Participating in public debates, speaking out for issues that affect us and our neighbours, these are basic principles in our democracy.
Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP’s) silence public debate and put a chill on free speech. Too many Ontario residents have already faced damaging and frivolous lawsuits, when they opposed development proposals or industry activities in their backyards.
These lawsuits are a shady tactic used by some corporations to intimidate and silence people. How many of us would keep opposing an issue when faced with a lawsuit?
Unfortunately, SLAPP suits seem to be becoming more frequent, with more corporations using these as an extreme type of bullying.
Over 60 municipalities, PEN Canada, the Ontario Bar Association, Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, Canadian Journalist for Free Expression and many academics agree it’s time to bring in anti-SLAPP legislation.
Bill 83 (Protection of Public Participation Act) was poised to pass in the Ontario legislature before the provincial election. It’s time to re-introduce it. Passing the bill would protect the democratic rights of all Ontario residents to engage in public processes without the fear of being sued.
The bill has broad support and it has already undergone review in the last session of legislature. It’s time for MPP’s to step up to get an anti-SLAPP law passed. You can help. Take Action now and tell your MPP to help get the law passed.