Public Notification of a Citation and Hearing and the Policies of the Discipline Committee
The following explanatory article is provided to registrants and to the Public on the policies of the Discipline Committee that will effect public notification of a Citation and a Hearing.
The legal requirement for discipline hearings to be public means that there must be a process for notifying the pubic that a hearing is scheduled. The Discipline Committee has considered how best to balance the direction of the legislature to make hearings public in a respectful manner for those who are the subject of the hearing. The Discipline Committee has the following as policies to reflect the right of the public to know about and attend discipline hearings.
1. Notice of the Citation
The Discipline Committee believes that publication on the College website under the folder entitled 'Hearings' of the issuance of the citation to a named veterinarian is sufficient notice without the specific allegations being included on the College website. If a person contacts the College for specifics of a citation, they will be provided.
2. Time and Place of Hearing
The date, time and place of the Discipline Hearing will be posted on the College website under the folder entitled 'Hearings' as soon as that information is available. The time and date will be updated to reflect any changes. Continuations will also be posted as soon as the information is available.
3. Publication of extraordinary action
Publication of extraordinary action or of decisions after a hearing Following a Discipline Hearing, or in the event of any action taken by the Discipline Committee under section 65(2) of the Veterinarians Act (extraordinary action to protect the public), the College will publish on the College website under the folder entitled 'Registry - Disciplinary' a summary of the facts of the case, including the name of the veterinarian, the actions taken by the Discipline Committee and a summary of the reasons. This notice will be drafted by the College and not be the subject of negotiation. This policy does not override section 68(3) of the Veterinarians Act, which provides for discretion to limit publication where it is in the public interest.
This notice will be made as is required by the Veterinarians Act by posting the notice on the College website under the folder entitled 'Registry - Disciplinary'. The Discipline Committee continues to consider whether, in cases of suspension or cancellation, publication should be made in a local newspaper.
4. Attendance at a Hearing
The Discipline Committee wishes to balance the requirement to have a public hearing with the cost of renting space outside of the College office for the purpose of hearings. The College hearing facility, the Boardroom, has very limited space for public attendees. The Discipline Committee believes that the following policy addresses this balance:
- To the extent possible the College Boardroom will continue to be the venue for discipline hearings;
- There will be a notation near the published hearing date on the College website asking (but not requiring) people to contact the College (by telephone or email) and let it know of their intention to attend. It will be noted on the website that this is solely to ensure that there is sufficient room in the College hearing facility and that alternate arrangements will be made if there is insufficient room to accommodate those who wish to attend. People calling in will not be required to identify themselves. The Discipline Committee appreciates that there will be times when hearings will have to be held outside of the College offices. This is not a policy of the Discipline Committee but a consequence of the fact that Discipline Hearings are required by the statute to be public and the very limited space available in the College facility.
Observer Guidelines for Members of the Public Attending Open Meetings
Reporters, members of the general public and registrants are welcome to attend open hearings of the College of Veterinarians of British Columbia as observers.
To ensure that the hearing is conducted with decorum and with due regard to the rights and privacy of all participants, observers must read the following guidelines:
- Observers are reminded that they are not participants in the hearing and must remain quiet throughout the proceedings. Any inappropriate conduct may result in the observer being asked to leave.
2. The hearing panel may make such orders as it considers necessary to ensure the proper respect to the meeting process is adhered to by observers, and to limit those attending to the number of available seats in the room.
3. Orders may be made by the hearing panel protecting the confidentiality and prohibiting disclosure, publication or broadcasting of certain matters.
- Cameras, recording devices, drawing or sketching are not permitted, and all mobile devices must be turned off before entering the room.
- No smoking, food or drinks (exception of water) are permitted in the room.
- There may be closed portions of the proceedings where observers will be required to leave.
In attending an open meeting of the College of Veterinarians of British Columbia it is assumed that observers have given their undertaking to adhere to these guidelines and the provisions set out in section 60(2) of the Veterinarians Act, SBC 2010, Chapter 15.
Status: No hearings are scheduled at this time.
Current as of: October 17, 2017.