Ontario cracking down on strategic lawsuits

TORONTO – Ontario is introducing legislation today to crack down on strategic lawsuits that are used to silence critics who are speaking out on matters of public interest.

Environmentalists say such lawsuits, which can entail significant legal costs, have been used to limit their criticism of development projects.

Under the proposed law, courts could fast-track the review process for lawsuits that are alleged to be strategic. It would include a legal test that a judge could use to quickly decide whether or not the case should be dismissed.

The request to dismiss the case would have to be heard by the court within 60 days.

Ontario’s attorney general says Quebec is currently the only other province with a similar law. The minority Liberals would need the support of at least one of the opposition parties to pass the legislation. (CP24 Toronto)

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