Strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) have been abused to the point where our lawmakers have pulled the Titan’s teeth. Until recently, corporations encountering protest would launch a SLAPP suit against the protesters. The protesters would then be committed to a process that is so slow that the protested project is done before it is discovered they were right.
These lawsuits have been played out by local big developers. The B.C. government is tired of seeing the courts used against the democratic process. And now denizens will not be threatened by SLAPP suits anymore. Last week, the government introduced legislation that contains stiffer criteria for the use of this type of lawsuit, which will allow residents more latitude in their entitlement to voice their opinion.
This means our community associations can assemble fearlessly once again. This means that letters to the editor can explore the idealist fringes with impunity again. This means that our local cab driver can voice his opinion to fares as a resident again.
It is what makes our community special.
Steve Dieter, Gibsons