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Time to Re-invent the Canadian Medical Association

Dr Chris Sedergreen - 29 April 2022

The humiliating defeat of the Canadian Medical Association in the Supreme Court of BC is about as clear a statement as it is possible to make that the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is a failed entity, and that it’s present form should be dismantled forthwith.

‘Humiliating defeat’ you ask? Well, you could certainly be forgiven for not knowing about it, since the CMA, the CMA Journal, and the CMA web site have been deathly silent about it.

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.

Not the only nail in the coffin of democracy at the Canadian Medical Association

Not the only nail in the coffin of democracyDr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver BC - August 11, 2021.

In less than two weeks, on August 22, 2021 the Canadian Medical Association will hold its AGM as a virtual meeting with proposed bylaw amendments that some doctors say will be the end of democracy at the CMA. While the proposed bylaw amendments deserve to be defeated by physician members, it is not the whole story. This is not the only nail in the coffin of democracy in the CMA and in the medical profession throughout the country and the provinces.

Documentary "Duty To Document" highlights the erosion of democracy in BC, in Canada, and around the World

Duty to DocumentThis is a very important and timely documentary illustrating from our own governments in BC and Canada how critical records are disappearing from public view. It highlights the "triple delete scandal" from 2015 when it came to light the BC Government was improperly deleting email records concerning missing and murdered indigenous women along the "Highway of Tears". The documentary illustrates the escalating, troubling trend in the use of post-it notes and the failure to keep records. A trend seen not only in government, but in associations and corporations striking at the heart of transparency and democracy.

Canadian Medical Association dissolves General Council, the parliament of Canadian medicine.

2018 CMA WinnipegDr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver BC - September 10, 2018

What a year it's been for the Canadian Medical Association.

First, just one year ago in August 2017, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) dropped the word 'physician' from its vision and mission statements, much to the surprise of many doctors across the country leaving them feeling abandoned.

Then, at the beginning of June 2018, the CMA sold the trust of doctors in MD Financial to the Bank of Nova Scotia for nearly C$2.6 billion. Now in August 2018, after 151 years, the CMA has dissolved the General Council, the parliament of Canadian medicine, as stated in the constitution itself.

Are these changes forward looking and preparing for the future or eroding the work, achievements and structures of the medical profession? Is direct physician input being replaced by filtered input that serves programs and bureaucracy?

Will the new BC Societies Act transition be a train wreck?

Dr Z. Essak, MD - Vancouver, BC - February 13, 2017.

Train wreckNo one can deny the importance of BC societies to communities large and small throughout the province, assisting all kinds of people as charitable and not for profit societies, including associations that represent occupations and professions.

What can we learn from the early example of transition by the Doctors of BC, the BC Medical Association, formerly a Reporting Society, declaring themselves to be a member-funded society and escaping public disclosure. Do they even meet the required criteria?

When we ask, it may come as a shock to learn the BC Registry is not confirming compliance requirements are met. Is the BC Government failing to provide proper leadership and oversight to the tasks of government?

Is the public trust being neglected? Will there be havoc on public interest and individual rights? Are we going to see a train wreck?

What are the fiduciary duties of directors of the BC Medical Association?

Vancouver, BC - Z. Essak, April 22,  2014

The BC Medical Association (BCMA), now rebranding itself as the DoctorsOfBC, is a non-profit Society in BC. It is a voluntary professional association of physicians that purports to represent all BC physicians in negotiations regardless of whether or not physicians choose to be a member.

The 2014 BCMA elections are now underway. Which way are the winds blowing? Are they winds of change? Are they strong enough? Will we see openness, transparency and accountability emerge or continued substitution with opaque communications and marketing?

BC Appeal Court Vancouver Hearing On Qualified Privilege

Tue, 2014-03-11 09:00 - Wed, 2014-03-12 16:00
BC Appeal Court
800 Smithe Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 2C5

BC Appeal Court to rule on qualified privilege. The hearing will take place in Vancouver on March 11 and 12, 2014. This may be important to all non-profit Societies, Professional Associations, Health Authorities, Unions and even corporations. When can members of a Board claim qualified privilege as a defense for what they do? When does qualified privilege apply and when are actions simply an abuse of privilege, position, or power?

BC Appeal Court to rule on Qualified Privilege

Vancouver, BC – Z. Essak, March 5, 2014.

Vancouver Courts skylineNext week on March 11th and 12th the BC Appeal Court in Vancouver will be hearing the matter in Wang v BC Medical Association and named Defendants.

Why might this Appeal Court hearing be important to people in all walks of life in BC especially those involved as board directors and members of any non-profit Society, Association, Health Authority, Union and even corporations?

When can members of a Board claim qualified privilege as a defense for what they do?

Qualified privilege is a special privilege for those in positions of authority or trust. When does qualified privilege apply and when are actions simply an abuse of privilege, position, or power?

Wang v BC Medical Association Judgment Released March 8, 2013

2013-04-05 Vancouver, BC – Z. Essak,

Almost a month has passed since the Judgment Wang v BC Medical Association was released on March 8, 2013. The day the Judgment was released the BCMA Board was in session. The BCMA Board will be meeting again on Saturday April 6, 2013.

The Judgment comes a little more than a year after the 24 days at Trial from January 23 to February 24, 2012 and five years have elapsed since the President’s Letter of February 2, 2008.

Some doctors are saying maybe the Judgment could have been more even-handed in it’s delivery. Some doctors are saying “Dr Wang won but she doesn’t get any relief”. Some doctors are saying “it’s a partial victory” and some doctors are saying “it’s a huge win”.

What has emerged from the Judgment?

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