Injunction granted against unlicensed practitioner
Only people registered with the College can practise naturopathy in Ontario. People who are not registered and pretend to be naturopaths are practising illegally. When the College learns about these cases, we investigate each one and post the names of these individuals on the Unauthorized Practitioners Register, including any injunctions against them.
On November 29, 2019 the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted the College a permanent injunction restraining Mr. Denys Gagnon from offering or providing services that may only be provided by a Member of the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.
Specifically, Mr. Gagnon must not:
• use the protected titles, including “doctor”, “naturopath”, Naturopathic Doctor”, and any variation or abbreviation, or equivalent in another language;
• hold himself out as being permitted to engage in the practice of naturopathy in Ontario; and
• engage in the practice of naturopathy in Ontario, including performing any controlled acts listed in section 4 of the Naturopathy Act, 2007.
On November 1, 2017 the College served Mr. Gagnon with a Cease & Desist notice to immediately cease all activities contrary to the legislation that regulates naturopathy in Ontario. These activities included advertising and/or practising as a “naturopath” and using the protected titles including “doctor”, “naturopathy”, and “Naturopathic Doctor”. Mr. Gagnon subsequently signed a confirmation that he had read and understood the notice and had ceased all restricted activities.
On February 15, 2019, the College received information from an anonymous source suggesting that Mr. Gagnon was continuing to hold out and practise as a naturopath in Hawkesbury, Ontario. Based on the information, a College investigator attended Mr. Gagnon’s clinic posing as a patient to obtain more information, whereby Mr. Gagnon repeatedly used the protected titles, engaged in the practice of naturopathy, and held himself out as someone permitted to practice in Ontario. The College then applied to the Ontario Superior Court for an injunction, which was granted on November 29, 2019.
Receiving health services from an unlicensed or unregistered practitioner is risky and has the potential for complications. There are no assurances that the practitioner is competent or qualified to provide treatment, or that any materials or equipment used are safe. Anyone seeking care from a naturopath in Ontario is encouraged to visit the College’s Public Register. This online directory lists naturopaths who are registered with the College and thus authorized to provide naturopathic care to patients. The Register is an important resource for the public to check a naturopath’s background and credentials.