Foulidis v. Baker, 2014 ONCA 529

JudgeMacPherson, Watt and Benotto, JJ.A.
CourtCourt of Appeal (Ontario)
Case DateMay 20, 2014
JurisdictionOntario
Citations2014 ONCA 529;(2014), 323 O.A.C. 258 (CA)

Foulidis v. Baker (2014), 323 O.A.C. 258 (CA)

MLB headnote and full text

Temp. Cite: [2014] O.A.C. TBEd. JL.020

George Foulidis (plaintiff/appellant) v. Bruce Baker (defendant/respondent)

(C56528; 2014 ONCA 529)

Indexed As: Foulidis v. Baker

Ontario Court of Appeal

MacPherson, Watt and Benotto, JJ.A.

July 8, 2014.

Summary:

An election candidate wrote a letter to city council seeking an investigation into the awarding of an untendered city contract to a corporation respecting the operation of a restaurant on city property. The plaintiff, who was not an officer or director of the corporation but was involved in the operation of the restaurant, sued the candidate alleging that he was defamed by the letter.

The Ontario Superior Court, in a decision reported [2012] O.T.C. Uned. 7295; 2012 ONSC 7295, held that the letter was defamatory of the plaintiff, but that the defence of qualified privilege applied. The plaintiff appealed, arguing that the trial judge erred in failing to find that the defence of qualified privilege was lost because the dominant purpose for making the statements contained in the letter was malice, or that the statements were not commensurate with the occasion that gave rise to qualified privilege.

The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal.

Libel and Slander - Topic 2981

Defences - Qualified privilege - General - The Ontario Court of Appeal reviewed the governing principles on the issue of qualified privilege - See paragraphs 39 to 43 - The court also discussed the principles governing when the defence of qualified privilege could be defeated if the dominant motive for the statement was malice - See paragraphs 53 to 59.

Libel and Slander - Topic 2983

Defences - Qualified privilege - When available - An election candidate wrote a letter to city council seeking an investigation into the awarding of an untendered city contract for a restaurant on city property to a particular corporation - The plaintiff, who was involved in the operation of the restaurant, sued the candidate alleging that he was defamed by the letter - The trial judge held that the letter was defamatory, but the defence of qualified privilege applied - The plaintiff appealed - The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal - The trial judge's finding that the letter was reasonably appropriate in the context of the circumstances of the occasion when the information was given was pre-eminently a finding of fact that was subject to deference - The timing and manner of the communication were reasonably appropriate - Further, the trial judge made no palpable and overriding error in concluding that there was no malice - See paragraphs 44 to 46.

Libel and Slander - Topic 4061

Malice - As a bar to defence of fair comment or qualified privilege - General - [See Libel and Slander - Topic 2981 and Libel and Slander - Topic 2983 ].

Cases Noticed:

Hill v. Church of Scientology of Toronto and Manning, [1995] 2 S.C.R. 1130; 184 N.R. 1; 84 O.A.C. 1, refd to. [para. 40].

RTC Engineering Consultants Ltd. et al. v. Ontario et al. (2002), 156 O.A.C. 96; 58 O.R.(3d) 726 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 40].

Botiuk v. Bardyn et al., [1995] 3 S.C.R. 3; 186 N.R. 1; 85 O.A.C. 81, refd to. [para. 40].

Douglas v. Tucker, [1952] 1 S.C.R. 275, refd to. [para. 43].

Horrocks v. Lowe, [1974] 1 All E.R. 662; [1975] A.C. 135 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 55].

Chohan v. Casdky et al. (2009), 464 A.R. 57; 467 W.A.C. 57; 2009 ABCA 334, leave to appeal refused (2010), 407 N.R. 390 (S.C.C.), refd to. [para. 59].

Cimolai v. Hall et al. (2007), 240 B.C.A.C. 53; 398 W.A.C. 53; 44 C.P.C.(6th) 389; 2007 BCCA 225, refd to. [para. 59].

Authors and Works Noticed:

Brown, Raymond E., The Law of Defamation in Canada (2nd Ed.) (Looseleaf), p. 16-2 [para. 58].

Counsel:

Paul J. Pape and Andrea M. Bolieiro, for the appellant;

Gavin Tighe and Stephen Thiele, for the respondent.

This appeal was heard on May 20, 2014, before MacPherson, Watt and Benotto, JJ.A., of the Ontario Court of Appeal. The following decision was delivered for the court by Watt, J.A., on July 8, 2014.

