BPC Bulletin: Sikh Defamation Lawsuit Against Macdonald-Laurier Institute May Proceed to Trial

News Reports and Commentary Selected by Franklin Carter of the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee.

 

In Ontario, a judge has rejected an attempt by an author and a public policy institute to have a Sikh organization’s defamation lawsuit dismissed in court.

Sikhs for Justice filed the lawsuit because they object to the content of a report entitled Khalistan: A Project of Pakistan (2020). Terry Milewski — a former CBC journalist —wrote the report, and the Macdonald-Laurier Institute published it.

In the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, lawyers acting for Mr. Milewski and the institute tried to persuade Justice William Black to dismiss the lawsuit as a SLAPP. But Justice Black ruled on October 25, 2021, that the Sikhs’ lawsuit may proceed to trial.

“I find that the claim is sufficiently serious and meritorious to survive the s. 137.1 screening,” the judge wrote. “It is not clear that this is a SLAPP suit.”

JUSTICE BLACK’S RULING

2021 ONSC 7063 (CanLII) | Sikhs for Justice v. The Macdonald-Laurier Institute | CanLII

REPORTAGE

The Indo-Canadian Voice reports:

Sikh NGO’s defamation claim over report “Khalistan: A Project of Pakistan” to proceed to trial | Indo-Canadian Voice (voiceonline.com)

PRESS RELEASES

The Macdonald-Laurier Institute announces the publication of Terry Milewski’s Khalistan: A Project of Pakistan:

https://www.macdonaldlaurier.ca/mli-releases-khalistan-project-pakistan/

Sikhs for Justice announce their defamation lawsuit against Mr. Milewski and the institute:

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/12/23/2149880/0/en/Sikh-Group-Sues-the-MacDonald-Laurier-Institute-and-former-CBC-Journalist-Terry-Milewski-over-Khalistan-Report.html

 

The Book and Periodical Council was formed in 1975 as the Book and Periodical Development Council to provide a venue for members to discuss industry issues, address mutual concerns and undertake projects for the benefit of Canadian writing and publishing.

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