The surreal extent of Canada’s far-left nanny-state culture has been illustrated with a fine of $26,000 dished out to a nurse who dared to complain on Facebook about the healthcare treatment afforded to her grandfather.
According to a report in the Ontario St. Catherine’s Standard, Carolyn Strom, a Saskatchewan nurse, was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine plus $25,000 toward the cost of the disciplinary process by the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association (SRNA).
Strom had been found guilty of “professional misconduct” for writing on Facebook about her grandfather’s healthcare experience.
Her crime was to make a Facebook post in February 2015 about end-of-life care on her personal Facebook page where she commented about the “subpar care” her grandfather had received at a Macklin health facility.
The Facebook post said that “not everyone at the facility was up to speed on how to approach end of life care” and that the staff needed a “refresher on the topic.” She also called for anyone who has loved ones at the facility to “keep an eye on things” and report anything they did not like.
The SRNA discipline committee in its written decision said it “does not seek to ‘muzzle’ registered nurses from using social media or for that matter, any form of public comment. However, registered nurses making public comments and criticisms (in whatever forum) must do so with accordance with the Code of Ethics and Standards.”
The SRNA has given Strom until July 1 to pay the $1,000 fine and three years to pay the $25,000, which works out to payments of more than $700 a month. If Strom fails to pay by those times, her nursing license will be suspended.
Strom’s lawyer, Marcus Davies, called the penalty “absolutely devastating” and said Strom has “no choice” but to appeal. “Because of the size of the financial penalty, there’s no way she can face that reasonably,” he said.
Davies says the SRNA’s guilty finding and substantial penalty set a dangerous precedent.
“The precedent this sets means that really, taken to its extreme, a lawyer couldn’t criticize the law, a doctor couldn’t criticize the health region, so it affects us all ultimately,” he said. “If this becomes precedent, then that casts a chill everywhere.”
Canada is already one of the most restrictive western societies when it comes to freedom of speech, and the fining of a nurse for making completely harmless remarks about a private nursing facility’s treatment of her father is a further indicator of exactly how restrictive that society has become.