After taking a short break and a brutal summer cold from our wonderful six-year old son, here is some more media coverage of the lawsuit.
Hill Times reporter, Emily Haws, sat through the entire five hours of hearings. I believe her article is balanced and articulates the issues well. You can find the article on this link to my website below. I hope to have another update soon on the lawsuit and the court decision.
As you recall, this recent court hearing saw the Government request to have my lawsuit thrown out. Government used a relatively recent (2015) Ontario law meant to protect little guys from being sued by big institutions or wealthy individuals.
This is what the law was meant to stop: when the little guys expressed an opinion or made a public comment about an issue concerning the big players, big players would slap on a lawsuit to intimidate and/or overwhelm the little players.
Even though the big guys usually had no hope or goal of winning, the imbalance in power and resources would end up wearing down the little guys. Exhausted or intimidated little guys would then refrain from further public debate criticizing the big guys. It would also send a very strong message that these big players would do the same to anyone else entering the public debate.
In this case, Government lawyers defending Minister O’Regan are attempting to use this law to stop my lawsuit from going forward, portraying my lawsuit as preventing public debate on veterans’ issues.
As you all know, my entire reason for advocating began over 20 years ago to bring into the light those issues affecting injured serving and retired members of the CF as well as their families. I have always called for far more debate for all Canadians to know about what it means to serve and become disabled…and to care for them.
I have also strongly pushed for veterans, serving members, and families to have direct input into determining their destiny. I have fought against bureaucrats and politicians who place politics, bureaucratic rules, and short-sighted access to the public purse above the care and treatment of those in need.
So, the story has become much more than about a Minister trying to attack the reputation and character of anyone who dare criticize programs that are supposed to help serving and retired members, and their families. My lawsuit has also transformed into stopping big players like government from perverting a law to do essentially what the law was meant to prevent: i.e., bully the little players into silence. We will not be bullied.
If government and other big players can have defamation cases dismissed so easily, the result would be Ministers and other government officials avoiding yet another tool to hold them accountable. No Canadian, especially vulnerable and highly patriotic serving members, veterans and their families should have to fear exercising their Charter Right of freedom of expression.
Serving embers, veterans and their families have every right to be meaningfully engaged in a public debate on their future without fear that a Minister will question or attack their motives, character, and reputation.
More updates to follow….thank you everyone.