JUST. Causes

  • August 01, 2013


On June 4, the Attorney General introduced the Protection for Public Participation Act, 2013, anti-SLAPP legislation designed to deter and remedy strategic litigation brought for the purpose of stifling public debate. The OBA has long called for this legislation and the bill very closely reflects the recommendations of the OBA.

When he announced the legislation, Attorney General John Gerretsen thanked the OBA
for its work on the issue.

David Sterns, OBA chair of public affairs, was quoted in the government’s press
release, saying:

As an advocate for a fair and effective justice system, the Ontario Bar Association called for a swift and powerful tool that would prevent lawsuits aimed at stifling public debate, while maintaining access to justice for legitimate claims. Public confidence depends on the ability of our justice system to operate efficiently and to enhance democratic principles. Both of these goals are threatened by the bad-faith litigation that this new legislation is designed to curb. We commend the government for introducing the Protection for Public Participation Act.

The OBA Anti-SLAPP Working Group, chaired by Barry Weintraub of Rueter Scar-gall Bennett LLP, received many well-deserved compliments on their work. The two OBA anti-SLAPP submissions were prepared with input from the Environmental, Civil Litigation and International Law Sections and, in the case of the 2012 submission, the Municipal Law Section.

View the OBA anti-SLAPP submissions at oba.org/submissions.

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