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Ottawa sues UBC, former dentistry faculty member over alleged misuse of funds

The UBC Campus (Wikimedia).

VANCOUVER — The federal government is suing the University of British Columbia and a former associate dean of the faculty of dentistry alleging the misuse of millions in funding.

The lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court says UBC received $10.6 million from Health Canada between 2002 and 2013 to provide dental services for First Nations living on B.C.'s remote Haida Gwaii archipelago.

A statement of claim alleges that UBC overbilled Health Canada by $3.3 million and that Dr. Christopher Zed hid $5.1 million in spending from the university, including millions transferred to his personal bank account and credit cards.

Zed resigned from the faculty of dentistry in 2013 shortly after UBC notified Ottawa of its concerns about financial operations at the Haida Gwaii clinics and launched an investigation.

The dentist now works at a practice in Vancouver and did not immediately return calls or emails requesting comment on the allegations, which have not been tested in court.

UBC lawyer Hubert Lai says in a statement that the university has not yet been served with the notice of civil claim and needs time to review it before commenting.

The Canadian Press

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