Skip to main content

Information about BCNU lawsuit against CRNBC and ARNBC

posted May 2, 2015​

On May 1, 2015, the President of the Association of Registered Nurses of British Columbia (ARNBC) issued an open letter to all BC nurses, which referred to a lawsuit that was commenced in September 2013 by the BC Nurses Union (BCNU) and Debra McPherson against both CRNBC and ARNBC.

Up to now, CRNBC has refrained from commenting publicly on BCNU’s lawsuit while the matter is before the Supreme Court of BC. However, in response to questions many nurses are now raising about the lawsuit, we wish to provide a brief explanation.

The September 2013 lawsuit stems from a one-time $1.5 million grant that CRNBC made to ARNBC in July 2013, to help with ARNBC’s start-up costs and to allow ARNBC to begin offering services to nurses that fall outside CRNBC’s mandate.

BCNU claims in its lawsuit that CRNBC had no authority under the Health Professions Act to make this grant to ARNBC. It also claims that the funds used for the grant were originally collected for the sole purpose of providing professional liability insurance coverage to nurses, and could not be used for any other purpose.

CRNBC vigorously disputes these claims.

As CRNBC previously explained in the FAQs to the notice it posted in July 2013, CRNBC's Board has clear authority under the HPA to approve spending of College funds for purposes consistent with the College's duties and determined to be in the public interest. The Board determined in July 2013 the payment to ARNBC was in the public interest and consistent with the College's duties.

CRNBC also explained in July 2013 that the funding to ARNBC was made possible through the assets, and appreciation on assets, of the former Captive Insurance Corporation that previously provided liability insurance coverage to nurses registered with CRNBC.

CRNBC acquired those funds by exercising its right as Captive's sole shareholder to require the Captive to redeem a portion of the shares held by CRNBC. CRNBC disagrees with BCNU's claim that the funds could only be used for the purpose of providing professional liability insurance. The funds were the property of CRNBC and could be used for any purpose consistent with CRNBC's public interest duties.

Read the original July 2013 announcement regarding the grant to ARNBC.

Home > About CRNBC > Announcements > 2015 Announcements > Information about BCNU lawsuit against CRNBC and ARNBC