Medical officer of health sues Queen's University for libel over pandemic

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Medical Officer Sues Queen's University for Pandemic Libel

Dr. Matthew Strauss , who directs public health in Haldimand-Norfolk County, is seeking $600,000 from the university.

Dr. Matthew Strauss is the interim Medical Officer of Health for Haldimand-Norfolk County in Southern Ontario.

The Haldimand-Norfolk County Acting Medical Officer of Health is suing Queen's University and the head of the Faculty of Medicine for “malicious, condescending and defamatory” statements made about him. The amount he is claiming is $600,000, according to court documents of which Radio-Canada obtained a copy.

Dr. Matthew Strauss says the way Queen's University and Dr. Stephen Archer treated him following his comments about COVID-19 forced him to resign from the board. position he occupied within the establishment, after a dismissal which he describes as implicit.

According to him; notice of lawsuit, Dr. Stephen Archer, who until recently was Dr. Strauss' supervisor at Queen's Medical School, is said to have constantly chastised him for publicly criticizing the measures of the lawsuit. public health about COVID-19.

None of Dr. Strauss' allegations have been proven in court and no hearing date has been set to hear the case, as his complaint was filed in the Superior Court of New York. ;Ontario October 20.

Documents of court of Dr. Matthew Strauss, of which Radio-Canada obtained a copy.

According to court documents, the charges against Dr. Archer and Queen's University took place from August to October 2020, then from December 2020 to February 2021, for the comments of Dr. Strauss on social networks and in the press.

In particular, it is written that the tone and tenor of Dr. Archer's communications upset Dr. Strauss and made him anxious to the point of taking time off from his doctoral program.

Dr. Strauss claims he was constructively fired when he was told his contract would not be renewed as scheduled until June 30, 2022.

He claims he has been accused of acting in a dangerous and deceptive manner, endangering patients through his conduct, and making inaccurate public comments and misinformation.

Dr. Steve Archer is at center of Dr. Matthew Strauss allegations in a 22-page notice of prosecution.

Dr. Strauss adds that Dr. Archer disregarded his freedom of speech and his freedom to teach and that he threatened to revoke his privileges or insinuated that his license of practice risked being suspended if he continued to express his views about COVID-19.

He says Dr. Archer undermined his authority and his credibility as a doctor and scientific journalist and that he was the subject of continual harassment, both written and oral, by him and by other university personnel.

Documents show that Dr. Strauss worked at Queen's University as an assistant professor of medicine from July 2019 to November 2021.

He was also Internal Medicine Generalist and Intensive Care Unit Specialist at Kingston General Hospital.

He was previously Assistant Clinical Professor at McMaster University of Hamilton from 2015 to 2020 and Medical Director of Critical Care at Guelph General Hospital from October 2016 to July 2019.

He also writes scientific articles in several daily newspapers such as the Hamilton Spectator or the National Post.

Dr Strauss was a contract employee at Queen's University, Kingston, where he was also enrolled in the doctorate.

In his notice of lawsuit, Dr. Strauss cites in particular an email from Dr. Archer, who reminds him that he was hired at Queen's as a doctor and not as a journalist.

Dr. Strauss concludes that he feels humiliated and that his reputation has been greatly tarnished, when Dr. Archer called him an incompetent and unethical doctor, an immature and dishonest man and supporter of Donald Trump.

He claims, however, that his annual professional evaluation in March 2021 mentions an entirely positive performance, despite the criticism he has received and that he has never received a reprimand from on behalf of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.

He adds that these events weigh heavily on his private life, his income and his career prospects. x27;employment. He says he has been experiencing anxiety, stress and emotional pain since leaving Queen's.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario says it has no record of misconduct regarding the Dr. Strauss.

Dr. Strauss did not grant us an interview on the advice of his lawyer, David Elmaleh.

Mr. Elmaleh writes in an email that Dr. Strauss firmly believes in the freedom of education to exchange ideas, particularly those that affect the public interest such as the authorities' response to the pandemic.


Queen's University replies that it is aware of the lawsuit, but has not yet received any notice, so that she has yet to file her defense papers in court.

She also declines to comment, since this is a dispute with the establishment's human resources.

In an email , the Order confirms for its part that Dr. Matthew Strauss was never brought before a disciplinary committee.

The medical officer of health is not however not to his first controversy.

He has said in the past on social media that he would rather give his children COVID-19 than a Happy Meal before taking over as interim county public health officer. Haldimand-Norfolk in September 2021.

Christine Elliott was Minister of Health in the first term of the Ford government in Ontario.

Earlier that same year, he wrote opinion pieces criticizing mandatory mask-wearing, lockdowns, and vaccinations.

In a dated CBC interview of September 2021, Dr Strauss explains that he has since watered down his wine over his statements, when Liberal MPs asked the Minister of Health to oppose his hiring.

Also according to CBC on this subject, a spokeswoman for Minister Christine Elliott said that the appointment of Dr. Strauss did not require ministerial approval, because&#x27 ;he only holds the position of medical officer of health on an interim basis.

The spokesperson recalled that the public health board of Haldimand- Norfolk did not seek to recruit him permanently.

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