Please express your support and the call for nationwide anti-SLAPP legislation by signing onto this statement.
"We believe in the right of organizations and activists to participate publicly and to engage in public advocacy without fear of legal harassment. We believe that corporations and governments should not abuse the courts with the aim of limiting criticism of their operations.
Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPPs) are lawsuits, often for defamation, with the main objective of silencing individuals and citizen groups. SLAPPs are generally meritless lawsuits with the aim of burdening citizens and organizations with large litigation costs and stress, while distracting them from their primary work. As a result, these citizens and organizations are often coerced into curtailing their engagement in public advocacy.
These types of lawsuits threaten the public ability to participate in free democratic processes. Activities that attract SLAPPs include citizens reporting of environmental violations, filing complaints with government agencies, contacting the media, speaking at public meetings, participating at hearings before administrative tribunals or engaging in public campaigns. We believe, this legal tactic is a growing threat to meaningful citizen participation.
Due to the fear of facing a SLAPP, other individuals and organizations are also likely to be deterred from participating on the same or other issues of public interest, resulting in a chilling effect. A majority (28) of U.S. States and the province of Quebec have already acted with legislation to address this threat.
We denounce any attempt by corporations to bring abusive lawsuits with the aim of limiting freedom of expression, as well as environmental and other forms of advocacy.
We urge the Ontario government, and other provincial and federal governments in Canada, to swiftly enact legislation that would prevent SLAPPs from being used to limit freedom of expression and public participation."
Learn what a SLAPP suit is and how it's used to silence enviornmentalists :
List of supporting organizations:
How will this statement be used?
On 18 September 2013, a letter with the list of supporting organizations was submitted to all Ontario government MPPs. We will continue to periodically blog and highlight the number and names of organizations that are supporting Greenpeace’s right to publicly participate and express its opinion on forest issues in Canada without fear of a lawsuit.