CANADA: Doctors who are accused of spreading “misleading information” could be jailed under new British Columbia law
Jail terms, huge fines, and more for doctors who don't tow the line.
During the pandemic, several doctors in the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC) hit the headlines for opposing Covid measures. State-sanctioned medical authorities responded by warning physicians that if they “put the public at risk with misinformation,” they may face investigations and regulatory action. Now, just 18 months later, these threats from medical authorities have evolved into a sweeping piece of legislation that includes two-year jail sentences for doctors who are deemed to be spreading certain types of “false or misleading information.”
The new legislation, Bill 36 — Health Professions and Occupations Act (HPOA), was approved by the legislature last Thursday and immediately received Royal Assent. A Cabinet order will determine when it comes into force.
According to the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that defends the freedoms of Canadians, the bill will permit BC’s Health Minister to appoint College Boards who have the power to enforce many of the bill’s provisions. The bill also gives the Health Minister powers to enforce some provisions.
These combined powers can be used to jail, fine, and suspend doctors who are deemed to have spread certain types of “false or misleading information to patients or the public” and force doctors to get vaccinated as a condition of being eligible to practice. These powers are outlined in sections 259, 514, 518, 506, 511, and 200.