Forest Conservation Case Tests B.C.’s Law To Protect Free Speech

"Lawyers say Todsen Design and Construction’s libel case against two individuals and the Qualicum Beach Preservation Society — each fighting to protect a small coastal Douglas fir forest from development — will test a fairly new provincial law designed to halt strategic lawsuits against public participation"

"Ezra Morse didn’t expect to become the centre of a potentially precedent-setting libel case.

“I wasn’t an environmentalist a year and a half ago. I believed it was an important issue, but I didn’t do anything,” he said. “I’d never written a letter to any political party or politician.”

But last year the father and software engineer took up environmental advocacy and founded the Qualicum Beach Preservation Society in opposition to a development — now abandoned — that was proposed for a sensitive wetland in a corner of the seaside town, which looks out onto Straight of Georgia off the east coast of Vancouver Island. "

Stephanie Wood reports for The Narwhal July 13, 2021.

Source: The Narwhal, 07/15/2021