In this section, you will find information on how to file a private complaint with the Disciplinary Council.
A disciplinary complaint is not subject to strict rules of form.
However, a separate count must be drawn up for each offence the physician is charged with. The counts will usually be numbered for easier reference during the hearing. This means that a single complaint may contain several counts.
The complaint must be filed in writing, be supported by the complainant’s oath and include at least the following information:
- The name of the physician involved;
- When the offence was committed;
- Where the offence was committed;
- A brief description of the alleged offence.
The description of the offence must be clear and specific enough to enable the physician to know with certainty what they are charged with so that they can present a full and complete defence.
The person filing the complaint, either the Syndic or a private complainant, bears the burden of proving the offence the physician is charged with. This means they must convince the Disciplinary Council that the physician has committed an offence. Under the Professional Code, they may be assisted or represented by a lawyer whose services they have retained.
The person may not be prosecuted for acts done in good faith in the exercise of this power.
There is no fee for filing a disciplinary complaint. However, the Disciplinary Council may order the complainant or the physician to pay the disbursements. Disbursements are the costs related to the investigation of the complaint. However, in the case of a private complainant, the Council may order them to pay the disbursements only if the physician has been acquitted on each of the counts contained in the complaint and if the complaint was abusive, frivolous or manifestly ill‑founded.
How to file a complaint with the Disciplinary Council
You can file a complaint with the Disciplinary Council yourself. You then have the same responsibilities as the Syndic of the Order. You will need to prepare the case and present the evidence to the Disciplinary Council.
You may choose to be assisted or represented by a lawyer (section 135 of the Professional Code), in which case you will be responsible for their fees.
To start the procedure, you must send your written and sworn complaint to the Secretary of the Disciplinary Council by mail or email:
Ms. Linda Bélanger, Secretary of the Disciplinary Council
1250, René-Lévesque boul. West
If you have any questions, call 514 933‑4441, extension 5589.
Note that once the complaint has been filed with the Disciplinary Council, it cannot be withdrawn with your consent alone. The Disciplinary Council must authorize the withdrawal of a complaint once it has been received by the Secretary of the Council.
To help you file your complaint, you can consult these references:
- Letter explaining how to file a complaint with the Disciplinary Council (in French only)
- Example of a complaint (in French only)
- Code of ethics of physicians
- Professional Code
- Rules of evidence and practice (BPCD)
- Guide à l’usage des personnes non représentées devant les conseils de discipline du Barreau du Québec [Barreau du Québec guide for people without representation before disciplinary councils; in French only]