Canada Opinion: SRNA should celebrate ruling along with Strom and other nurses
Minor leaguers score win in quest for fair wages as Supreme Court dismisses MLB request
Minor league baseball players scored a victory in their effort for higher wages Monday when the Supreme Court denied MLB request to dismiss lawsuit.On the first day of the new judicial session, the country's highest court denied Major League Baseball's request to dismiss a class action lawsuit for fair compensation. The news means Senne v. Royals, the case first filed in 2014 that has expanded to include thousands of ballplayers, will return to trial court after an appeals allowed the suit to move forward as a class action in August 2019.
On Oct. 6, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal ruled in favour of a nurse who had commented about the care of her dying grandfather on her personal Facebook page and was subsequently found guilty of professional misconduct by her regulatory body, the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association (SRNA). The nurse, Carolyn Strom, was ordered to pay $26,000 in fine and legal fees and write two self-reflective essays about her “misconduct.”
Several experts deemed the decision to be unwarranted, heavy handed and a powerful deterrent for nurses wishing to speak up against poor care. In its decision, the Court of Appeal ruled that the SRNA had erred in finding Ms. Strom guilty of professional misconduct and that it had knowingly but unjustifiably infringed her Charter right to freedom of expression, to the detriment of public interest.
Appeal Court quashes fine against Saskatchewan nurse who made critical Facebook post
SASKATOON — Saskatchewan’s highest court has overruled a disciplinary decision and a $26,000 fine levied against a nurse who criticized her grandfather’s care on Facebook. The Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association had made a finding of professional misconduct against Carolyn Strom, a registered nurse from Prince Albert, Sask. "Criticism of the health-care system is manifestly in the public interest," Justice Brian Barrington-Foote wrote in the decision released Tuesday. "Such criticism, even by those delivering those services, does not necessarily undermine public confidence in health-care workers or the health-care system.
Since the issue of the ruling, the SRNA has kept a low profile and has remained remarkably silent on the matter. Its website has not been updated to reflect this landmark outcome, and its social media accounts remain active but focused on other internal matters. We believe there are lessons that the SRNA, and in fact all regulatory bodies across Canada, must heed from the Strom case.
As a regulatory body, the SRNA’s primary mandate is the safety and protection of the public, and it expects its nurse members to uphold this standard above all else. Yet several experts argued that the SRNA’s disciplinary decision would in fact discourage nurses from speaking up, thereby undermining nurses’ capacity to criticize and report situations that jeopardize the safety of patients and the public at large. Any actual or symbolic barrier to nurses’ ability to speak out deprives the public from a much-needed internal perspective. The Court made this clear in its decision.
Opinion: After reconciling, Lakers GM Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson can celebrate NBA championship
Lakers GM Rob Pelinka and Magic Johnson had a falling-out in 2018-19, but those differences have been forgotten after LA's NBA championship.When Johnson and Pelinka spoke on Sunday night, the significance went beyond a franchise luminary gushing about tying the hated Boston Celtics for the most titles in league history (17). More than one-and-a-half years ago, Johnson resigned as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations and accused Pelinka of “backstabbing.” And yet, Pelinka said he “had a great talk” with Johnson immediately after the Lakers beat the Miami Heat 106-93 in a decisive Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
Video: B.C. health officials report 158 new COVID-19 cases, no additional death (Global News)
Furthermore, the SRNA reached beyond its mandate of policing nurses’ professional conduct to discipline a nurse engaged in social and policy discussions in her personal life. The right to free speech is not absolute for nurses, but the seemingly nonchalant way in which the SRNA justified such an assault on a Charter right is cause for concern. The Court found that SRNA used its discretionary powers to infringe Strom’s right to free speech, through a “one-dimensional” analysis (para. 128) of “cherry-picked” information (para. 120). This points to important gaps in SRNA’s investigative process and a lack of careful analysis that gives equal and fair, weight to all relevant facts.
We do not expect the SRNA to write “reflective essays” on the mistaken approach they’ve taken with regards to Strom’s case (though, according to their own professional standards, they should). However, we do expect them to publicly apologize to Ms. Strom and her family for the five-year ordeal they put them through; to their members for attempting to make an example of a registered nurse for speaking up, and for wasting significant amounts of money pursuing this case; and to the public for rendering a disciplinary decision that would have no effect other than deterring nurses from reporting poor care, in direct contradiction to their own mandate as a regulatory body.
How to watch Rays vs. Astros: ALCS Game 4 live stream, schedule, TV channel, start time
The Tampa Bay Rays can sweep the ALCS with a win over the Houston Astros on WednesdayThe Rays were the AL's top-seeded team and are looking to win their first league championship since 2008, which marked the franchise's only World Series appearance. Rays outfielder Randy Arozarena went 6-for-12 with a home run in the first three games of the series at Petco Park in San Diego and is batting .462 overall in the postseason.
We sincerely hope that the SRNA will not construe this decision as a disappointment or as their loss. This decision is not about them. The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal’s decision is about one nurse’s vindication but also, by extension, a victory for all nurses. The SRNA should join Carolyn Strom and all other nurses in celebrating the court’s landmark decision as an incredible and much-needed win for nurses across the country. It protects their fundamental rights. It protects their ability to speak out. And it protects patient care. In other words, the Court of Appeal has made it easier for nurses to uphold the SRNA’s very mission of protecting the public. There can be no feelings of loss or resentment about that.
Amélie Perron is an associate professor at the School of Nursing at the University of Ottawa and Co-President of the Nursing Observatory.
Marilou Gagnonis an associate professor at the School of Nursing at the University of Victoria and Co-President of the Nursing Observatory.
Natalie Stake-Doucet is president of the Quebec Nurses’ Association.
Former NFL star Dana Stubblefield sentenced to 15 years to life for rape conviction .
Three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Dana Stubblefield played 11 years in the NFL for San Francisco, Washington and Oakland.In July, a jury in San Jose, California, found the three-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle guilty of rape and the use of a gun during the commission of a felony in luring the victim to his home with the promise of a babysitting job.