SASKATOON, Saskatchewan (Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom) — The Justice Centre is pleased to announce that the College of Registered Nurses of Saskatchewan (CRNS) has abandoned its attempts to discipline nurse Shelley Wilson.
Wilson is an experienced nurse practitioner serving southern Saskatchewan, where she offers clinical services to rural communities suffering healthcare shortages, especially due to a lack of physicians.
In 2021, Wilson had expressed views on social media regarding COVID-19 vaccines, masks, and treatment options, which did not accord with public health or mainstream media narratives.
The CRNS proposed that Wilson “voluntarily” enter into an agreement which required her to admit that her expression amounted to professional misconduct, with the looming threat that if she did not agree, she could be referred to the discipline committee for an oral hearing.
The CRNS has a record of attempting to discipline nurses for expressing views on social media. The ground-breaking SK Court of Appeal case Strom v. Saskatchewan Nurses’ Association (Strom) had clarified the limits of the College’s reach into the expression of its members.
Lawyers representing Wilson were pleased to announce that the CRNS opted to abandon its attempt to demand Wilson admit professional misconduct under threat of discipline.
“We applaud the CRNS for revisiting the key principles of the Court of Appeal decision in Strom to arrive at this result,” stated Andre Memauri, one of the lawyers for Wilson.
Memauri continued, quoting the Court of Appeal’s Strom decision:
Such criticism, even by those delivering those services, does not necessarily undermine public confidence in healthcare workers or the healthcare system. 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.
Reprinted with permission from the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms.