Fight for your free speech!
$15,840 of $15,000 goal
Many bloggers have been finding themselves under legal attack by richer, more powerful political opponents who are using defamation law as a tool to shut down debate and destroy opposing websites.
We are involved in a case that will set case law on this matter that will either give us protection for our political speech, or give the court's blessing to this practice.
The case is about words that were posted on our website by a poster who was using a pseudonym and he made a negative comment about the pseudonym of another political blogger.
If we can be punished for this, then nobody is safe.
The court has appointed an expert witness to testify about the nature of online discourse and ordered the parties to pay for him. In addition, a case that was scheduled for three days has ballooned to 14 days, and it could turn out to be more!
We believe that the expert will be valuable in communicating to the court that online conversation should not be considered equal to content in other media that has been vetted by an editorial board and presented as "news".
We think we can get a good decision that will protect all of us, but we need your help to get it done!
Please help us by donating what you can, and/or by sharing this campaign through your social media.
We are able to accept donations outside of this campaign and add them to the total, so if you would prefer to use PayPal, you can contact me at the email below.
If you prefer to use an Interac e-Transfer, you can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or, if you like using the mail, our address is as follows:
2000 Unity Rd
Elginburg, ON K0H 1M0
Thank you for your help!
Mark and Connie Fournier
We are now getting ready for our appeal coming up in the fall so we have started a new fundraiser for that. Here is the link: gofundme.com/rh3adw
Once again, thank you so much for keeping us going!
Connie and Mark
Here is a link: http://www.freedominion.ca/images/baglow_polowin_decision.pdf
She made an odd decision not to award any costs, but it's over and we won! :-)
Thanks so much for your support! We couldn't have done it without you!
We would have been out of the fight years ago if not for the faithfulness of our free speech friends!
Onward we go!
I am familiar with your husband's case, Martha. And, I feel for your family. Our prayers are with you, and if there is anything we can do to help, drop me an email: connie(at)freedominion.ca. Connie
My husband, Dt Tim Ball, (Historical Climatologist), has been handed many SLAPP lawsuits to silence him. One of them is coming to trial on Feb 20th in Vancouver, Michael Mann vs Tim Ball. No freedom of speech in Canada. www.drtimball.com
September 16, 2014 TRIAL DAY 2 - Connie Fournier led off the day with her articulate and well-considered submission to the court. Connie completed her submission about 3:00 PM and the remainder of the day was spent in cross examination of Connie. She will take the stand to complete the cross examination tomorrow morning and then Mark Fournier will begin his submissions. If anyone is interested in seeing the show, the trial is being held starting at 10:00 AM in Courtroom #20 (second floor) at 161 Elgin St., Ottawa. I am sure the Fourniers and Roger Smith would welcome your support. Most of all, please don't forget to donate and help offset expenses!
September 15, 2014 TRIAL DAY 1 - Roger Smith was first up and completed his testimony today. He acquitted himself well. So far we have not hit any turbulence, which is good considering this is an appeal by the Plaintiff. . Connie Fournier is slated for her appearance tomorrow morning. Mark Fournier will follow in turn. . If anyone is interested in seeing the show, the trial is being held starting at 10:00 AM in Courtroom #20 at 130 Queen Street West Toronto. I am sure the Fourniers and Roger Smith would welcome your support. Most of all, please don't forget to donate and help offset expenses!
PREPARATIONS FOR TRIAL It is important to note that the plaintiff in this action, Baglow, lost his defamation action in Court of Queen’s Bench. That is correct. Baglow lost his action and is responsible for the defendant’s expenses. Baglow has appealed the Queen’s Bench decision and the case upcoming shortly is that appeal. The Appeal Court has ordered that it be provided with independent expert advice on internet blogs and forums to assist in its deliberations. An expert has been found and his report is now in the hands of the Court. The expert will be available for questioning during the trial. In the meantime, the Fourniers, as co-defendants with Smith have to pay one-half of the independent expert’s fees and expenses in addition to lawyer’s fees and expenses. Smith is carrying his own expenses throughout. The Fourniers also face travel and living costs for the time they must spend in Ottawa to see this trial through. The independent expert’s opinions are favourable to the Fournier & Smith position and the Queen’s Bench decision. We have to get the Fourniers and their evidence u before the Appeal Court and solidify the Queen’s Bench decision and precedent on defamation law and the internet. Please help make this happen with a donation today.
Baglow v Smith is going to be a landmark case for freedom of expression on the internet. The case citation ignores the fact that the web site owners are embroiled in this action as “publishers” of a public political forum. The site owners are being held responsible for a flame war that erupted between the main contenders, both of whom were using pseudonyms (pen names) during their somewhat heated verbal jousts. It is incredible that one of the participants in an argument should look to the courts for redress for alleged defamatory comments made during an internet argument. It is preposterous that the site owners are dragged into the court action for allowing the argument to take place. Plaintiff Baglow is effectively suing the site owners for having allowed him to argue his case on their site! This is an ultimate in personal irresponsibility. Baglow lost his initial action and has appealed the case. The appeal court has ordered that the action participants pay for expert opinion to guide the court in its deliberations. The expert has been hired and has presented a report to the court and will be present to provide evidence as required. We fully expect that a number of decisions made during the initial trial will be strengthened and broadened during the appeal. We need to be there to see that the appeal is not successful for the plaintiff. Please donate and help us to get a substantial win in court and stop the attacks on our freedom of expression.
Our freedom to post on any internet site or on any social media page medium is at risk. Our honestly held opinions can be used against us in a defamation action by people who wish to silence us if they disagree with us. Our freedoms of belief, conscience, expression, religion and thought are all at risk thanks to antiquated defamation laws written to protect the rich and powerful.
"But I would urge policy-makers into caution. Surely it is always better to err on the side of freedom of speech, tread lightly and carefully." - Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho