College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) is the governing body for the profession of medicine in the Ontario, Canada.1) The CPSO is notable in the COVID-19 pandemic due to its role in aggressively disciplining Ontario doctors opposing policies relating to COVID-19 vaccines or mask mandates.

Organization

Membership

Name Position(s) Notes
Staff
Nancy Whitmore Registrar and CEO Director of the Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada
Council
Madhu Azad Electoral District 9 Thunder Bay Medical Centre
Glen Bandiera Electoral District 10 Unity Health Toronto
Lucy Becker Public Member for Toronto Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Mary Bell University of Toronto Academic Representative Sunnybrook Research Institute
Shahid Chaudhry Public Member for Whitby Bell
Brenda Copps 2020 President Sister of Deputy Prime Minister Sheila Copps2)
Jose Cordeiro Public Member for Markham -
Joan Fisk Public Member for Cambridge -
Murthy Ghandikota Public Member for Toronto -
Pierre Giroux Public Member for Toronto -
Julia Goyal Public Member for Toronto -
Robert Gratton Electoral District 2 London Health Sciences Centre
Deborah Hellyer Electoral District 1 -
Paul Hendry University of Ottawa Academic Representative -
Roy Kirkpatrick North Ontario School of Medicine Academic Representative Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare
Camille Lemieux Electoral District 10 University Health Network
Pooitsing Andrea Lum University of Western Ontario Academic Representative -
Paul Malette Public Member for Toronto -
Lionel Marks De Chabris Electoral District 8 Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Lydia Miljan Public Member for Kingsville -
Rupa Patel Electoral District 6 -
Rob Payne Public Member for King City -
Peter Pielsticker Public Member for Brampton -
Kashif Pirzada Electoral District 5 Founder of the Critical Drugs Coalition3)
Judith Plante 2021 President University of Ottawa4)
Ian Preyra Electoral District 4 -
Sarah Reid Electoral District 7 -
Linda Robbins Public Member for Ajax -
Deborah Robertson Electoral District 10 -
Jerry Rosenblum Electoral District 3 -
Patrick Safieh Electoral District 10 -
Karen Saperson McMaster University Academic Representative Behavioural neuroscientist/psychiatrist with research funded by the World Health Organization5) 6)
Fred Sherman Public Member for Ottawa -
Janet van Vlymen 2022 President Received research grant from Medtronic7)
Anne Walsh Electoral District 5 -
Shannon Weber Public Member for Waterloo -
Former Members, Staff and Affiliates
Mark Staz Policy analyst Federation of State Medical Boards

Affiliations

COVID-19

Emergency Declaration

On March 24, 2020, the CPSO Executive Council met to discuss the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Council business. The Council declared an emergency under CPSO’s Declared Emergency ByLaw and directed to extend the Council Elections for Districts 5 and 10 which were originally scheduled to be held on June 9, 2020.8) By May 2020, the CPSO noted they were anticipating a high volume of complaints against senior public health officials, and many related to public health measures and delays in cancer surgeries, mammograms and the like.

Censorship and Discipline of Doctors

On April 30, 2021, the CPSO released a statement on “Public Health Misinformation” accusing Ontario doctors of “using social media to spread blatant misinformation and undermine public health measures”.9) 10)

In response, a “broad and diverse group of Canadian physicians from across Canada” released a declaration named the “Declaration of Canadian Physicians for Science and Truth”. They described the CPSO's statement as “unethical, anti-science and deeply disturbing.”11) As of January 12, 2022, there were 718 signatory physicians and 20,171 on behalf of concerned citizens.

Misleading the Public

The CPSO published a “COVID-19 FAQs for Patients” webpage wherein they urge patients to “access information from centralized authorities such as Public Health Ontario, the Ministry of Health, and Health Canada.” The document employs language such as “protect each other while we work together to prevent the spread of the virus,” which the suggested masks and vaccine products do not do.

The group “strongly encourages all eligible Ontarians [aged 12 and over] to receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” followed by a deceptively unrelated declaration that “immunization is widely recognized as one of the most effective interventions for reducing the impact of infectious diseases.”12)

1)
Ministry of Economic Development. (2011, January 26). College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Ontario’s Regulatory Registry. https://archive.ph/KmIIS
2)
Matriarch of Copps political family dies in Ottawa at 91. (2016, October 18). The Hamilton Spectator. https://archive.ph/cQPcM
3)
About Us. Critical Drugs Coalition. Retrieved February 20, 2022, from https://archive.ph/0mjNj
4)
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. (2020, December 11). Introducing CPSO’s New President, Vice-President. eDialogue. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from https://dialogue.cpso.on.ca/2020/12/introducing-cpsos-new-president-vice-president/
5)
Bogie, B. J. M., Colbourne, A., Menezes, N., Saperson, K., & McConnell, M. M. (2017). The Doctor Is In: Media Portrayals of Psychiatrists and Their Influence on Canadian Medical Students’ Recruitment into Psychiatry. Academic Psychiatry, 42(3), 386–393. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40596-017-0798-x
6)
World Health Organization & World Psychiatric Organization. (2005). Atlas Psychiatric Education and Training Across the World 2005. World Health Organization. Retrieved December 3, 2021, from https://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/Atlas_training_final.pdf
7)
Howard, S. K. (2017). 2017 APSF Grant Recipients. Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation. https://archive.ph/RxUDF
8)
Whitmore, N. (2020, May 14). Meeting of Council. India Document; College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. https://web.archive.org/web/20220317014700/https://vdocument.in/meeting-of-council-notice-of-meeting-of-council-a-virtual-meeting-of-the-college.html
9)
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. (2021, April 30). Statement on Public Health Misinformation. Retrieved November 29, 2021, from https://www.cpso.on.ca/News/Key-Updates/Key-Updates/COVID-misinformation
10)
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario [@cpso_ca]. (2021, April 30). CPSO Statement on Public Health Misinformation. . . [Tweet]. Twitter. https://twitter.com/cpso_ca/status/1388211577770348544/photo/1
11)
Declaration of Canadian Physicians for Science and Truth. Retrieved January 12, 2022, from https://archive.ph/gr5qO
12)
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO). (2021, November 15). COVID-19 FAQs for Patients. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from https://www.cpso.on.ca/en/Public/Services/Patient-Help-Centre/COVID-19-FAQs-for-Patients
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