Ontario has no anti-SLAPP legislation which favours those most able to access and influence the legislative process.
SLAPPs (strategic lawsuits against public participation) are the powerful’s very useful weapon in managing change in environmental, political, business, and municipal boundary controversies.
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 Feb 22, 2012.
1. Reality of Litigation UPDATE: No anti-SLAPP law yet and no citizen-directed litigation against Midhurst residents (not like Big Bay Point). But, Springwater Township hauled before quasi-judicial Ontario Municipal Board. Their offence?: not rubber-stamping zoning bylaws fast enough before the Environmental-Assessments 3 and 4 are completed.
2. Illusion/Fear of Litigation UPDATE: Councillor Rick Webster says he believes stopping the Midhurst Secondary Plan would cost +$100-million. In 2008, Maple Leaf Foods was linked to the deaths of 29 people. Their estates received $27-million in awards after the Merchant Law Group filed class-actions worth $350-million.
That’s make that a 7.7% ratio of cash paid-out by defendant to claim filed by plaintiff.
The land speculation business is (by its very nature) very high risk, high return.
I believe any ON Superior or Appeal Court Justice knows an attempt to wring private gain from public loss.