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Disciplinary action dropped against nurse who spoke against COVID-19 vaccines

The Saskatchewan nurse practitioner had expressed personal views on social media against COVID-19 vaccines, face masks, and treatment options.

SASKATOON – The College of Registered Nurses of Saskatchewan has dropped its disciplinary action against a nurse for expressing views against COVID-19 vaccines, face masks, and treatment options, said lawyer Andre Memauri Monday.

The CRNS had threatened Nurse Practitioner Shelley Wilson that if she didn’t enter an agreement admitting professional misconduct she would face the disciplinary committee in an oral hearing.

"We applaud the CRNS for revisiting the key principles of the Court of Appeal decision in Strom to arrive at this result," said Memauri, one of the lawyers from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms that represented Wilson.

Memauri said that the CRNS “has a record of attempting to discipline nurses for expressing views on social media.” The groundbreaking Saskatchewan Court of Appeal case Strom v. Saskatchewan Nurses' Association, however, had clarified the limits of the College's reach into the expression of its members. 

“Such criticism, even by those delivering those services, does not necessarily undermine public confidence in healthcare workers or the healthcare system,” said the Strom Court of Appeal Decision.

“Indeed, it can enhance confidence by demonstrating that those with the greatest knowledge of this massive and opaque system, and who have the ability to effect change, are both prepared and permitted to speak and pursue positive change. In any event, the fact that public confidence in aspects of the healthcare system may suffer as a result of fair criticism can itself result in positive change. Such is the messy business of democracy.” 

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