DEFAMATION - What constitutes defamatory words - Defences - Fair comment – Qualified privilege

Law360 Canada (February 1, 2023, 6:18 AM EST) -- Anti-SLAPP motion by Zebian to have the action dismissed. It had been five years since the emergence of the MeToo movement. Zebian, now a poet, added her voice to the MeToo chorus. The difficulty was that her MeToo moment was considerably nuanced. Deeb commenced an action for defamation against Zebian. Zebian argued that her expressions related to a matter of public interest and should not be stifled by this lawsuit. Zebian applied for a long-term teaching position at the school where Deeb was the principal. She demanded an explanation from Deeb, who asked her to leave his office, or he would call the police. Zebian accepted a contract at a different school. Deeb stated that Zebian attended his office, advising that she wanted to make peace. She demanded a further in-person meeting and threatened to report him to the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) if he refused. The next day, Zebian filed a harassment complaint against Deeb with the TVDSB. The complaint alleged that she was the victim of harassment and that she felt unsafe working at the TVDSB. TVDSB instructed both parties to have no further contact with each other....
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