On June 12, Quebec Justice Minister Jacques Dupuis introduced a new anti-SLAPP bill into the National Assembly that would prohibit Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.
Bill 99 came about to protect environmental and public interest groups against silencing lawsuits from the corporations or governing boards they are often fighting. At times, such suits can threaten the very existence of these organizations.
The bill has been tabled to the fall sitting of the National Assembly. If it passes, it will amend Quebec’s Code of Civil Procedure and allow judges to throw these types of cases out of court.
The bill is designed to prevent abusive use of the courts to silence environmental and public interest groups via costly legal bills. It is yet to be seen as to how quickly a judge could act on the matter as there are currently several SLAPP suits still going through the legal system.