Amy Hamm Before BC Nurse Disciplinary Panel for Her Endorsement of Freedom of Expression

Vancouver, BC:  The Justice Centre announces that the second part of the disciplinary hearing for Vancouver area nurse Amy Hamm starts today at the British Columbia College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM).

An investigation was launched by the BCCNM in November, 2020, in response to public complaints about Ms. Hamm’s ‘gender critical’ opinions and comments. This followed her involvement with an “I ♥ JK Rowling” billboard display in Vancouver, endorsing Ms. Rowling’s support for sex-based rights.

In Ms. Hamm’s case, the BCCNM Inquiry Committee referred the matter to a Disciplinary Panel. The first part of the hearing was held virtually from September 21 to 23, with the second phase running from October 24 to October 27. A further segment of the hearing is scheduled for January 10 to 13, 2023.

The charge against Ms. Hamm reads: “Between approximately July 2018 and March 2021, you made discriminatory and derogatory statements regarding transgender people, while identifying yourself as a nurse or nurse educator.

These statements were made across various online platforms, including but not limited to, podcasts, videos, published writings and social media.”

The Justice Centre is engaged in defending the Charter rights of professionals across Canada, where, in its view, regulatory bodies are increasingly policing the speech of professionals with threats of disciplinary action.

“This case is fundamentally about speech: whether a nurse can publicly debate a topic that is as politically charged as this one; whether she can advocate on her own time for women’s rights to not have intact male bodies in their prisons, changerooms, rape crisis centres, and sports teams, and for care to be taken not to rush children and adolescents into life-altering and permanent changes to their bodies,” says lawyer Lisa Bildy, co-counsel for Ms. Hamm.

“But more broadly, this is a case about two irreconcilable worldviews that have come into conflict, and conflicts are best solved by discussion and debate, not censorship and punishment. The College is tasked with keeping patients safe and regulating the profession in the public interest. But professional misconduct must not be redefined to include speaking unpopular truths. To do so is to undermine the very foundations of liberal democracy,” Ms. Bildy adds.