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News September 10, 2020

Supreme Court upholds Ontario Anti-SLAPP Legislation

The Centre for Free Expression, along with co-intervenors Canadian Association of Journalists and CWA-Canada, welcome today's Supreme Court's unanimous judgment  in 1704604 Ontario Ltd. v. Pointes Protection Association which upholds Ontario's anti-SLAPP legislation and makes some important clarifications about how specific legislative provisions  should be interpreted and applied.

The court indicated that "public interest", a requirement for a motion to succeed in dismissing a SLAPP suit, must be given a broad and liberal interpretation.  The court also reformulated what  plaintiffs must do to avoid having their cases dismissed, specifically requirements  to establish that their actions have “substantial merit” and that defendants have “no valid defence” 

The overall impact of the decision will be to strengthen the ability of defendants to succeed in having SLAPP suits dismissed.