N.B. doctor accused of breaking COVID-19 rules is suing province, RCMP and Facebook

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A doctor who says he faced a barrage of hate and racism after being accused of breaking COVID-19 rules in New Brunswick in 2020 is suing the provincial government, the RCMP and Facebook’s owner, Meta.

Lawyers representing Dr. Jean Robert Ngola told reporters Thursday the lawsuit was filed earlier in the day in the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench.

Ngola, a family doctor who was working in the northern New Brunswick town of Campbellton, was accused of violating the province’s Emergency Measures Act, but the Crown later withdrew the charge after concluding there was no chance of conviction.

He sought an apology from Premier Blaine Higgs, who in May 2020 — without naming Ngola — linked a growing COVID-19 outbreak in the Campbellton area to an “irresponsible” health-care worker and said the matter was being handled by the RCMP.

The statement of claim says the premier should have known his actions would be instrumental in endangering Dr. Ngola’s life and creating fear for the safety of Ngola and his child.

The court document does not specify the amount of damages being sought but says they will be enough to hold those responsible accountable and to discourage similar wrongdoing in the future.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2022.

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