January 27, 2004


The following is being distributed at the request of the Human Rights Commission:

The Human Rights Commission announces that a Board of Inquiry will commence on Wednesday, January 28, 2004, to hear the complaints of nine dentists against the Newfoundland Dental Board.

The dentists filed their complaints in June 2001, at which time the Dental Board issued two types of dental licenses. General licenses were issued to dentists who passed a national exam and provisional licenses were issued to foreign-trained dentists. The provisional licenses did not place limits on the type of dentistry the dentists could perform, but it did limit their practice to geographic areas of the province which were deemed to be underserviced. The dentists filed their complaints under sections 6 and 9 of the Human Rights Code, alleging discrimination on the basis of national and social origin.

In 2002, subsequent to the dentists filing their complaints, the Dental Board issued them general licenses. The provisions of the Agreement on Internal Trade and the Mobility Agreement negotiated between dental boards states that dentists with general licenses before July 1, 2001 could practice dentistry in any other jurisdiction across Canada. The nine dentists now must write a national exam or seek redress through a dispute resolution mechanism as provided for by the Agreement on Internal Trade in order to obtain the right to practice in other jurisdictions.

Judy Morrow, a lawyer from Bay Roberts, has been appointed to act as the Board of Inquiry. The hearing will commence at 10:00 a.m. at the Airport Plaza Hotel. The Human Rights Commission is represented by Barry Fleming. The Newfoundland Dental Board is represented by Augustine Bruce.

For Further Information Contact:

          Barry Fleming
          Executive Director
          Human Rights Commission
          P. O. Box 8700
          St. John�s, Newfoundland
          A1B 4J6
          Phone: 729-2709
          Toll Free: 1-800-563-5808

2004 01 27                                         2:50 p.m.

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