[ exact phrase in "" • ~10 sec • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]

LOCATION/TYPE

News Home
Archive
RSS

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links

Alerts

Press Releases

FAQs

Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics

Videos

Allied Groups

Legislation aimed at curbing legal action used to limit expression  

Credit:  Ontario targets strategic lawsuits | By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer | Thursday, June 6, 2013 | www.theobserver.ca ~~

Esther Wrightman says she could be the poster child for Ontario’s proposed new law to curb strategic lawsuits launched to silence critics.

The provincial government introduced the Protection of Public Participation Act just weeks after wind farm developer NextEra Energy Canada launched a lawsuit against Wrightman, a Middlesex County anti-wind activist.

Wrightman said that when she heard about the proposed new law, “I went, ‘What? Really? I could use that, right about now.”

Ontario says the law, if passed, would allow courts to quickly identify and deal with strategic lawsuits launched to intimate opponents and reduce their ability to participate in public debates.

The legislation, based on recommendations from an expert advisory panel, would also reduce time wasted in court on meritless claims, the government says.

“We live in a fair and democratic society, and we believe that this law will provide a balanced approach that recognizes both the right to public expression and the importance of protection of reputation,” said Attorney General John Gerretsen.

Wrightman said that while the new law may come too late to help her, it acknowledges that strategic lawsuits are a problem.

Laws to protect citizens against strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) are common in the U.S., but Quebec is currently the only Canadian province with one.

NextEra is suing Wrightman over a corporate logo the company says was altered to say “Nexterror” when it appeared on an anti-wind website, as well as video posted online.

The company’s allegations have not been proven in court.

“Nextera knew that I was using this image for a year and they didn’t choose to act on it until things got hot,” Wrightman said.

“I do feel it was a SLAPP suit, because of that.”

Wrightman has been a vocal opponent of industrial wind farm proposals in Middlesex and Lambton counties, including several NextEra projects.

“I definitely think that it’s a SLAPP lawsuit,” said Monte McNaughton, MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex. “This is a David virus Goliath story.”

McNaughton, a member of the PC caucus at Queen’s Park, says the lawsuit is part of the fallout from the Liberal’s Green Energy Act.

“The Green Energy Act has divided communities and pit neighbours against neighbours,” he said.

“It’s the Liberal government’s fault that these lawsuits are happening.”

[rest of article available at source]
Source:  Ontario targets strategic lawsuits | By Paul Morden, Sarnia Observer | Thursday, June 6, 2013 | www.theobserver.ca

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate

Share:


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook

Share

CONTACT DONATE PRIVACY ABOUT SEARCH
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.
Share

Wind Watch on Facebook

Follow Wind Watch on Twitter