Women accused of defaming ex-UBC prof Steven Galloway ordered to share emails

Believed to be first time B.C. court asked to rule on a certain law intended to protect free speech

People walk past large letters spelling out UBC at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver on Nov. 22, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has awarded author Steven Galloway access to emails between a woman who accused of him of sexual assault and staff at UBC in a test of a provincial law intended to protect freedom of expression.

Galloway, who is the former chair of the university’s creative writing department, filed lawsuits against the woman and two dozen others last October, alleging he was defamed by false allegations of sexual and physical assaults made by the woman and repeated by others.

The woman and two others applied to have the lawsuit thrown out under the province’s Protection of Public Participation Act that came into effect in March and aims to protect critics on matters of public interest from lawsuits intended to silence or punish them.

Although the defamation action is essentially stayed until the dismissal application is dealt with by the court, Galloway had requested access to further documentation that he argued he needed to defend his case against dismissal.

In her ruling released Friday, Justice Catherine Murray says she believes it’s the first time a court in British Columbia has been asked to rule on whether a plaintiff like Galloway is entitled to request information and documentation on the cross-examination allowed under the new act and if so, what disclosure he’s entitled to.

RELATED: UBC must pay fired author Steven Galloway $167,000 for privacy violation

She ordered the release of emails and documentation the woman provided the university to back up her allegation, as well as screenshots of tweets and Facebook posts made by the other two women who joined the dismissal application and other materials.

“I am advised that this is a matter of first impression; no court in British Columbia has yet considered this question,” Murray says in the ruling.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Police looking for missing teen last seen at Surrey Central bus loop

Surrey RCMP say Daniel Froehlich has been missing since 10 p.m. on Sept. 10

Pedestrian struck and killed by vehicle in Surrey

Investigators were asking anyone who witnessed the incident to come forward

PHOTOS: Terry Fox Run held in South Surrey

Annual event took place at South Surrey Athletic Park

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer makes stop in South Surrey

Scheer announces promise of new tax cut

5,000 ducks race at Surrey beach

‘Ducktona’ event raises funds for Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 5

Two dead, two in critical condition in highway crash near Campbell River

Highway 19 reopened Sunday night after it was closed in both directions

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Most Read