On November 21, 2017, lawyers for the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA), a conservation authority formed under the Ontario Conservation Act, argued in Ontario Superior Court they are either not a government entity, rather a charity, and therefore have the rights of a corporation, or, should the court decide conservation authorities are a government entity, than they should be afforded the rights of a corporation as Canadian public interest is not served by allowing citizens to defame or question government entities.
Arguing municipalities are corporations and therefore able to sue for defamation flies in the face of Canadian civil liberties and the democratic process. We must protect citizen’s rights to express their opinion and, by extension, freedom of the press, otherwise we begin down a dark path whereby citizens are afraid to question our government and Charter Rights are meaningless. The very fabric of our democracy is at stake: it is not only our right but our duty to question our elected officials and the integrity of the system.
The public interest is not well preserved by allowing this action to continue – it is putting the interests of the government ahead of the interests of its citizens. To say that the government’s right to a good reputation supersedes the rights of citizens to speak out against the government is archaic and completely contrary to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is not only our right to question, it is our fiduciary duty and the basis of our democracy.
This is no longer simply about seeking accountability from the elected officials who sit on the NPCA Board of Directors, nor it is about their reputation, but is a direct attack on Canadians everywhere.
Is the Region of Niagara, and the municipalities who form it, aware that this is the tactic being used to justify tax payers footing the bill to sue a private citizen?
Is this an opinion which the Board of Directors of the NPCA share?
Do Canadians want their tax dollars being spent arguing citizen’s civil liberties are meaningless?
It is the authors opinion, Canadians will be shocked and outraged by the pursuit of this line of thought; it is a direct affront to those who have fought for Canada, democracy, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and those who laid the foundations of what we now proudly call home. Edition 1 Misinformation Democracy.jpg