The CMQ’s Disciplinary Council hears complaints filed by the Syndic or by a private complainant against a physician.
Composition of the Disciplinary Council
A complaint is heard by a three‑person panel:
- The chair of the council: a lawyer appointed by the government;
- Two physicians appointed from a list of physicians by the CMQ’s Board of Directors.
The Disciplinary Council is an independent tribunal of the CMQ in the performance of its duties.
Functioning of the Disciplinary Council
The Disciplinary Council holds hearings in the same way as a court of law. It decides on the guilt or innocence of the physician concerned by a disciplinary complaint. To do this, it hears the parties as well as witnesses and receives evidence.
The Council has the authority to determine whether an offence was committed by:
- A member of the Order (a physician entered on the Roll of the Order);
- A person who was a member of the Order at the time the alleged act was committed.
Thus, even a physician who has ceased to practice (retirement, suspension, striking off, revocation of permit) may be the subject of a complaint provided that the alleged offence was committed while they were entered on the Roll of the Order.
Disciplinary Council hearings are public, unless the Disciplinary Council orders a closed session.
The schedule of disciplinary hearings indicates the date, time and location of the hearings.
The Disciplinary Council generally bans the publication and dissemination of the names of the patients mentioned in the complaint. This ensures that professional secrecy is respected or that a person’s privacy or reputation is protected.
When a physician is convicted of the alleged offences, the Disciplinary Council imposes one or more of the following penalties:
- Temporary or permanent striking off the Roll of the Order, even if the physician convicted of an offence has ceased to be entered on the Roll of the Order since the date of the offence;
- A fine of between $2,500 and $62,500 for each offence (the minimum and maximum may be doubled if the offence is repeated);
- The obligation to remit to any person entitled to it a sum of money the professional is or should be holding for them;
- The obligation to transmit a document or the information contained in any document, and the obligation to complete, delete, update or rectify any document or information;
- Revocation of their permit;
- Revocation of their specialist’s certificate;
- Restriction or suspension of their right to engage in professional activities.
Communication of the decision
Disciplinary Council decisions are public.
Striking off the Roll of the Order, suspensions and restrictions of the right to practice as well as revocation of the permit are communicated to members through the CMQ’s website and newsletter. They are also published in a local newspaper in the place where the physician practices, with some exceptions.