ontario news watch

Doctor who faced racism after COVID-19 outbreak sues New Brunswick, RCMP

A Black doctor who says he faced a barrage of hate and racism after being accused of breaking COVID-19 rules last year is suing New Brunswick and the RCMP.

Lawyers representing Dr. Jean Robert Ngola told reporters Friday the lawsuit is the next step in their client’s attempts to seek justice for what they say was an abuse of power.

The statement of claim refers to Ngola’s “banishment” from the province and alleges he is a victim of systemic racism and anti-Black racism.

The document does not specify a dollar amount but seeks restorative justice, a public apology and a system of checks and balances to ensure such a case doesn’t happen again.

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

He has been seeking 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.

News got out that Ngola was the worker in question after his positive COVID-19 status was leaked on social media, but Higgs has maintained he had done nothing wrong and  refused to apologize.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2021.

The Canadian Press