CELL Supports Anti-SLAPP Open Letter

BC Legislature
BC Legislature
Photographer: Anthony Ho

Today, the Pacific Centre for Environmental Law and Litigation (CELL) joins West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL) and over 40 other organizations in an open letter to the provincial government supporting Attorney General David Eby’s commitment to enacting anti-SLAPP legislation.

You can read the open letter on the WCEL website here: link.

Our Executive Director Chris Tollefson has been closely involved in the SLAPP issue from the early 1990s, when he first joined the UVic Faculty of Law, and continues to the present (see retro photo from 1993 published in Monday Magazine below, and this article in the Vancouver Sun).

Chris published the first Canadian law article on SLAPPs in the Canadian Bar Review in 1994. He also helped to found and chaired the “Committee for Public Participation”, which led a broad-based campaign to support enactment of anti-SLAPP legislation: see Monday Magazine article below. Back then, as now, the BC Civil Liberties Association (at the time led by Andrew Wilkinson, now Leader of the Opposition) was a strong ally in the campaign along with the Union of BC Municipalities and the BC Federation of Labour. Lawyer Greg McDade, former MP Lynn Hunter, and the Galiano Conservancy Association also played key roles. Ultimately, eight years later, these grass roots efforts culminated in the passage of Canada’s first anti-SLAPP law in 2001.

Although this law was soon after repealed by the incoming Liberal government, it set the stage for similar legislation to be enacted in Ontario and Quebec. It now appears that, in 2018, BC will be joining these jurisdictions and over forty others around the world, in legislating protection for public participation from SLAPP suits.

iOS users can see the full Monday Magazine here.

Posted: March 6, 2018

Leave a Reply