Successful anti-SLAPP motion protecting advocacy of LGBTQ2S+ inclusion measures in Catholic schools
Torys acted as counsel to a Trustee of the Toronto Catholic District School Board with a team that included Jeremy Opolsky, Ryan Lax and Adrienne Oake (disputes and investigations).
On May 26, 2022, the Ontario Superior Court released a decision dismissing in full a defamation claim brought by former Cabinet Minister Joe Volpe and Corriere Canadese, an Italian-language daily newspaper, in connection with statements made by Trustees of the Toronto Catholic District School Board defending LGBTQ2S+ inclusion measures in Catholic schools.
Mr. Volpe and Corriere Canadese published a series of articles attacking and stigmatizing LGBTQ2S+ inclusion in Catholic schools, culminating in an article targeting a particular mental health resource for LGBTQ2S+ students. The Court held the article “trafficked in homophobic tropes.”
In response, Toronto City Council debated a motion to require publications in which the City advertised to comply with the City of Toronto's Human Rights and Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy. The Trustee was sued for defamation for statements made in support of that motion.
The suit was dismissed in its entirety.
The full decision can be found on CanLII’s website.