October 23rd, 2020

Supreme Court decision paves way for Lascaris libel action against B’nai Brith

By The Canadian Press on October 15, 2020.

The Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa on Thursday, May 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA – A Supreme Court of Canada decision gives lawyer and human-rights advocate Dimitri Lascaris the green light to pursue a libel action against a national Jewish group.

The top court has declined to hear an appeal from B’nai Brith Canada in the matter.

Lascaris, the recent runner-up for the federal Green party leadership, was accused by B’nai Brith of being a supporter of terrorists following a 2016 trip he made to Israel.

Lascaris initiated a libel case against the group, which brought a motion to dismiss the action using anti-SLAPP legislation – a tool to prevent people from using the courts to silence speech that is in the public interest.

B’nai Brith’s motion was successful, but the Ontario Court of Appeal overturned the decision and reinstated Lascaris’ libel action, which the Supreme Court’s move is now allowing to continue.

As usual, the Supreme Court gave no reasons for refusing to hear the case.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 15, 2020.

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