The lawyer for a Prince Albert nurse is speaking out as a tribunal considers a punishment for his client.
Marcus Davies has represented Carolyn Strom as her case makes its way through the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association (SRNA)’s disciplinary process.
SRNA accused Strom of professional misconduct in response to comments she posted to Facebook in February 2015.
In those comments, Strom criticized the treatment her grandfather got at a nursing home in Macklin, Sask. She wrote staff didn’t seem properly versed in end-of-life care.
SRNA charged that Strom’s comments violated her grandfather’s privacy and brought the nursing profession into disrepute.
Strom was convicted in December. Now, a tribunal is weighing submissions on how she should be disciplined.
Marcus Davies, Strom’s lawyer, requested his client not pay any penalties.
SRNA asked for a $5,000 fine, plus a further penalty of $25,000 to recoup a portion of the costs of investigating Strom’s case, which came in at over $140,000.
Davies told 650 CKOM host John Gormley he feels SRNA ran that bill up with unnecessary expenses.
“For example, a nurse was brought in from Alberta to Regina to testify as to her hurt feelings. Those costs are now being passed on to Carolyn,” he said.
Davies filed an appeal shortly after Strom’s conviction.
As such, he said he remains hopeful his client could still be cleared of any wrongdoing. In the meantime, he noted the fine proposed by SRNA should send a chill through anyone in a self-regulating profession – including doctors, engineers and accountants.
“These regulatory bodies have this unchecked power and courts have extended deference to them up to this point. And I think there may be a need for some check on that power, at this point,” he said.