Actions That Proceeded to Trial and Actions That Were Dismissed

AuthorDavid A. Potts; Erin Stoik
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Actions That Proceeded to Trial and Actions That
Were Dismissed
In the decisions where the courts dismissed the anti-SLAPP motion and
ordered the actions to proceed to trial, it appears they—not surprisingly—
provide a variety of reasons for their decision.
The Supreme Court of Canada and the Ontario Court of Appeal have noted
the value of deterrence in allowing the libel actions to proceed.
Platnick v Bent, 2018 ONCA 687
Bent v Platnick, 2020 SCC 23 at paras 165–67:
[165] Quite importantly, Pointes Protection also calls for consideration of the
“chilling ef‌fect on future expression” and the “broader or collateral ef‌fects on
other expressions on matters of public interest”: para. 80 (emphasis omitted);
see also Abella J.’s reasons, at para. 262, with regard to the “considerable
chilling ef‌fect” of permitting Dr. Platnick’s defamation lawsuit to proceed.
Indeed, Ms. Bent has argued that if Dr. Platnick’s defamation proceeding
is allowed to continue, it would “not only stif‌le” her own speech, but “also
potentially deter others from speaking out against unfair and biased prac-
tices in the insurance industry and the diculties encountered by seriously
injured persons claiming the payment of benef‌its from their insurance com-
panies”: A.R., vol. III, at p. 29.
[166] I agree with my colleague that this concern, if valid, would weigh in
favour of the public interest in protecting the expression. To be sure, I do not
deny that s. 137.1(4)(b) is intended to specif‌ically protect expression that may

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