It’s an appropriate acronym.  SLAPP stands for “strategic litigation against public participation”, and it is a lawsuit started against one or more people or groups who speak out or take a position on an issue of public interest.

The purpose of a SLAPP is to silence critics by redirecting their energy and finances into defending a lawsuit and away from their original public criticism.

SLAPP suits have been used against citizens and groups in Ontario, especially when people challenge development proposals.

Fortunately, the Ontario Attorney General established an Anti-SLAPP Advisory Panel which released its report and recommendations in 2010.

The provincial government has since introduced an Ant-SLAPP bill, “The Protection of Public Participation Actin June 2013.

We hope this issue will soon be in the past.