Sep 28, 2020

Many screening committees are given the authority to take certain action and to also take other action not inconsistent with their enabling legislation. In Hancock v College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba, 2018 MBQB 149, http://canlii.ca/t/hv5xj the issue was whether the issuance of a letter of guidance was inconsistent with the Act. The screening committee could refer allegations to discipline or take certain other steps (e.g., censure, undertaking, surrender of registration) with the member’s consent. The practitioner argued that the intent of the Act was that remedial action required her consent and that delivering a letter of guidance without her consent was inconsistent with the Act. The Court disagreed. It found that a letter of guidance “does not affect the applicant’s rights or privileges as a member, that it is confidential and will only be reviewed in the case of a subsequent complaint of a similar nature” and thus did not require the consent of the member. The Court also found that the letter of guidance was not disciplinary in nature.

This case confirms the courts tend to be supportive of the authority of regulators to take creative remedial actions in response to complaints.