ontario news watch

Lawyers for N.B. doctor say New Brunswick premier must apologize by end of this week

FREDERICTON — Lawyers for a doctor who faced a barrage of hate and racism after being accused of violating COVID-19 measures in New Brunswick say time is running out for Premier Blaine Higgs to apologize. 

Dr. Jean-Robert Ngola 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.   

In May 2020, Higgs had referred to a health-care worker being investigated by the RCMP for failing to self-isolate, in connection to an outbreak that resulted in 40 COVID-19 cases and two deaths. Ngola’s name later leaked on social media.

Now he and his lawyers are threatening legal action if Higgs does not publicly apologize by the end of this week for the statements the premier made last year.

Higgs said Tuesday that if Ngola would waive his rights to privacy, then all the information in the case can be released publicly — something Higgs said would end the discussion.

Ngola’s lawyer, Joel Etienne, said today in an interview that Higgs needs to apologize, adding that a news conference will be held Friday to discuss his client’s next steps.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 9, 2021.

The Canadian Press