Regulatory showdown over COVID ends abruptly: lawyer speaks out after hearing withdrawn

A disciplinary hearing against Dr. Kulvinder Kaur, who raised questions about the government's COVID-19 approach, has been cancelled. Her lawyer, Lisa Bildy, implies this decision highlights growing concerns over regulatory bodies abusing their authority and a decline in public trust.

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The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) has dropped its planned disciplinary hearings of Dr. Kulvinder Kaur after what her lawyer calls a “long and gruelling process.”

While many Canadians have become increasingly aware of the stranglehold that regulatory colleges have on various professionals, none are more apparent than the way medical professionals were compelled to unquestionably uphold all public health diktats in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic pandemonium under the threat of investigation and discipline.

Dr. Kaur questioned the COVID status quo early on, advocating for a balanced approach over hysteria-driven knee-jerk reactions like lockdowns and mandates.

Gill’s lawyer, Lisa Bildy from The Democracy Fund, says that as a result of Kaur’s social media advocacy, an investigation was launched by the CPSO that looked at all of her communication.

The CPSO then issued cautions to Gill through the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC). Bildy says that this was a “strike against her reputation” as it is a publicly noted censure of the physician.

Gill has been challenging those cautions and through the health professionals' appeal and review board.

“They upheld the cautions and now we're off to the divisional court on that one. So that was the first set of proceedings, and then the second investigation was started right after the ICRC’s decision in that first case, where they then began another investigation and this was with respect to ongoing and further tweets. This is all related to online communications, nothing to do with [Gills] practice, her patients, or anything like that,” Bildy explains.

All of the complaints against Gill stemmed either from internal CPSO investigations or from strangers on the internet, as is the case with the investigation launched against psychologist Jordan Peterson.

Bildy elaborates:

This is a symptom of a much bigger problem, which is that our regulatory and administrative bodies have become very powerful and very intrusive into the lives of those that they regulate. It’s the administrative state more generally as well.

So we all have interactions with a growing state that gets to make decisions about our day-to-day lives in ways that are a lot more heavy-handed or intrusive than they used to be… why is the regulatory college stepping in and seeking out a position, requiring all physicians to basically uphold and support public health edicts, which are largely political?

We have to remember that public health is an arm of the state here in this, in this respect.

They are working hand in hand with the government on policy and they really should not be immune from criticism, particularly when the public health measures that were taken in this instance, flew in the face of 100 years' worth of prior pandemic planning and, and went with an entirely unheard of novel approach, to say that that couldn't be criticized reasonably in the public square by physicians — to put a ball and chain around them to curtail them — was quite egregious as far as I’m concerned.

Ultimately, Bildy says this may serve as a reminder to institutions that they are there to govern in the public interest and by harshly imposing edicts, they are losing the public's trust.

“If society is going to work, we have to have some trust in our institutions. Or we’re going to need new ones,” Bildy concludes.

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