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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Drugs, stolen bike and cheques seized during RCMP search in Castlegar

Two men were taken into police custody during the search warrant

Morning start: This is the fastest growing city in the Kootenays

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Monday, May 25

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Lock at Keenleyside Dam near Castlegar to open on May 23

The navigational lock will be open every day of the week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Commercial rent relief applications open as feds encourage landlords to apply

Program would see government cover 50 per cent of the rent

COVID-19: B.C. park reservations surge as campgrounds reopen

Keep trying, many sites not reservable, George Heyman says

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

Most Read