A gentleman from Alberta forwarded me this legal proposal to limit the tyrannical powers of the so-called Human Rights Commissions. It’s about time the Conservative Party of Canada started getting serious about protecting the civil right to freedom of speech for all Canadians.
Motion to quash Complaints to Human Rights Commission
Whereas there have been complaints to the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission, which are frivolous or vexatious, or brought with malicious intent, or which have the effect, substantially,
1 a. to shape or to chill the valid exercise of Charter rights of freedom of speech or other Constitutionally protected activities, or
b. to retaliate against a person for exercising such rights, or
c. to obtain media attention for a particular point of view, and
d. which originate directly or indirectly from private individuals, or other interests, in the furtherance of their personal or corporate objectives, and which
e. which bypass otherwise existing common law and statutory civil actions and criminal prohibitions but which are unlikely to succeed, and
f. which bring significant personal and economic consequences on the subject of a complaint, and
2 Whereas it is in the public interest,
a. to encourage the unhindered participation by Alberta citizens in the free expression of opinion on any subject, and in particular, on any issue of public
significance, or other Constitutionally protected activity, and
b. to limit the use of the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission to inhibit activities contemplated in 1(a) to (f) above,
3 This legislation shall be construed broadly.
4 A complaint to the Commission, upon a motion by a defendant to quash claiming the furtherance of 2(a) and (b) above, shall not be acted upon by the Commission without the permission of the court.
5 In making its determination, the court shall consider the pleadings, and supporting and opposing affidavits stating the facts upon which the complaint and defense are based.
6 If the court determines that the complainant has established a probability that he or she will prevail on the complaint, neither that determination nor the fact of that determination shall be admissible in evidence at any later stage of the case, or in any subsequent action, and no burden of proof or degree of proof otherwise applicable shall be affected by that determination in any later stage of the case or in any subsequent proceeding.
7 In any action subject to sec. 4, a prevailing defendant shall be entitled to recover his or her solicitor’s fees and costs from the Commission.
8 If the court finds that a motion to quash is frivolous or is solely intended to cause unnecessary delay, the court shall award costs and reasonable solicitor’s fees to a complainant prevailing on the motion.
9 As used in this section, “the free expression of opinion on any subject” includes, but is not limited to:
a. any written or oral statement or writing made before a legislative, executive, or judicial proceeding, or any other official proceeding authorized by law,
b. any written or oral statement or writing made in connection with an issue under consideration or review by a legislative, executive, or judicial body, or any other official proceeding authorized by law,
c. any written or oral statement or writing made in a place open to the public or a public forum in connection with an issue of public health or any other
d. any other activity in furtherance of the exercise of a Charter right.
10 The defendant’s motion to quash may be filed within 30 days of the service of the complaint or, in the court’s discretion, at any later time upon terms it deems proper.
11 The defendant’s motion shall be scheduled for a hearing not more than 10 days after the service of the motion unless the conditions of the court require a later hearing.
12 All inquiries or investigative activity by the Commission in respect of the complaint shall be stayed upon filing a notice of motion made pursuant to this act. The stay shall remain in effect until notice of entry of the order ruling on the motion.
13 Notwithstanding section 11 above, the court, on noticed motion and for good cause shown, may order that specific investigation or disclosure be conducted.
14 Any party who files a motion to quash pursuant to this act, and any party who files in opposition to a motion to quash, shall, promptly upon so filing, transmit to the court, or by e-mail or facsimile, a copy of the endorsed, filed caption page of the motion or opposition, a copy of any related notice of appeal or petition, and a conformed copy of any order issued pursuant to this section, including any order granting or denying a motion to quash, disclosure, or fees.
15 A complaint to the commission shall disclose any and all relationships both directly or indirectly, which the complainant has with any vested interest group or organization, and any compensation which the complainant is receiving directly or indirectly in respect of the complaint.
16 When acting on a complaint, the commission shall immediately disclose to the defendant, any information respecting sec. 14 above.
17 An order granting or denying a motion to quash shall be appealable.
18 The court shall maintain a public record of proceedings under this Act.
For more information on related legislation see:
California Anti-Slapp Project at http://www.casp.net/
Need for Anti-Slapp at http://www.wilderness.org.au/pdf/Gunning_for_Change_web.pdf