SLAPPs (Strategic Laws Against Public Participation)

SLAPPs are intended to deter citizens from participating in public affairs by threatening to sue, using such causes as 'interference with contract,' 'trespass,' 'conspiracy,' 'assault,' 'defamation,' to describe actions such as circulating petitions, speaking out at municipal meetings, reporting bylaw infractions. A citizen or entity typically receives a communication from a corporation suggesting that further public expression of opposition will result in court action. The prospect of incurring court costs can have a chilling effect on free expression of opinions, especially when the potential suer has considerable means to pay for court costs and the suee does not. BC had an Anti-Slapp statute, albeit imperfect, in 2001, but it was repealed by Liberals in 2002. We need anti-SLAPP legislation in BC that deters such infringement of free expression by putting the onus on the suer to have 'substantial merit' for their claims and to have dismissal of lawsuits that interfere with free expression involving a matter of public interest. Some model legislation is already in effect in Ontario. Please consult experts on the ramifications of anti-SLAPP statutes and include statements about essential provisions in the election platform. The topic will likely come up at all-candidates meetings.

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  • commented 2017-03-09 08:44:42 -0800
    There is another suggestion like this one, below. – clearly an important issue.
  • tagged this with Important 2017-03-09 08:44:02 -0800
  • published this page in Make a suggestion 2017-02-18 08:19:26 -0800
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