N.S. regulator investigates dentist facing assault-related charges in N.L.

·2 min read
A statement of claim filed in December alleges a corrections officer was permitted to do a procedure on an inmate during dental surgery at a clinic in Gander, N.L. The surgery was being performed by Dr. Louis Bourget, who also practises in Nova Scotia.
A statement of claim filed in December alleges a corrections officer was permitted to do a procedure on an inmate during dental surgery at a clinic in Gander, N.L. The surgery was being performed by Dr. Louis Bourget, who also practises in Nova Scotia.

(Stacey Janzer/CBC)

The body that regulates dentists in Nova Scotia is investigating a Halifax-area oral surgeon who was charged after an alleged incident last October in Gander, N.L.

Dr. Louis Bourget and two corrections officers were charged with aggravated assault and assault with a weapon after a video circulated online appearing to show an officer performing dental surgery on a sedated inmate while a colleague recorded it.

The video is also at the centre of a civil lawsuit launched by Blair Harris, an inmate at Bishop's Falls Correctional Centre in Newfoundland. Harris was taken by corrections staff to the Gander Family Dental Clinic for surgery on Oct. 16.

According to a statement of claim filed Dec. 4, one of the corrections officers was permitted to do a procedure while Harris was sedated. The other officer recorded it and later distributed the video.

Licence temporarily suspended

The incident first came to the attention of the complaints committee of the Provincial Dental Board of Nova Scotia in December. At that time, Bourget's licence was immediately suspended for 30 days.

The complaints committee met again on Jan. 12, at which time Bourget's licence was reinstated. Authorities in Newfoundland had not yet charged Bourget at that time.

The board's registrar, Dr. Martin Gillis, told CBC News in an email that the regulatory body is aware of the charges against Bourget and is investigating the matter.

According to Bourget's website, his practice includes the Halifax area, as well as Bathurst, N.B., and Gander, N.L.

Bourget free to work in N.L.

Dr. Paul O'Brien, registrar of the Newfoundland and Labrador Dental Board, said Tuesday that Bourget can continue to work in that province.

"When someone is charged there is a legal process obviously that is followed," he wrote in an email to CBC News.

"If Dr. Bourget is found guilty then that would be a concern for the board. Presently he holds a licence and will continue to do so until any disciplinary actions dictate otherwise."

Bourget and the two correctional officers are due in court in Gander in April.

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