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Speak out | Organize | Demonstrate

We are interviewing people who are, or who have been, the subjects of SLAPP suits. Speak out against injustice and the failure of Canadian courts to protect us from strategic litigation to prevent public participation. Your voices must be heard and we are here to help. Your story will help others fight back. Contact us at info@stopslappsuits.ca.

The Next Crisis: We need a better plan

“I think the growing disjuncture between theory and practice has impoverished both practice and theory alike by making theory abstract and complicated in ways that tend to obscure social reality, rather than to illuminate it. Theory has become very highfalutin, head-in-the-clouds, and actually very strange in many ways. … Meanwhile, at the same time, we as activists and socialists became stuck in a kind of a rote script of protests and militancy, i.e. in activity disengaged from a general strategy of social change.

NDP calls for anti-SLAPP law: Would prevent lawsuits being used as financial weapons

By the time Kinder Morgan dropped its civil lawsuit against him three months after filing it, Burnaby resident Alan Dutton was already out over $50,000 in legal fees.

NDP renews calls for anti-SLAPP suit law: Pushing for legal change

Kinder Morgan’s civil suit against five Burnaby Mountain protesters has inspired one of the defendants to push back with renewed calls for anti-SLAPP suit legislation in B.C., and the NDP is championing that cause with a new private members’ bill.

West Coast Environmental Law Awards Second Grant to EDWG

As part of a law reform project to research, draft and conduct public education on the problem of SLAPP suits, West Coast Environmental Law has awarded the Environmental Defense Working Group (EDWG), based in Burnaby, B.C., a second grant.

Financial Clout v. Right to Speak Out

Dave Matthews

“The right to speak is more precious than gold”. Members of the Wilderness Committee displayed these words proudly on the steps of the Supreme Court of BC as they prepared for a two-week hearing on a defamation claim by Taseko Mines Ltd.

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Grassroots Cedar Hill Eight SLAPP back

Times Colonist February 5, 2000

By Chris Tollefson and Bram Rogachevsky

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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
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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.