Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (SLAPP)

June 15, 2010 · 0 comments

in Anti-SLAPP, Correspondence

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Hon. Christopher Bentley, Minister
Ministry of the Attorney General
Province of Ontario
720 Bay Street, 11th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2K1

Dear Minister Bentley,

On behalf of the residents/ratepayers of FoNTRA, we are writing to express our strong support for the initiative on the part of your government to appoint an advisory panel that will suggest possible content for legislation that would help prevent lawsuits, often called Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (SLAPP), from being used to silence legitimate critics by imposing long and costly court processes on them.

In a democratic society, citizens need to feel free to raise any issue of public interest without fear of being intimidated by a lawsuit. The proposed legislation should provide protection to interventions that deal with public interest issues.

In FoNTRA’s case, however, we are less concerned about the potential of lawsuits for defamation or damages than about the costs being assessed as a result of Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearings. We submit that the quasi-judicial hearing processes, such as the OMB or the Environmental Assessment hearings, be included as content for this legislation.

We urge the government to move quickly with anti-SLAPP legislation soon after the report from the advisory panel has been submitted in September.

Yours truly,
George Milbrandt
Co-Chair, FoNTRA
193 Wanless Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
M4N 1W4
del@ican.net

Peter Baker
Co-Chair, FoNTRA
124 Sherwood Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
M4P2A7
peterwbaker@rogers.com

Cc: Hon. Kathleen Wynne, MPP
City of Toronto Councillors
FoNTRA Members and Others

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