Westward Independent

Bill 36 healthcare controversy

by Adrienne Richards
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More than 10,000 individuals have voiced their concerns by signing a petition urging the British Columbia government to halt its ambitious overhaul of the province’s healthcare colleges. The catalyst for this widespread dissent was the passage of Bill 36, also known as the Health Professions and Occupations Act, in November.

The Government of BC passed Bill 36, as the new Health Professions and Occupations Act (HPOA) RESTRICTIONS Now in Place:

1. All BC practitioners must now follow health guidelines set by political appointees for their patients or risk penalties including loss of license to practice.
2. Non-compliance with Ministry therapeutic guidelines may result in fines up to $200,000 or $500,000 (corporations) and incarceration up to 6 months or 2 years.
3. Anonymous complaints to the Colleges can result in summary suspension of licensure to practice before the complaint is investigated.
4. Appointees chosen by politicians may now enter a healthcare practice, seize patient records and restrict access to that facility without a warrant or court order.
5. Refusal to accept all Ministry-mandated vaccines and therapies will likely result in loss of license.
6. College advisory boards will now consist of government appointees only.
7. All “self-regulatory” healthcare professions in BC will be governed entirely by politicians and their agents, using appointees selected by the Ministry of Health.
8. The Cabinet and the Minister of Health can adopt as law in BC any regulations, codes, standards or rules enacted in foreign jurisdictions or international bodies.
9. The new Health Professions and Occupations Act requires further elucidation of undefined terms used in the Act, such as “false or misleading information”, which may be defined by appointees at their discretion, lacking consultation with health professionals.

Bill 36 was one of the largest bills ever passed in British Columbia, consisting of 645 sections and 276 pages, that received royal assent on November 24, 2022. Members of the BC legislature failed to fully consider or debate the 412 clauses. MLA Mike Farnworth made the motion to dispose (end) the debate, and that motion was carried. The public was denied due democratic process to have a fully debated and considered bill, violating the BC government’s own Standing Order s. 84 (1)(2) of the BC Constitution Act (1996), s.45.

One notable criticism is the alleged lack of consultation with healthcare workers during the drafting of Bill 36. Rustad claims that the legislation was developed without adequate input from the healthcare community, occurring behind closed doors with the imposition of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) on healthcare profession colleges.

As the petition gains momentum, the debate over the restructuring of healthcare colleges in British Columbia intensifies, with healthcare professionals and concerned citizens advocating for a more inclusive and transparent decision-making process.


Call for a 2-minute recording summarizing Bill 36 : Call Now!
(604) 659-9476
Print materials, postcards to sign and mail to your MLA all available at Canadian Society for Science & Ethics in Medicine

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