Disparaging Comments Misconduct Finding Upheld

The Saskatchewan Court of Appeal has upheld a finding of misconduct against an agrologist for making disparaging comments about other members of the profession and the regulator in Cameron v The Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists, 2018 SKCA 91 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/hw5wd>.

In upholding the main finding the Court said:

[The Discipline Committee (DC)] found Mr. Cameron’s conduct “could negatively affect the public perception of the Agrology Profession to the detriment of the Profession and the ability of agrologists to effectively serve the public.” In coming to this conclusion, the DC highlighted the comments of Mr. Cameron that attacked and questioned the honesty and integrity of individual members of the association. In particular, the DC relied upon Mr. Cameron’s comments in the Grassroots newsletter that (i) accused the council of unethical behavior and the Institute of having a “two-tiered” code of ethics, and (ii) suggested lawyers may be controlling the council. Taken as a whole, it was reasonable to conclude that Mr. Cameron’s comments could negatively affect the public perception of the agrology profession.

The Court declined to hear a challenge to the validity of the misconduct provision under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms because the issue had not been raised before the appeal.

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