Dentist faces charges for refusing patients who support windfarm

A Manitoulin Island dentist is facing four allegations of disgraceful, dishonourable or unethical conduct.
A wind turbine project on Manitoulin Island prompted a Gore Bay dentist to stop treating local councillors as a form of protest. (Google)

A Manitoulin Island dentist is facing four allegations of disgraceful, dishonourable or unethical conduct.

The Royal College of Dental Surgeons recently laid the charges against Dr. Bill Studzienny of Gore Bay. The registrar for the College says three of the allegations are based on complaints from Studzienny's patients.

Registrar Irwin Fefergrad said he initiated the fourth.

In an interview last September with CBC News, Studzienny said he refused treatment to certain councillors on M'Chigeeng and Little Current councils because he is opposed to wind turbines and was unhappy with councillors who voted in favour of them on McLean's Mountain.

He said the aboriginal and municipal politicians made "foolish decisions for their own gain".

M'Chigeeng Chief Joe Hare said his band chose turbines for environmental reasons — and thinks the dentist went too far.

“We found his conduct and his opinion and what he did to be reprehensible,” he said. “We just couldn't understand why he would go to that length to make a point.”

Studzienny didn't return recent calls from CBC News.

Fefergrad said no date has been set for the disciplinary hearing. The penalty could range from a fine to the loss of the dentist's licence.

"If patients were abandoned in reference to his beliefs, we believe this to be discriminatory," Fefergrad added.

Hare said the issue has divided the community.

“Some people agreed with him and we didn't realize there was so much bias against what we are attempting to do,” he said. “We're trying to take care of ourselves here in this community.”


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.