Free Speech in Canada exhales its last breath

weaverWeaver – WikimediaYou can read the court’s full decision here. From The Star:

Climate scientist Andrew Weaver has won a closely watched defamation lawsuit against the National Post, after a B.C. Supreme Court found the newspaper was “careless or indifferent to the accuracy of the facts” in a series of articles published in 2009 and 2010.

Justice Emily Burke awarded Weaver, a former University of Victoria professor and current B.C. Green Party MLA, $50,000 in damages.

She also ordered the Post to remove the offending articles from its websites and electronic databases, as well as publish “a complete retraction” of the defamatory statements, “in a form agreed to by” Weaver.

However, in the first court decision in Canada to address the issue of whether a newspaper can be liable for reader postings on its website, she sided with the Post, which had argued it was not the publisher of the comments, and had removed them.


Post lawyer Daniel Burnett, said it is still “too early” to say if his clients will appeal.

Burnett described Burke’s order for the Post to remove the offending articles from the Internet, which includes withdrawing consent given to third parties to re-publish the stories, and requiring these third parties to cease re-publication, as “unusual.”

The defendants, who include Post publisher Gordon Fisher, as well as columnists Terence Corcoran, Peter Foster and Kevin Libin, have 30 days to file an appeal, which would be heard at the B.C. Court of Appeal.

Reached by phone on Friday, Weaver said he is “ecstatic” about the outcome of a lawsuit he claims “was never about money.”

Comments (4)

  • Avatar

    Al Shelton


    If anybody should be made to withdraw their statements, it should be Andrew Weaver. He makes all sorts of claims about CO2 causing global warming with no proof.
    He considers computer programs using tampered and cherry picked data to be proof.
    Even with over 18 years of no warming, the AGW Alarmists continue to spread their unproven claims.

    • Avatar



      Speaking of unproven claims — how about citing SCIENTIFIC evidence for this canard: “Even with over 18 years of no warming”

  • Avatar

    Frederick Colbourne


    Well I would probably written a scientific analysis of Andrew Weaver’s work as critical as what the reporter did.

    But I would never accuse Mr Weaver of misconduct.

    A researcher who has come up with a result not supported by evidence may be unintentionally influenced by confirmation bias. The history of confirmation bias extends back at least as far as Occam.

    Reporters need some minimal knowledge of libel law to avoid libel by negligent writing style.

    I agree with the verdict although I am a climate skeptic with an M.S. in Earth Science.

  • Avatar



    At least he is a politician now leading a party
    that has as great a chance of being elected as the Arctic being ice free this year .
    As Mark Twain said ..don’t get in a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel .

    Can’t imagine the police reaction to a call where papers appeared to be shuffled and a zippo lighter gone . Seriously a zippo lighter ?

    Why would someone set up a “Wall of Hate “
    outside their office if they are so concerned about their reputation ? Even if everything
    on the “Wall of Hate ” was nonsense one click with a phone camera and it could be plastered all over the internet .
    Who posted things on the “Wall of Hate “? If it was Dr Weaver did he not willingly contribute to tarnishing his own reputation ?
    If it was someone else ,why would Dr Weaver
    condone such behaviour ?

    What exactly was posted on the “Wall of Hate” and does the University of Victoria condone Walls of Hate ?

    Isn’t it odd to post and display negative things being said about you (even if they are untrue ) and then turn around and sue for hurt feelings because you didn’t like what one party had to say ?

    I’d like to see what was actually posted on the Wall of Hate .

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