January 17th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 3
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Vultures of death
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Who tries to make money on the grief of those who have experienced death? Well, last week, I found out it’s a company named Afterlife.

If you are a user of social media and you see an obituary on Facebook, watch where it is coming from. If it’s from a company called Afterlife, be aware that they are trying to make money on death.

This is how it works. This internet company which started in January 2017 trolls through the website of newspapers and funeral homes and finds out when people die. They ‘borrow’ the obits and then publish them on their website and their Facebook page. They look so legitimate. You can then purchase a candle for the person that died, for a price of $5. You can also buy a bouquet for the family, priced between $30 and $300. The problem is that these families never see the bouquet, the candle or any other gift of condolence.

This issue came to light when a former local teacher passed away. She passed away at 7:00 a.m. and by 5:00 p.m., her obit, which her family did not approve, was published on the Afterlife website with a Facebook photo of the deceased. The family was shocked and did a little digging and this is where the story with Afterlife begins. When the family demanded they remove the obituary, the company denied the request, stating that someone had bought a candle in the deceased’s name.
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You may wonder how this came to me. Well, it turns out Buddy’s obit is on this site, as well as many people from the Crowsnest Pass. Google ‘Afterlife Funerals’ and look for any town in the Crowsnest Pass and lo and behold, several obituaries come up. You will be shocked if one of your family members is on there. I sure was - shocked, furious and disgusted. How dare they!

I contacted Darrel Sydora at Fantin’s and sure enough, he told me they have copied many of his obits. He’s demanded that they remove them but they don’t even dignify his email with a response.

Just for the record, he has never received a candle or bouquet of flowers from this company for any obit they have put on their site.

CBC and Global have both done stories on the issue bringing to light the disgusting acts from this site.

I contacted the government to see if this is even legal and talked to the Press Secretary for Minister Stephanie McLean, Ministry of Service Alberta, whose department is working with the Alberta Funerals Services Regulatory Board to determine if the company’s activities are violating any laws so that appropriate action can be brought forth.
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If you google the site and are as upset as I am, you can file a complaint on the Consumers Protection Line at 1-877-427-4088. Everyone is encouraged to call in concerns and report an incident of concern for investigation. The more we call, the more urgent the issue becomes. Use your voice; I sure did today when I called.

Second google Jordon Lebrun, the owner of Afterlife and you will see photos of him in front of the Hilton surrounded by beautiful cars he owns, probably as a result of all the flowers and candles people have sent to show their support in the grief of others.

Just the way I see it.
 
LS
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January 17th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 3
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