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Canadian Medical Association Board breached principles of natural justice and fairness

Vancouver Law CourtsDr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - May 20, 2022

In a BC Supreme Court Judgment released on April 22, 2022 Justice Nathan Smith found that the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Board breached principles of natural justice and procedural fairness when it suspended the membership of Dr Charles Webb denying him the opportunity to run as a candidate in the election for the BC nominee for CMA President-Elect in February 2022.

An appeal to heal the wounds from the past: 111 years ago, and from the 2021 CMA AGM

September 30, Tweet by Dr. Alika Lafontaine2021

Open letter to CMA Board Chair
and CMA President-Elect.

Dr. Suzanne Strasberg, Board Chair, Canadian Medical Association,

The tweet by Dr. Alika Lafontaine, CMA President-Elect, and your re-tweet of his message leave many physician colleagues with the strong impression that some folks are slow to learn and apply the principles of fair democratic practice. Instead, the content reflects arrogance, bias, and contempt.

BCMA AGM - Unfunded liabilities?

After the presentation of the Financial Reports at Saturday's AGM of the BCMA I asked Finance Committee Chair a couple of questions. As in the past, what interested me was what had been omitted rather than what had been included.

Page 2 of the 'white paper' report contains a listing of revenue and expenses, and under the latter heading was listed Consulting and Professional Fees in the amount of $998,101.00 This was further broken down on one of the projected slides as indicating that about $250K were 'legal' fees; but no further description.

BC Medical Association does NOT want members to attend the AGM on June 1st.

Pan Pacific Hotel, Vancouver, BCVancouver, BC - May 31, 2013 - Z. Essak

On June 1, 2013 the BC Medical Association will hold its Annual General Meeting in Vancouver, BC at the Pan Pacific Hotel. This is an opportunity for doctors across British Columbia to provide input and to ask important questions of their leadership.

Why then, would the “Platinum Sponsor” for this event, the Canadian Medical Association, schedule a conference on the same date and time as the BCMA AGM?

In fact, the BCMA is sponsoring doctors to attend the other conference instead of coming to the AGM.

Dr. Zafar Essak asks, “Why doesn't the BCMA want their members to attend the AGM? What have they got to hide? Is it because they don’t want to answer difficult questions from the members?”

Physicians providing front line care know where to find efficiencies and know how to make the health care system more effective with better patient outcomes. The problem is, they cannot speak out on your behalf without facing court actions by the Ministry of Health and being sued by their own Health Authorities.

Audio podcast: Following the rules?

To listen to this audio podcast if you see the “Read more” link click on it and then click on the play icon. You may have to click the play icon a second time.

More Court Action should be no surprise for BC Medical Association

Vancouver BC - May 10, 2010 - Z. Essak, MD

Scales of justiceOn Friday April 30, 2010 Dr Caroline Wang filed a "Breach of Contract" claim against the BC Medical Association in BC Supreme Court.  This follows on the BC Court of Appeal decision of January 22, 2010 that set aside the November 2008 BCSC Judgment "without prejudice" and "without comment on the merits of the dispute", only suggesting that a different legal action should have been used.

Naturally one always hopes disputes can be resolved without resorting to the courts and the significant legal expense and time involved.

Unfortunately, despite the passage of more than two years the will and effort applied has not been sufficient to resolve the dispute between Dr Caroline Wang and other BCMA directors that occurred at the February 2008 Board meeting. 

Meanwhile, many of the individuals named in the legal actions remain on the Board and important committees.  Notwithstanding potential conflict of interest they continue as participants in the decision-making of the Association.

Here is a timeline of events over the past five years preceding and including the dispute and attached is the "Writ of Summons" and "Statement of Claim" filed in court by Dr Wang.

BC Court of Appeal decision puts February 2008 BCMA dispute back to square one

Vancouver, B.C.  February 7, 2010

The BC Court of Appeal decision in Wang v. British Columbia Medical Association (2010 BCCA 43) was delivered on January 29, 2010, marking almost two years from the February 1-2, 2008 BCMA Board meeting where a dispute arose that was not resolved and resulted in recourse to the courts.

The Court of Appeal decision does not provide an answer to how the dispute can be resolved while it sets aside the Judgment of the BC Supreme Court with Justice Madame Ballance presiding (2008 BCSC 1559) and "make(s) no comment on the merits of the dispute", essentially reverting the dispute back to square one leaving it up to the parties involved and the BCMA membership to determine what further actions are required.

BCMA Transparency Hits The Wall

As the hot summer weather gives way to cooler fall temperatures reflections on the events of summer are common.

BCMA transparency was again prominent at the Wall Centre at this year's AGM on June 13, 2009.  The accuracy of the Minutes of the 2008 AGM held in Prince George was the subject that consumed much of the debate.  This may only be known to the 170 members who attended out of the BCMA membership of more than 11,000 who rely on information provided in the BCMA annual report and the BCMJ reports of the AGM.

BCMA members may recall how the 2007 AGM in Vancouver came to an abrupt end after an esteemed colleague rose to present a motion "that the General Assembly deplores board policies that would suppress, restrict or undermine open communications between directors and members" and before discussion on the motion could begin a mass exodus of the Board directors served to squash the quorum and end further debate.

BCMA members will also recall how immediately following the 2007 AGM arrangements were changed to relocate the 2008 AGM to Prince George.  But what really happened in Prince George?

Medical Post "BCMA: EMR commitment worries B.C. MDs"

Here is the link to the full text of one of two Medical Post articles referenced in a recent BCMA News Flash.

Medical Post - BCMA: EMR commitment worries B.C. MDs

Just the start:

"BCMA: EMR commitment worries B.C. MDs
July 04, 2006 | Matt Borsellino
Article from the BCMA's annual meeting
Patient confidentiality and vendor competition cited as ‘huge concerns’

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