slideshow 1

Playing games with B.C. Hydro

Ask most British Columbians what they expect from B.C. Hydro and the answer would likely be "keep my power on and keep my rates low."

Because the Crown corporation does just that - although the electricity rates continue to climb - it is viewed in mostly positive ways. Anyone who has had a B.C. Hydro lineman come to their house in a windstorm to reconnect a power line (you can put me in that crowd) is understandably grateful for and even admiring of much of the services B.C. Hydro offers.

Tags: 

Case Study - Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC v. Dutton et al.

In October 2014, Alan Dutton and four other individuals were served with a lawsuit, an application for an injunction, and affidavit material suggesting that they were liable for damages in the millions of dollars. The plaintiff was Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC (“Trans Mountain”), a Canadian subsidiary of international energy giant Kinder Morgan.

Protecting Democratic Rights in Canada

The province of British Columbia faces a growing problem. Like other areas of the world, large powerful corporations are increasingly using strategic litigation to silence, intimidate and block public participation. Unlike Quebec and Ontario, the province of BC does not have legislation to prevent the attack on civil and political rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms offers no protection of freedom of expression, assembly or access to justice to private parties (e.g., citizens versus corporations).

Protecting Democratic Rights in Canada

The province of British Columbia faces a growing problem. Like other areas of the world, large powerful corporations are increasingly using strategic litigation to silence, intimidate and block public participation. Unlike Quebec and Ontario, the province of BC does not have legislation to prevent the attack on civil and political rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms offers no protection of freedom of expression, assembly or access to justice to private parties (e.g., citizens versus corporations).

COURT EXONERATES WILDERNESS COMMITTEE IN TASEKO MINES DEFAMATION SUIT

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 (All day)
News Release

VANCOUVER - The Wilderness Committee is celebrating a BC Supreme Court ruling that confirmed the environmental group was within its rights to criticize a proposed mine project located west of Williams Lake, BC.

Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation: Combating an Assault on the Democratic Process

By BRAM ROGACHEVSKY

On June 27th, 1999, ten residents of Denman Island, British Columbia, set up an informa tion table at the entrance to a road used by development company 4064 Investments Ltd. in carrying out its logging practices. The action was a culmination of more than two years of community effort to promote sustainable forestry on ecologically sensitive land.

WIN! Ontario passes anti-SLAPP legislation

The Government of Ontario announced today that, "Ontario has passed the Protection of Public Participation Act, 2015, which is aimed at stopping strategic lawsuits." (http://news.ontario.ca/mag/en/2015/10/protection-of-publicparticipation-
act.html)

Pages

AddToAny

Share

Will the Charter Protect Me?

Everyone in Canada should have the protection of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to freely voice their concerns and to organize public demonstrations. But they don't. SLAPP suits undermine and subvert democratic rights and the democratic process. In fact, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not protect protestors and critics and the courts impose a huge burden to achieve any sort of justice and redress. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is part of the Canadian Constitution and while it is supposed to protect citizens against government it is not generally applied to disputes between private parties. Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media or communications are guaranteed by Section 2(b) of the Charter and freedom of peaceful assembly by section 2(c). However, unlike the First Amendment to the US Constitution, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies only to protection from government intervention - not private disputes for alleged defamation and protests. Read more

Will the Courts Protect Me?

The answer is almost certainly no. The courts are biased in allowing cases to proceed to trial. To have a lawsuit dismissed, a target of a SLAPP suit must prove on the balance of probabilities that a suit was filed for a malicious purpose such as to silence a person on a matter of public concern or to stop them from demonstrating. To prove malicious intent against a large corporation with almost unlimited resources is difficult at best. In short, it is very difficult and expensive to have a SLAPP suit dismissed in Canada even if there is no credible proof that a lawsuit is an abuse of process, malicious and without factual basis. This is unlike the United States where over half the States have specific anti-SLAPP legislation and First Amendment rights to free speech that provide rules for the better protection of the right to protest and speak out against government agencies and corporations. Read more

Thank you!

Thanks to all our supporters. In particular, thanks to West Coast Environmental Law for two grants to develop recommendations for effective anti-SLAPP suit legislation, Dr. Jane Shin, MLA Burnaby-Lougheed for continuing to push for anti-SLAPP legislation and to students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University for continued support. Click here to read statements of support to reclaim democratic rights.

Resources

Breaking the Silence: the need for anti SLAPP legislation. EcoJustice (2010)

Report to Ontario Attorney General. Moran Anti-SLAPP Advisory Panel (2010)

Recommended Legislative Measures to Counter Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation BC Civil Liberties Association (2012).

SLAPP: the BC Experience. Tollefson and Scott (2010)

Anti-SLAPP Handbook. West Coast Environmental Law (2002).

Recommendations for Anti-SLAPP Legislation with Appendices. Environmental Defense Working Group (2015).

Contact Us

Stop SLAPP suits
324-280 Nelson Street
Vancouver, B.C.
V6B 2E2
info[at]stopslappsuits
Facebook Stop SLAPP Suits

This site provides no legal advice, and no representation is made as to the completeness or accuracy of the information presented. Links to news, commentary, and guest blog posts do not necessarily reflect the views of the Stop SLAPP Suit Project.