Veterans activist gets OK to press $25K libel suit against Liberal minister


spaminator
#1
Veterans activist gets OK to press $25K libel suit against Liberal minister
Canadian Press
Published:
July 12, 2019
Updated:
July 12, 2019 3:26 PM EDT
Sean Bruyea.Chris Roussakis / Chris Roussakis/ QMI Agency
TORONTO — A noted veterans activist can proceed with his defamation suit against the former minister of veterans affairs after Ontario’s top court ruled Friday that a deputy judge in small claims court had no authority to throw out the claim without a hearing on its merits.
In its decision, the Court of Appeal ordered the $25,000 libel suit Sean Bruyea brought against Seamus O’Regan back to small claims court for trial.
“If the government is so confident that they did not personally attack and defame me, then please let the case go to trial,” Bruyea said after the ruling.
Bruyea, of Ottawa, sued O’Regan for an article in the Hill Times on Feb. 26, 2018. In the column, the then-veterans affairs minister took aim at Bruyea for criticizing a Liberal government decision to give veterans with service-related injuries the choice of a lump-sum payment or life-time pension.
Among other things, O’Regan accused Bruyea of deliberately lying about the program to “serve some dishonest personal agenda.”
The disabled veteran sued O’Regan, currently Indigenous services minister, and the attorney general for damages in small claims court, a division of the Superior Court of Justice.
In August last year, Deputy Judge David Dwoskin in Ottawa threw out Bruyea’s suit pre-trial on request from O’Regan and the government. O’Regan had pushed for dismissal of the case under Ontario’s “anti-SLAPP” legislation, which bars lawsuits that are aimed at stifling legitimate free speech.
Dwoskin found O’Regan’s statements “constituted expression relating to a matter of public interest” and that Bruyea had failed to show his claim had substantial merit. The deputy judge ruled the public interest in dismissal outweighed allowing the claim to proceed to trial.
Bruyea appealed, prompting the higher court to ask whether Dwoskin even had the jurisdiction to dismiss the case based on anti-SLAPP legislation. Ultimately, the court concluded in a precedent-setting decision that deputy judges cannot hear such a motion.
The legislation, the Appeal Court said, expressly allows a judge to hear and rule on such a dismissal motion. However, unlike other provisions, the relevant section of the Courts of Justice Act makes no reference to deputy judges — lawyers appointed to hear small claims cases — having such power.
“Either deputy judges have been given the authority to provide certain relief, or they have not,” the Appeal Court said. “It is not for the court to find authority where the legislature has chosen not to clearly provide it.”
The Appeal Court also refused to decide O’Regan’s request to toss the case based on the anti-SLAPP legislation, saying it would be inappropriate to get involved before the matter had been decided by a lower court.
Bruyea said he was hopeful he could now get on with a trial.
“The minister can then personally explain on the stand his decision to ignore much advice from his own department that my article’s facts and arguments were largely accurate in their eyes,” he said.
Bruyea criticized O’Regan, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and the government for throwing up procedural roadblocks to a proper hearing.
“Bringing these technical motions in small claims court is frankly abusive and detracts from the real case at hand,” Bruyea said. “A powerful government with endless resources should not be permitted to inundate individual Canadians with complex legal motions in order to avoid dealing with the merits of the defamation case.”
http://torontosun.com/news/national/...beral-minister
 
Jinentonix
No Party Affiliation
+1
#2  Top Rated Post
Man, Groper's admonishment to China about the "rule of law" just gets more and more embarrassing.
 
Curious Cdn
Conservative
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by Jinentonix View Post

Man, Groper's admonishment to China about the "rule of law" just gets more and more embarrassing.

Time for him to go back into teaching kindergarten.

His VA minister should be paraded naked through CFB Edmonton.
 
Danbones
Free Thinker
#4
It took 40 years to get some of our FRONTLINE metis soldiers their legit Military pensions after being wounded in combat in WW2.

All our governments hate our veterans.The extent that they all lie to avoid responsibility and actually steal from that money is so over the top, it's beyond belief.
 
Hoid
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

Time for him to go back into teaching kindergarten.

His VA minister should be paraded naked through CFB Edmonton.

that is more of a navy thing I think
 
Tecumsehsbones
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Jinentonix View Post

Man, Groper's admonishment to China about the "rule of law" just gets more and more embarrassing.

Is this not an example of the rule of law?

Man filed a suit. Judge dismissed it. Appellate court overturned the judge's actions on procedural grounds. Sounds like the law's working pretty well. Unless your definition of the rule of law is "Everything instantly happens the way I think it should."

Think that'd happen in China?