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NEWS: Ontario cracks down on Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation

The Globe and Mail reports this morning, “Ontario’s minority Liberal government is pledging to better protect freedom of speech with legislation that would crack down on spurious lawsuits sometimes filed to silence citizens or environmentalists that oppose development projects. The suits, known as SLAPPs, or strategic lawsuits against public participation, are tactical moves made to intimidate local residents or activists engaged in a fight with a developer or corporation that can afford expensive lawyers.”

The article notes that, “Attorney-General John Gerretsen will announce the legislation Tuesday at an event at the University of Toronto’s law school, and the bill will be formally introduced in the legislature in the afternoon.”

A media release will be issued today by the Canadian Environmental Law Association, Ecojustice, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, Environmental Defence, and the Council of Canadians. In it, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow states, “Lawsuits without merit that are meant to bully people from exercising their rights must be stopped. There is no place for that type of conduct in our society.”

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Ontario cracks down on spurious lawsuits