Medical licence cancelled for Manitoba doctor found guilty of assaulting female patients

The medical licence of a Manitoba doctor found guilty of sexually assaulting five former patients has been cancelled.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Manitoba (CPSM) issued a news release noting its executive committee held a hearing of cancellation on Wednesday for Dr. Arcel Bissonnette’s certificate of practice.

The college says his licence was cancelled given that Dr. Bissonnette’s convictions are relevant to his suitability to practise.

The cancellation is effective immediately.

“On behalf of the medical profession, I acknowledge the bravery of the women, who, while enduring trauma and harm inflicted on them, came forward and testified in the trial to hold Dr. Bissonnette responsible for his actions,” the college’s registrar said in a statement.

“Dr. Bissonnette’s actions are disgraceful and dishonourable and revoking his licence is unquestionably necessary to protect the public.”

A full summary of the decision can be found on the CPSM’s website.

The 63-year-old doctor worked at the Ste. Anne Hospital and the Seine Medical Centre in Ste. Anne when he was charged with 22 counts of sexual assault in October of 2021.

Six of the charges were stayed by the Crown. A subsequent trial last year dealt with six counts of sexual assault, one of which was also stayed.

Bissonnette pleaded not guilty to the five remaining charges, arguing during the trial that his actions during the medical appointments with the five women were medically appropriate and consensual.

The Crown argued Bissonnette took advantage of his position as a family doctor to sexually assault the women under the guise of medical examinations.

Manitoba Court of King’s Bench Justice Sadie Bond ultimately found the doctor guilty of sexually assaulting the five former patients.

The remaining 10 charges against Bissonnette have not been tested in court and are scheduled to go to trial in February 2024.

– With files from CTV’s Danton Unger

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