Defamation Law for Unions

October 24, 2024 at
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM PST
Maritime Labour Centre 111 Victoria Drive Vancouver, BC V5L 4C4

IN PERSON at the Maritime Labour Centre
9.30am to 4.00pm

Unions and union officers have long been the subject of defamation lawsuits, whether for media statements, leaflets,   newspaper pieces, posted workplace notices, and even picket signs. However, two things have changed in recent years. With the increased use of social media for organizing campaigns, regular communications with members, bargaining, and in strikes/lockouts, unions are increasingly dealing with threats of lawsuits, demands for apologies, and actual lawsuits. This change is made the more serious by the increase in damage awards, particularly for corporate plaintiffs.

This one day course is intended to equip those attending with the ability to make their own judgement as to whether or not they or their union risk a lawsuit for what they are publishing. It will deal with the definition of defamation, as well as the various defences to an action for defamation. It will concentrate on the defences of justification, fair comment, qualified privilege, and responsible communication. It will also deal with the new legislation designed to protect individuals and organizations from lawsuits that are primarily intended to silence criticisms – the SLAPP law – strategic lawsuits against public participation.

Facilitator: Leo McGrady, Klosie Glavin Gordon
Leo McGrady specializes in labour law, human rights, class actions, intellectual property, and libel law, all on   behalf of unions and employees. He has argued cases at all levels of court in British Columbia and the Territories’, and served as counsel on a number of leading labour and charter cases in the Supreme Court of Canada.