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Appeal court quashes fine against Saskatchewan nurse who made critical Facebook post

Saskatchewan’s highest court has overruled a disciplinary decision and $26,000 fine levied against a nurse who criticized her grandfather’s care on Facebook.

The Court of Appeal quashed the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association’s finding of professional misconduct against Carolyn Strom, a registered nurse from Prince Albert, Sask.

A few weeks after her grandfather’s death in 2015, Strom wrote on Facebook that some unnamed staff at his long-term care facility in Macklin, Sask., were not up to speed on delivering end-of-life care.

The association’s lawyer argued that Strom personally attacked an identifiable group without attempting to get all the facts about her grandfather’s care.

Justice Brian Barrington-Foote wrote in his decision that Strom’s freedom of expression was infringed and she had a right to criticize the care her grandfather received.

The judge ruled that criticism of the health care system is in the public interest and when it comes from frontline workers it can bring positive change.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 6, 2020. 

The Canadian Press

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