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10 practice notes
  • Bent v. Platnick, 2020 SCC 23
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • September 10, 2020
    ...Limited v. Robertson, [2003] EWHC 293; Tsatsi v. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, 2018 SKCA 53; Foulidis v. Baker, 2014 ONCA 529, 323 O.A.C. 258; Cherneskey v. Armadale Publishers Ltd., [1979] 1 S.C.R. 1067; Jerome v. Anderson, [1964] S.C.R. 291; Hodgson v. Canadian Newsp......
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Guide to the Law and Practice of Anti-SLAPP Proceedings Part IX. Procedural Issues in Anti-SLAPP Motions
    • June 13, 2022
    ...686 ............106, 122, 125, 134, 160, 288, 291, 311–12, 314, 315, 322, 334, 348, 354–55, 402, 403, 458–59, 477, 480 Foulidis v Baker, 2014 ONCA 529 ........................................................................................... 219 Fourteen Estates Limited et al v Mesgarlou, ......
  • Malice
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Guide to the Law and Practice of Anti-SLAPP Proceedings Part V. The Merits Hurdle
    • June 13, 2022
    ...at 299). See also: • AA v BB , 2021 ONCA 147 • Nazerali v Mitchell , 2018 BCCA 104 • Magno v Balita , 2018 ONSC 3230 • Foulidis v Baker , 2014 ONCA 529 • Whitehead v Sarachman , 2012 ONSC 6641 • WIC Radio Ltd v Simpson , [2008] 2 SCR 420 • Cusson v Quan , 2007 ONCA 771 • Botiuk v Toronto Fr......
  • Papatheodosiou v. Varone,
    • Canada
    • Superior Court of Justice of Ontario (Canada)
    • July 12, 2022
    ...The Court of Appeal for Ontario summarized the basic principles surrounding the defence of qualified privilege in Foulidis v. Baker, 2014 ONCA 529, 323 O.A.C. 258: [40]      First, qualified privilege attaches to the occasion on which a communication was made, not t......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • Bent v. Platnick, 2020 SCC 23
    • Canada
    • Supreme Court (Canada)
    • September 10, 2020
    ...Limited v. Robertson, [2003] EWHC 293; Tsatsi v. College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan, 2018 SKCA 53; Foulidis v. Baker, 2014 ONCA 529, 323 O.A.C. 258; Cherneskey v. Armadale Publishers Ltd., [1979] 1 S.C.R. 1067; Jerome v. Anderson, [1964] S.C.R. 291; Hodgson v. Canadian Newsp......
  • Papatheodosiou v. Varone,
    • Canada
    • Superior Court of Justice of Ontario (Canada)
    • July 12, 2022
    ...The Court of Appeal for Ontario summarized the basic principles surrounding the defence of qualified privilege in Foulidis v. Baker, 2014 ONCA 529, 323 O.A.C. 258: [40]      First, qualified privilege attaches to the occasion on which a communication was made, not t......
  • Marcellin v LPS et al,
    • Canada
    • Superior Court of Justice of Ontario (Canada)
    • October 17, 2022
    ...  [143]    Additionally, the defence of qualified privilege is defeated by malice.  In Foulidis v. Baker, 2014 ONCA 529, Watt J.A. for the court described malice in the context of qualified privilege, at paras. 49 and 54-57, as [49]      &#x......
  • Foulidis v. Ford, 2014 ONCA 530
    • Canada
    • Ontario Court of Appeal (Ontario)
    • May 20, 2014
    ..., refd to. [para. 17]. Knupffer v. London Express Newspaper Ltd., [1944] A.C. 116 (H.L.), refd to. [para. 17]. Foulidis v. Baker (2014), 323 O.A.C. 258; 2014 ONCA 529 , refd to. [para. 20, footnote Botiuk v. Bardyn et al., [1995] 3 S.C.R. 3 ; 186 N.R. 1 ; 85 O.A.C. 81 , refd to. [para......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
3 firm's commentaries
  • Top 5 Civil Appeals From The Court Of Appeal (September 2014)
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • September 24, 2014
    ...Langstaff v. Marson, 2014 ONCA 510 (MacPherson, Watt and Benotto JJ.A.), July 2, 2014 2. Foulidis v. Baker, 2014 ONCA 529 (MacPherson, Watt and Benotto JJ.A.), July 8, 2014 Foulidis v. Ford, 2014 ONCA 530 (MacPherson, Watt and Benotto JJ.A.), July 8, 2014 3. McAteer v. Canada (Attorney ......
  • Ontario’s Proposed Anti-SLAPP Legislation: What Can We Expect?
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • January 2, 2015
    ...of Ontario (2010). SBC 2001, c 19. 2010 Report, supra at 1. RSO 1990, c L 12. Grant v Torstar, 2009 SCC 61 (CanLII); Foulidis v Baker, 2014 ONCA 529 2010 Report, supra note 1 at 2-3. 2010 Report, supra note 1 at 5. Libel and Slander Act, RSO 1990, c L 12, ss 12 and 18; Rules of Civil Proced......
  • Court Of Appeal Summaries (July 7 To July 11, 2014)
    • Canada
    • Mondaq Canada
    • July 21, 2014
    ...time and could not make any distribution until all claims, including the appellant's, were dealt with by the court. Foulidis v Baker, 2014 ONCA 529 [MacPherson, Watt and Benotto JJ.A.] Counsel: P. J. Pape and A. M. Bolieiro, for the appellant G. Tighe and S. Thiele, for the Keywords: City C......
2 books & journal articles
  • Table of Cases
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Guide to the Law and Practice of Anti-SLAPP Proceedings Part IX. Procedural Issues in Anti-SLAPP Motions
    • June 13, 2022
    ...686 ............106, 122, 125, 134, 160, 288, 291, 311–12, 314, 315, 322, 334, 348, 354–55, 402, 403, 458–59, 477, 480 Foulidis v Baker, 2014 ONCA 529 ........................................................................................... 219 Fourteen Estates Limited et al v Mesgarlou, ......
  • Malice
    • Canada
    • Irwin Books Guide to the Law and Practice of Anti-SLAPP Proceedings Part V. The Merits Hurdle
    • June 13, 2022
    ...at 299). See also: • AA v BB , 2021 ONCA 147 • Nazerali v Mitchell , 2018 BCCA 104 • Magno v Balita , 2018 ONSC 3230 • Foulidis v Baker , 2014 ONCA 529 • Whitehead v Sarachman , 2012 ONSC 6641 • WIC Radio Ltd v Simpson , [2008] 2 SCR 420 • Cusson v Quan , 2007 ONCA 771 • Botiuk v Toronto Fr......

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