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Canadian Internet Defamation Rulings
This case is filed under Limitations Defences
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2018 December 13
Ayangma v Saltwire Network Inc. (c.o.b. The Guardian), 2018 PESC 48

The Prince Edward Island Supreme Court granted summary judgment dismissing this defamation action over two newspaper articles published in print and on-line as statute-barred by the limitation period in the Defamation Act, R.S.P.E.I. 1988, Cap. D-5.   The plaintiff did not serve notice of his claim or commence his claim until after the expiry of the three-month limitation for service of the notice of intended action (s. 14) and the six month limitation period for commencement of the action (s. 15).  The Court rejected the plaintiff’s submissions that sections 14 and 15 do not apply to online newspaper articles, choosing to follow Weiss v Sawyer, 2002 CanLII 45064 (Ontario Court of Appeal) and John v Gallingall, 2016 ONSC 2245 and 2017 ONCA 579.  The Court held that to “restrict the definition of newspaper to the print version only would allow what is now often unrestrained, provocative, rude and politically incorrect commentary to run rampant simply because the comments were not made on newsprint.”   The Court also rejected submissions that each day of online publication grounds a new cause of action, following John v Gallingall, 2017 ONCA 579.  The Court found that “the onus was on the plaintiff to exercise reasonable diligence.   The evidence before the court suggests that [the plaintiff] was in a position to know about the articles.   A reasonable person would have found the articles exercising reasonable diligence.”