The woman alleged to have posed as a fake nurse to treat patients in Ottawa and Vancouver intends to plead guilty to related charges later this month.
Brigitte Cleroux of Gatineau, Que., remains in custody in Ottawa, but appeared in B.C. Provincial Court by phone on Wednesday.
Her Ottawa-based lawyer, Ron Guertin, said she intends to plead guilty to charges on Jan. 14, but did not clarify which charges or how many.
Meanwhile, B.C. Crown prosecutor Kathryn Ford confirmed the Vancouver Police Department has launched a number of new investigations against Cleroux and continues to gather evidence in those cases.
The Vancouver and Ottawa police departments collaborated on an investigation against Cleroux, who faces charges related to impersonating a medical professional in both cities.
Vancouver police say Cleroux worked at B.C. Women’s Hospital between June 2020 and June 2021 under fraudulent pretenses. In November, she was charged in B.C. with fraud over $5,000 and personation to gain advantage.
In Ontario, she faces charges of criminal negligence causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, obtaining by false pretense, uttering forged documents and personation to gain advantage.
Cleroux had appeared in court in Ottawa on Aug. 24. She was 49 years old at the time of her arrest.
Last month, one of Cleroux’s alleged patients in B.C. told Global News she felt violated upon learning a perioperative nurse who assisted with her procedure at the B.C. Women’s Hospital last April was not actually licensed.
Chaelene Peeren underwent surgery to treat endometriosis and later received a letter signed by the Cheryl Davies, the chief operating officer of the hospital, confirming the nurse was unlicensed.
Pereen later learned Cleroux was at the centre of the story.
“Just to find out the trust I had put in the team — because you expect a certain thing — was violated, I can’t describe how that felt,” she said in an interview.
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It is still not clear how many patients Cleroux worked on in Vancouver, what duties or services she provided, or whether there were any adverse outcomes relating to her work.
Vancouver police, however, have launched new investigations in the case as several women have come forward to identify themselves as possible patients.
“As a result of some quite intense media coverage, as well as letters that have gone out to people who were potentially patients of this fake nurse, a number of people have reached out to the Vancouver Police Department,” said Sgt. Steve Addison on Wednesday.
“We’ll collect the evidence, we’ll hear their stories, we’ll collect additional stories, we’ll look at medical records.”
He would not speculate on potential charges or disclose the number of people who have come forward, but said there could still be more victims out there.
Cleroux’s next court appearance on B.C. matters is scheduled for Feb. 9.
— with files from Rumina Daya and Kathy Michaels