Anti-SLAPP Advisory Panel Report to the Attorney General of 28 October 2010

January 19, 2011

in Anti-SLAPP, Correspondence

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VIA E-MAIL: cbentley.mpp@liberal.ola.org
Hon. Christopher Bentley, Minister
Ministry of the Attorney General
Province of Ontario
720 Bay Street, 11th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M5G 2K1

Anti-SLAPP Advisory Panel Report to the Attorney General of 28 October 2010

Dear Minister Bentley:

The Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Associations (FoNTRA), an umbrella organization currently representing 27 resi-dents’ associations, wrote to you on 15 June 2010 expressing strong support for your government’s initiative to appoint an Advisory Panel charged with recommending possible content for legislation designed to prohibit Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (SLAPP) used to interfere with legitimate public participation in matters of public interest.

FoNTRA has now had an opportunity to review the Report of the Anti-SLAPP Advisory Panel, dated 28 October 2010, and is in general agreement with its conclusions and recommendations. In FoNTRA’s view, the Advisory Panel has found an excel-lent balance among the various interests and the proposed approach should effectively safeguard the expression on matters of public interest from undue interference and even intimidation with one exception. The Advisory Panel chose to rely on speed at the outset of the litigation to, indirectly, “help rebalance an inequality of financial resources between the parties” instead of recommending a special fund for defendants or a stipulation that the plaintiffs should pay the defendants’ initial costs.
FoNTRA believes that this is a mistake; the government should address this issue directly.

Primarily, FoNTRA urges the government to table the necessary legislation at the earliest opportunity to ensure that the elec-tion scheduled for later this year does not interfere with its passing.

Yours truly,

Geoff KettelPeter Baker
Co-Chair, FoNTRACo-Chair, FoNTRA
129 Hanna Road124 Sherwood Avenue
Toronto, OntarioToronto, Ontario
M4G 3N6M4P2A7
gkettel@gmail.competerwbaker@rogers.com

Copy: SLAPPsuggestions@ontario.ca

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