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Dixon v. Powell River (City)

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During a debate over a controversial development in Powell River, B.C. three citizens publicly criticized the City’s decision making process. The City sent letters to the citizens threatening that the City would sue and demanding apologies and retractions in return for the possible reduction of their damages in libel lawsuits. The BCCLA joined Mr. Dixon, a BCCLA board member and Powell River resident, in seeking a declaration that the importance of political expression means that the City of Powell River could not take action against members of the public for defaming its governing reputation. The case was a clean win for civil liberties, breaking new ground in finding that Charter values supersede the old law, which gave municipalities and other governments the same rights as individual persons to sue for defamation.