A group that promotes African trophy hunting has asked a Calgary judge to order protesters to stop insulting event attendees.
The Calgary chapter of Safari Club International (SCI) is seeking an injunction against Mike Donovan, the founder of Ban African Trophy Hunting (BATH) and owner of an African photo tourism company called Lion Dog African Safaris.
SCI and African Events aren't asking protesters stay home, just to choose their phrasing more carefully, according to lawyer Christa Nicholson, who represents both organizations.
She told Court of Queen's Bench Justice Richard Neufeld that protesters can yell "stop trophy hunting," but can not insult attendees with words like "shame," "unethical," and "immoral."
Those words, said Nicholson, amount to defamation.
"That is his opinion," said Neufeld of Donnovan's protest statements. "Your client holds the opinion that trophy hunting is moral and ethical; these are opinions."
"Opinions can be expressed, but they're not to be defamatory ones," said Nicholson.
Donovan, who represented himself, said this is an issue of freedom of expression.
"This is an injunction [application] to shut me up," said Donovan, who represented himself at the hearing. "The plaintiffs are playing the victim here."
Neufeld has reserved his decision.
African trophy hunting group asks judge to order protesters to cease insults - Calgary - CBC News