It’s springtime for Ezra in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
The last time we checked in on the Rebel Media supremo and his assorted lawyers, Lügenpants was hail-Marying the Supreme Court of Canada in his latest attempt to grease his way out of the Khurrum Awan defamation debacle.
Legalist Awan sued Levant for defamation for calling him a liar, anti-Semite, etc. In 2014, he won $50,000 in general damages and $30,000 in aggravated damages, plus $70,000 in costs. He got another $15,000 for his costs in defending Ezra’s spectacularly unsuccessful appeal, rejected in December.
Ezra, upon getting his zaftig ass handed him in the Ontario Court of Appeal, immediately cranked up the waterworks, begging his followers for $10,000 to take it to the Supreme Santas: “Thanks for your support — for me, and for everyone who believes in free speech, and opposes anti-Semitism and lawfare.”
Now, in other breaking free speech news, Levant’s own defamation suit against Twitter troll Rob “Canadian Cynic” Day is headed for a May 30 hearing on whether the little pisher’s claim should be dismissed as, er, lawfare.
Readers will recall Rebel Media’s Indiegogo crowdfunder for Fort McMurray fire victims last spring, which raked in $162K (er, more or less) for the Red Cross.
This selfless philanthropy was lost on Ezra’s legions of social media haters, who accused him of using the disaster as yet another branding opportunity for Rebel and even, thanks to Indiegogo service fees and other complications, reducing the amount of aid that would otherwise have reached the needy by inserting Rebel between the Red Cross and donors instead of just encouraging them to give directly to the charity in the first place.
Day, who tweets as Canadian Cynic, was particularly effective at getting under Ezra’s pasty skin, and the noted crusader for free expression, ably represented by grudge-caddies Irvin Schein and Mark “Super” Freake (Minden Gross LLP) slapped him with a lawsuit in June for $70,000, plus $25,000 in exemplary and punitive damages.
Day duly lawyered up, initially with certified Internet legalist Peter Burnet, since switched out for the coruscating Jeff Saikaley (Caza Saikaley).
The new boy has cooked up a motion for dismissal on the newish section 137.1 of the Courts of Justice Act, “as it relates to a claim for defamation which arises from an expression by the Defendant in the public interest,” outrageously alleging that Ezra’s legal dick-stretching is an attempt to squelch legitimate public debate rather than, as he contends, the mere protection of his sterling reputation from unconscionable and malicious calumny.
“The defamation action is a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP suit) that is intended to censor, intimidate, and silence Mr. Day, as a critic of Mr. Levant, by burdening him with the cost of a legal defense,” quoth Saikaley.
Should da judge find that Ezra’s wasting the court’s time with SLAPP suit silly buggery, he could not only have the case tossed and find himself wriggling on the hook for all Day’s costs, but also (quelle horreur!) potential damages.
Seriously, is it possible to defame or libel Ezra? Shouldn’t a defamatory statement “lower” how a person is perceived by the public or something? Don’t people see Ezra as a bottom feeder already?
Day references a case where somebody defamed another via an email and after multiple witnesses and experts and mounds of docs the case was decided as being baseless using the anti-slapp defense. Will be interesting to see if 500 tweets qualifies as being in the public interest or if it’s an attempt to legitimize harassment.
Those two deserve each other.