Protection of Public Participation Act
I am pleased to inform you that our government is taking steps to protect the freedom of people who speak out on matters of public interest.
The Protection of Public Participation Act, re-introduced Dec. 1st, would enshrine the ability to freely participate in public discussion about matters of public interest, without fear of retribution, that is fundamental to a fair and democratic society.
In our community, I have heard about the need to preserve and protect public participation for many years and committed to bringing this issue forward, leading to the introduction of my Private Member’s Bill, the Protection of Public Participation Act, in October 2012. I am very pleased that our government adopted my bill in 2013 and re-introduced it this week.
If passed, it would allow courts to quickly identify and deal with strategic lawsuits and would also prevent the unwarranted silencing of critics, citizens and community groups advocating on matters of public interest.
Additionally, it would minimize the time and resources wasted by plaintiffs, defendants and the courts on meritless claims aimed to keep them quiet or deter others from speaking out.
It is imperative that we protect dialogue and debate, while also protecting individuals and citizen groups who are targeted by frivolous lawsuits simply for standing up for something important to their community.
For a prosperous community, it is important that we strike the necessary balance between protecting public debate and allowing legitimate claims to proceed in a timely manner.
I look forward to continuing to work with you on this important issue. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office.
Yasir Naqvi, MPP