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Canada

N.L. couple not eligible for relocation funding as town is resettled

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A couple will pay their own way when their Newfoundland town is resettled this year, after a provincial Supreme Court justice upheld a government decision that they do not meet the criteria of permanent residents.

Over 90 per cent of Little Bay Islands residents voted to resettle the community in 2016, with a deadline of Dec. 31 set before electricity, road maintenance and other services will be withdrawn.

READ MORE: Newfoundland town awaits vote on accepting relocation deal

Edwin and Vine Tucker applied for a judicial review of the 2018 decision by then-municipal affairs minister Andrew Parsons, who determined they were not permanent residents of the community.

The couple, both born in the 1930s, own a home in Little Bay Islands and have spent their lives there, but they spent more than six months in St. John’s in 2016 on their doctor’s advice.

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Parsons’ decision, based on a legal review of their case, meant the Tuckers were ineligible for the $260,000 offered to two-person households under the province’s relocation policy.

READ MORE: Newfoundland town copes as men head west for bigger pay

The couple argued that the decision was unreasonable because the lawyer reviewing their case did not seek clarification on their doctors’ note and because time-away limitations in the province’s relocation policy changed in 2016.

Justice Daniel M. Boone dismissed the Tuckers’ application, writing in his Oct. 10 decision that he found the minister’s decision was logical and based on a fair interpretation of the relocation policy.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2019.

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