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Class action on behalf of property owners challenges N.L. COVID-19 travel ban

Tourists take pictures with their mobile phones of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador, on Monday, August 15, 2016.
Tourists take pictures with their mobile phones of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland and Labrador, on Monday, August 15, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

A proposed class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of non-residents who own property in Newfoundland and Labrador is challenging a ban on entry into the province during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A statement of claim filed in the Supreme Court in St. John’s this week names Sharon and Werner Koehler of Elmira, Ont. as plaintiffs in the case.

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The pair own a property and operate a business in Bay Roberts, N.L., where they reside for several months annually.

The suit argues that the government’s May 15 order barring non-resident property owners from entering the province is contrary to mobility rights guaranteed under the charter.

It also argues that the provincial government was negligent in implementing the legislation because it ought to have known the law was unconstitutional and would cause damages to people in the suit.

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Premier Dwight Ball says the province has not yet been served but says the Health and Justice departments are “prepared to enter a response.”