Supreme Court of Canada to review decision on B.C. school trustee's defamation case

·1 min read

OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will look at whether a defamation lawsuit by a school trustee in Chilliwack, B.C., should proceed against the former president of a teachers union.

Trustee Barry Neufeld made negative comments in 2017 about how a sexual orientation and gender identity program was being implemented in British Columbia schools.

Glen Hansman, then-head of the B.C. Teachers' Federation, criticized Neufeld's comments when interviewed by the media, prompting the trustee to bring a defamation claim.

Hansman successfully moved to have the claim dismissed under the province's anti-SLAPP law intended to safeguard debate of public issues.

However, the B.C. Court of Appeal reinstated the defamation proceeding, saying a judge erred in assessing whether there was likely a valid defence of fair comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 13, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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