May 19, 2023
Hansman v. Neufeld, 2023 SCC 14
N sued H for defamation. H then applied to have N’s defamation action dismissed as a SLAPP under s. 4 of British Columbia’s PPPA.
The chambers judge allowed the application and dismissed the action. He held both that H had a valid fair comment defence and that the value in protecting his expression outweighed the resulting harm done to N.
The Court of Appeal disagreed on both counts and reinstated the action.
“The chambers judge did not err in concluding that the public interest weighing exercise mandated dismissal of the underlying action or that N failed to adequately challenge the validity of H’s fair comment defence. Accordingly, his order dismissing the defamation action should be restored.”