Thursday, April 10, 2008

Canadian libel law

This post at Red Tory is an interesting look at Canadian libel laws in the light of the Warman suit. It suggests why we should defend the bloggers under attack, if we want to be able to keep on blogging, in full political battle dress, about contentious public and political persons. The point is not that we are absolutely sure that the bloggers have not libelled Warman - maybe he will win his case - but that it may be too easy to silence bloggers by slapping them with expensive suits they just can't readily defend, given the cost and perhaps also the burden of proof and defense of motivations the defendant must face under Canadian libel law. If we want to get closer to the truth, to have a fuller airing of the facts in the Warman-blogger case, as anyone concerned with Canada's Human Rights Act, especially Section 13, might; and if we want further insight into recent revelations about the processes used in the "human rights" investigations and tribunals, then we have to stand up and defend our bloggers.

And if the precedent can be set that bloggers making good or plausible cases about injustices in Canadian political, legal, and cultural life will be financially backed by their readers and fellow citizens, then it simply raises the ante for the next person thinking to sue a blogger. The rules of the game don't even have to change, if the cost of playing starts to weigh more on those inclined to throw their own weight around.


Blazing Cat Fur said...

I can't help but note that the Quebec Bar recently said no to an amendment that would prevent SLAAP suits. Our libel laws are so stringent that Canada as become the libel tourists destination of choice.

Which leads me to a very funny story - Ask Terry Glavin to tell you about the time he was sued by the Communist Party of Canada Enver Hoxha Branch - it is hilarious - he has to do a post on it. We could all use the laughs.

Bill D. Cat said...

First time around . Post like you comment elsewhere and you will have something more than worth reading on a daily basis .

truepeers said...

Thanks bill,

Will try; this blog has had some good posts, but we can't keep it up every day.

What really makes a blog work, and what I prefer doing, happens in the comments section. That's sometimes a weakness here, and all the help we can get, for or against our screeds, is most welcome.

truepeers said...

Enver Hoxha! I'm old enough to remember when they had a bookstore in what is now, perhaps, Vancouver's most boarded up and deserted block. Funny how that happens.