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Ontario’s Dental Watchdog Bares Sharp Teeth Against Critics

December 18, 2018
by Robert Cribb and Kenyon Wallace, Toronto Star


Describing a toxic work environment fuelled by bullying and favouritism, more than two dozen current and former staff and executives of the province’s dental regulator have been waging a quiet war against their leadership.

In response, lawyers for the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario and its top executive — registrar Irwin Fefergrad — have issued letters threatening legal action and promises of repercussions. In recent months, the college has also launched an internal investigation seeking to identify employees they suspect have leaked documents to the Toronto Star.

That investigation has targeted one former employee with threats of legal action should he not cooperate with college lawyers. The man, who left the college last year, was blindsided and says the ordeal is “affecting my work life, my personal life, my health.” The former college employee — who has not provided documents to the Star — has hired a lawyer.

Over the past year, the Star has obtained internal college documents and letters and interviewed current and former employees and board members of the college who allege secrecy surrounding the college’s finances, conflict of interest and abusive treatment of staff. A former senior executive at the college filed a $1-million wrongful dismissal lawsuit last year that also cited bullying behaviour.

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