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Canadian Internet Defamation Rulings
This case is filed under Defamation Damage Awards
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2023 October 3
Anson Advisors Inc. et al v. James Stafford et al, 2023 ONSC 5537

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice awarded the plaintiffs the sum of $450,000 for general damages for defamation noting that the defendant’s defamatory statements included over 1,000 individual defamatory postings on Stockhouse and other online investor forums.  The Court held the defendant published them “repeatedly, and when they are taken down they are republished on a new website.”  “The Court of Appeal observed in Barrick Gold [Corp. v Lopehandia, 2004 CarswellOnt 2258 (C.A.)] the ‘dogged pursuit of a libelous campaign even after the commencement of the proceedings’ as a seriously aggravating factor: Barrick Gold at para. 51.”  “In my view, this conduct is exacerbated by the use, as here, of ‘burner’ email accounts, VPNs, and the use of websites and servers in foreign jurisdictions such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, all done with an effort to conceal the identity of those publishing the statements and make them difficult to track and account for their actions.”  The Court also granted a permanent injunction, noting the defendant’s failure to respond to this lawsuit, his efforts to evade service of documents, and the fact that the defamatory statements “continue to be published without contrition or apology.”