Court finds activist claims to be malicious
The Supreme Court of British Columbia has come to a decision in the defamation trial brought by Mainstream Canada against an anti-salmon farm activist, believing Mr Don Staniford’s claims to be defamatory.
Norwegian owned Mainstream Canada, the second largest producer of farmed salmon in British Columbia, brought the trial against Mr Staniford who, in January 2011, launched a campaign under the name of the Global Alliance Against Industrial Aquaculture (GAAIA) attacking salmon farming and the reputation of the company and its employees. The trial began in January 2012 and concluded in February 2012 after the judge ruled his claims malicious but “fair comment”.
Madam Justice Adair said: "I have found that he was actuated by express malice towards Mainstream. However, I have found that he had an honest belief in the statements he made, and injuring Mainstream because of spite or animosity was not his dominant purpose in publishing the words in issue."
Laurie Jensen, communications and corporate sustainability manager, Mainstream Canada, said: "Mainstream is disappointed with the decision of the court. We believe that people who say defamatory and malicious things should be held accountable. We took this action to protect our employees and the company from further malicious attacks, and despite this decision we believe this was the right thing to do."
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