Monday, December 27, 2010


SLAPP is an acronym for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. 

"It is a lawsuit that is intended to censor, intimidate and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition."

(This is similar to but not exactly what has been happening at Melancthon Council.  Developers assure Council that if they don't approve something (more turbines, another gravel pit) or if they do approve something (demolition control bylaw) they will face an expensive OMB hearing.   Council then assures ratepayers they have no choice, but to "negotiate" the best deal they could" and we should all go away and quit criticizing them because "we" the public just don't understand.)

The typical SLAPP plaintiff does not normally expect to win the lawsuit. The plaintiff's goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. A SLAPP may also intimidate others from participating in the debate. A SLAPP is often preceded by a legal threat.

The final report by the provincial government's Anti-Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation (Anti-SLAPP) Advisory Panel is now available. Click here for detals:

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