Canadian nurse on trial for believing in biological sex
Canadian professionals governed by private boards risk job security for “holding and expressing wrong opinions”
Amy Hamm is a nurse and single mother from Vancouver, British Columbia, who is currently under trial by a disciplinary tribunal with the BC College of Nurses and Midwives (BCCNM) because she believes biological sex is real.
In 2019, Hamm cofounded Canadian Women’s Sex-Based Rights, which works to preserve the rights of women and girls protected by the country’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The group says that women’s rights have been at risk since the passing of a federal bill in 2017, which added gender identity and gender expression to the Canadian Human Rights Act and Criminal Code.
BCCNM launched an investigation in November 2020 after receiving two complaints about Hamm’s involvement in cofunding an “I (heart) J.K. Rowling” billboard in downtown Vancouver. In recent years, the Harry Potter author has spoken out against the transgender ideology movement. In December 2019, Rowling tweeted in support of a British woman, Maya Forstater, who lost her job after tweeting views such as “men cannot change into women.”
None of Hamm’s colleagues or patients complained. The board accused Hamm of “discriminatory and derogatory statements regarding transgender people, while identifying yourself as a nurse or nurse educator” and compiled over 300 pages of investigation materials consisting primarily of Hamm’s tweets and articles.
After the investigation, the board tried to reach a consensus agreement with Hamm. BCCNM wanted Hamm to take a suspension and sign a statement admitting she was wrong. This agreement would also involve Hamm in “re-education” training. Hamm declined the offer and is now being tried at a disciplinary hearing.
Since last September, Hamm and her legal team have attended 11 disciplinary hearings. During this period, Hamm has continued to work as a nurse educator. Depending on the ruling of this hearing, Hamm is at risk of losing her nursing license. There is currently no date set for the next hearing.
“This is all about thought crimes and a regulatory body that’s captured by gender ideology and thinks that they have the right to take away the freedoms of nurses and regulated health professionals,” Hamm said on The Megyn Kelly Show.
Ontario-based lawyer Lisa Bildy represents Hamm through the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms. Bildy says regulatory bodies are trying to silence those with dissenting opinions.
“Increasingly, regulatory bodies are being viewed as a weapon for social justice activists to wield against people they view as holding and expressing wrong opinions,” she said. “Complaints are being filed against regulated professionals on the grounds of some vague harm that will allegedly follow if they are permitted to continue sharing their views.”
On the issue of gender identity, Bildy said the board made it clear there is “no debate.”
“This is a newer tactic that began ramping up during COVID-19, and often involves diverse views on public health measures, gender ideology, critical race theory, and similar hot-button issues about which a small segment of society has decided that there is to be no debate. We heard that expressed during Ms. Hamm’s hearing, as counsel for the college, said that in Canada there is no debate on the settled issue of gender identity,” said Bidley.
To protect Canadian professionals’ constitutional freedoms, Bildy encourages Canadians not to comply.
“Ultimately, totalitarianism starts and is maintained through fear and compliance. It is therefore extremely important for people to exercise their freedom of expression, not only to give others the courage to do so, but to remind everyone that there is a multiplicity of opinions out there,” Bildy said.
University of Toronto professor emeritus and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson is also at risk of losing his medical license. On Jan. 3, Peterson tweeted the College of Psychologists of Ontario ordered him to undergo compulsory “political re-education.” Last year, the board launched an investigation after multiple complaints were made regarding Peterson’s social media usage. Peterson compiled a pdf with screenshots of the complaints—most social media posts regard political issues, including criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
If Peterson refuses, he must undergo a public disciplinary hearing, where he is at risk of losing his clinical license. As it stands, Peterson says he won’t comply with social media re-education and has filed an application for judicial review with the Ontario Divisional Court.
André Schutten, director of Law and Policy for the Association for Reformed Political Action, said Christians should be concerned about a regulatory board that censors a nurse for speaking on gender ideology.
“If they find it offensive to say, ‘I heart J.K. Rowling’ because she thinks that biological males shouldn’t be able to identify as female—Jesus Christ teaches the same thing when he said in the beginning, God made man male and female,” he said.
Schutten says a Christian view of freedom acknowledges the government’s role but also its restrictions.
“The libertarian view is, I should have the freedom to do what I want, when I want, how I want, and the state should just get out of the way,” he said. “The Biblical view is that we need to protect and promote freedom so that we can do what we are called to do.”