Ontario elites silence their opponents via real or imagined SLAPPs

Ontario has no anti-SLAPP legislation. This void favours those most able to access and influence the legislative process (ie, wealthy, insiders).

SLAPPs (stategic lawsuits against public participation) are the powerful’s very useful weapon in managing change in environmental, political, business, and municipal boundary controversies.

Definition

A strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition.

The typical SLAPP plaintiff does not normally expect to win the lawsuit. The plaintiff’s goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. A SLAPP may also intimidate others from participating in the debate. Wikipedia excerpt

Originally posted on iLoveMidhurst.ca on February 22, 2012.

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