Proposed anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) legislation in Ontario continues to make headlines. And now the CBC’s The Current, with guest host Rick MacInnes-Rae, put the spotlight on Resolute Forest Products’ $7 million lawsuit against me, Shane Moffatt and Greenpeace, a prime example of why this legislation is necessary.

As I told Rick MacInnes-Rae, Resolute is a multi-billion dollar company that we believe is using our publically funded court system to silence us as well as others who are advocating for healthy forests and communities. We believe the public has the right to know what’s going on its public forests and about Resolute’s destructive practices.

If we want to be able to save jobs and have a healthy forest industry and a healthy forest, Resolute needs to be part of the solution. And that solution won’t be found in a courtroom.

“I think it’s ridiculous. I think what they’re trying to do is prevent us and others from pulling back the curtain about what’s really going on in the forests,” I said in the interview. “These SLAPP suits do that.”

Even another guest on the show, Peter Jarvis, a lawyer with the firm Rochon Genova, said abusive lawsuits should be stopped: “I completely agree with Richard Brooks from Greenpeace that where a lawsuit is abusive the courts should jump in immediately and control it. The idea of threatening ridiculous damages for public expression is not appropriate.”

The Current asked Resolute to participate in the discussion, but they declined, except to send in a sound byte from Seth Kursman in their PR department:

“This is not a nuisance suit, it’s a suit that’s based on real damages. And I think it’s important to remember that freedom of speech and slander and libel are not one and the same. You have no right to walk into a movie theatre and shout fire and create panic. That would be unlawful.”

Resolute didn’t say how they calculated those “real damages” despite Rick MacInnes-Rae’s questions. As I told him, the lawsuit’s “statement of claim” has very little documentation as to where they got the $7 million figure.

That’s one more reason that, despite Resolute’s claims to the contrary, this lawsuit is really a SLAPP: “You don’t see SLAPP lawsuits for five hundred or a thousand dollars; you see SLAPP lawsuits ranging in the millions of dollars,” I said.

Ironically, Resolute’s lawsuit is bringing light to their operation. “We’ve got 40,000 people who just in the last two weeks signed a pledge to stand with Greenpeace and against this lawsuit and for the future of the Boreal Forest,” I told The Current. “So it’s actually backfiring for them.”

If you haven’t already done so, sign the petition today and #StandforForests.

Listen to the entire interview here.

Follow me on twitter: @RBGreenpeace