meeting on Feb. 26, Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins addressed the flyers, pointing people in the right direction to actually register for a doctor.

“If you require a family practitioner, the way to secure that is by registering on the Health Connect Registry of the B.C. government,” Desjardins said. “I just cannot express to you the harm and the hurt that this hoax has caused to our community…It was a terrible hoax.”

Speaking with CHEK News, Desjardins says she has been responding to everyone who emails informing them the flyers were a hoax and directing them to the Health Connect Registry.

“One of the challenges we’ve heard though, is a lot of those people, the majority, I would say are already registered and they’re waiting, and they haven’t heard a thing,” Desjardins said.

“We continue to receive cries for help and responding and trying to send them in the right direction. But I will be doing more with this to speak to the province and speak to Island Health because we have to figure out how we can do a better job for people.”

“I don’t understand how they could think that this could not be so hurtful to people, and to what end? It has harmed all the parties involved.”

On Facebook, the developer of 899 Esquimalt Rd., Lexi Group, said it’s not clear what the motives were in this situation.

“We kindly request the public not to heed the instructions provided in the circulated communication or correspond with the advertised email address,” the developer said in a Facebook post.

“We extend our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused by this situation.”

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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