Source: Pixaby

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) has scrapped its disciplinary proceedings against Dr. Kulvinder Kaur Gill and her online advocacy against the government response to Covid-19. 

Gill was scheduled for a 15-day hearing in early 2024, however the proceedings have since been withdrawn, according to the Democracy Fund, a civil liberties charity that took up her case.

Gill practices in the Greater Toronto Area and has postgraduate training in pediatrics and allergy and clinical immunology. She also conducts scientific research in microbiology, virology and vaccinology.

Throughout the pandemic, shared her criticism of several government policies regarding lockdowns and mandates on X, where she has amassed a large following. She would also post scientific studies that supported her concerns.

From August 2020, the CPSO routinely investigated Gill and she was in the crosshairs of numerous complaints from members of the media and general public, although no complaints were ever filed by any of Gill’s patients. 

On February 3 2022, the complaints were reviewed by a CPSO committee, which “cautioned” Gill about her posts.

The CPSO then launched a second investigation last summer regarding her online commentary. 

Despite the fact that Gill provided a number of legal submissions and medical literature to support any comments she made on social media, including an expert report by the former chief medical officer for Ontario, Dr. Richard Schabas, the matter was brought before a disciplinary tribunal in October of 2022. 

The CPSO’s hearing notice accused Gill of engaging 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.”

The CPSO investigation report against Gill cannot be publicly disclosed as a result of it being part of their disclosure, though the regulator said her comments “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.”

Gill and her lawyer, Lisa Bildy, rejected the CPSO’s characterization of her commentary and were planning to mount a defense that included expert testimony at the hearing.

The CPSO abruptly withdrew its Notice of Hearing for September 12, however, dropping its case and disciplinary hearing against 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 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.” 

Gill’s judicial review of the cautions which referred to tweets from 2020, where she opposed harmful lockdowns, will remain. Gill will appear in a Divisional Court to see whether or not the actions of the ICRC and the HPARB to censure a physician about her concerns was reasonable.