A BC case from last year deals with the tension between freedom of expression and the use of protected titles under many professional regulation statutes. In College of Midwives of British Columbia v. MaryMoon, MaryMoon used the term ‘midwife’ in the context of her work as a death midwife. The College brought an injunction application seeking to prevent her from using this term although it was acknowledged that she was not engaging in the type of midwife services regulated by the applicable health professions legislation.
At the lower court level, the court had found that while MaryMoon was breaching the protected titles provision in the act, those protected title provisions breached the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. The Court of Appeal overturned this finding. They allowed the appeal and ordered the injunction.
While the decision contains interesting nuances worth reading, the key takeaway is that this case reinforces the ability of professional organizations to enforce protected title sections by seeking injunctive relief and that such enforcement does not offend an individual’s right to free speech and express themselves in the way they describe the services they are offering.
Our Two Cents for Free
Ensuring staff throughout your organization know the protected titles under your legislation not only enables everyone to keep a keen eye out, but reinforces a regulator’s ultimate mandate of protecting the public.
Do you know all of the protected titles under your legislation?
Eye on Regulation is RMRF’s monthly newsletter for the professional regulatory community. Each month we offer:
- A Case: a (very) brief summary of a recent and relevant case;
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