The disciplinary proceedings against Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill have been withdrawn by her regulatory body, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.
TORONTO: The Democracy Fund (TDF) is pleased to announce that disciplinary proceedings against Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill, scheduled for a 15-day fully-contested hearing in early 2024, have been withdrawn by her regulator, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO).
Dr. Gill is a specialist physician practicing in the Greater Toronto Area, with significant post-graduate training in pediatrics, and allergy and clinical immunology, including scientific research in microbiology, virology and vaccinology.
She has a large following on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, where she has shared scientific studies and opinions about various government Covid policies since the start of the pandemic, including her concerns about the harms caused by lockdowns and mandates, particularly to the most marginalized members of society.
As a result of her online advocacy, Dr. Gill has faced constant investigations and disciplinary actions by the CPSO since August of 2020, when she was the target of an online campaign by other doctors, media and members of the public to generate complaints against her. In total, there were seven public (non-patient) complaints made to the CPSO about her tweets, and a separate Registrar’s investigation was also initiated. All eight matters were considered by a committee of the CPSO, called the Inquiries, Complaints and Reports Committee (ICRC), on February 3, 2021. Details of those proceedings, and the tweets which resulted in “cautions” ordered against Dr. Gill, can be found in the TDF’s earlier news release.
Immediately following these ICRC decisions, which were upheld by the Health Professions Appeal and Review Board (HPARB) and are now the subject of a pending judicial review to be heard in Divisional Court in early 2024, the CPSO initiated a second, high-level Registrar’s investigation into Dr. Gill’s social media commentary. This culminated in a further report to the ICRC in the summer of 2022. Although Dr. Gill provided extensive legal submissions and medical/scientific literature supporting all of her public commentary, as well as an expert report by the former Chief Medical Officer for Ontario, Dr. Richard Schabas, the matter was sent by the ICRC to the disciplinary tribunal in October of 2022.
In a summary of the Notice of Hearing published to Dr. Gill’s public register, the CPSO charged that, “between approximately February 2021 and 2022, Dr. Gill engaged in disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional conduct and/or failed to maintain the standard of practice of the profession and/or is incompetent in relation to her communications, including but not limited to communications on social media / online / digital platforms regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and related issues. This includes but is not limited to making misleading, false or inflammatory statements about vaccinations, treatments and public health measures for COVID-19.”
Since a massive trove of thousands of tweets and retweets was produced by the CPSO to support the charge, Dr. Gill requested particulars so she could understand the case she was required to meet. Although the investigation report against Dr. Gill and her lengthy submissions in response to it cannot be publicly disclosed, due to being part of the College’s disclosure, the CPSO’s statement of particulars and Dr. Gill’s letter in response to it are public documents under the Tribunal Rules of Procedure. As noted in the statement, the CPSO took the position that the “totality” of Dr. Gill’s Twitter commentary “would have had the effect of undermining public confidence in measures taken to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and would have had the effect of deterring the public from complying with public health measures. The communications are unprofessional, unbalanced and uniformly opposed to public health measures.”
Dr. Gill and her lawyer, Lisa Bildy, supported by The Democracy Fund, vigorously opposed this characterization of Dr. Gill’s commentary, and had been preparing for the upcoming hearing, including lining up both Ontario-based and world-renowned experts. However, the CPSO suddenly withdrew its Notice of Hearing on September 12, meaning it has dropped its case and disciplinary hearing against Dr. Gill.
“While we are pleased that some of the burden has now been lifted from Dr. Gill’s shoulders and she has been vindicated, it is concerning that it went this far,” said Ms. Bildy. “The top-down imposition of a singular unquestionable narrative, on pain of disciplinary proceedings, has been damaging not only to the doctors who advocated for evidence-based medicine and robust scientific debate about novel public health measures and their consequences, but it has also been damaging to the credibility of the institutions which imposed them.”
In the meantime, her judicial review of the cautions, relating to tweets in 2020 opposing harmful lockdowns, will continue. Dr. Gill looks forward to having the Divisional Court consider whether both the ICRC and the HPARB acted reasonably in issuing or upholding the public censure of an ethical physician for communicating concern about extraordinary public health policies and their adverse impacts, despite the infringement of her Charter-guaranteed freedoms of expression, conscience and religion.
To help in the fight for physicians to freely express concerns and engage in open scientific debate on public health policies in accordance with their Hippocratic Oath and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, you can make a tax-deductible donation to support TDF and brave Canadians like Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill.
About The Democracy Fund:
Founded in 2021, The Democracy Fund (TDF) is a Canadian charity dedicated to constitutional rights, advancing education and relieving poverty. TDF promotes constitutional rights through litigation and public education. TDF supports an access to justice initiative for Canadians whose civil liberties have been infringed by government lockdowns and other public policy responses to the pandemic.
For media interviews please contact:
Lisa Bildy, Libertas Law
Email: [email protected]