Failed “Intimidation Lawsuit” Results In $132,268 Cost Award

December 11th, 2023, Justice Chalmers of the Ontario Superior Court threw out a $1.1 million defamation lawsuit brought against the anti-lockdown group, CSASPP. On February 3rd, he ordered $132,268.17 in costs to be paid within 30 days.

The lawsuit was filed June 28th, 2022 by “Mr. Bad Beyond Argument”, also known as the “King of the Struck Lawsuit”. For more on the CSASPP dismissal, background information is available here.

Justice Chalmers did more than just rule that this was done to stifle debate. He also said that this suit was brought to derail a Law Society complaint filed by Ms. Donna Toews, and to intimidate others from making complaints in the future. In short, this was a deliberate effort to sabotage the internal process of the LSO itself.

From the ruling of Justice Chalmers, dismissing the case

[89] With respect to the claim against Ms. Toews, I am of the view that “what is really going on” is an attempt to intimidate members of the public who may be considering making a complaint about the Plaintiff to the LSO. The effect of the action against Ms. Toews would be to obstruct the regulatory process. The harm this would cause in the LSO’s ability to receive and process complaints about lawyers is, in my view significant.

[98] For the reasons set out above, I find that the Plaintiff brought this action for the improper purpose of stifling debate with respect to his handling of a proposed class action that is being funded by public donations. I also note that the Claim was brought one day before the Plaintiff submitted a response to the LSO with respect to Ms. Toews complaint. I find that the Claim was brought for the improper purpose of limiting the LSO investigation, and to intimidate others from making any LSO complaints about him.

Suing someone to avoid a Law Society Complaint is grounds for disbarment. David Grant Isaac had his licence revoked in November 2022 over exactly this misconduct. But it’s not the only case here.

Multiple lawsuits filed in order to bury Toews complaint

It’s an oversimplification to just say that this is a defamation case. Ms. Toews apparently had the potential to do some real damage by contacting the LSO. It lead to 3 suits, so far. Who knows if more will be brought later?

Galati v. CSASPP et al.
Filed: June 28th, 2022
Case No.: CV-22-00683322-0000

Galati v. Law Society of Ontario et al.
Filed: July 12th, 2022
Case No.: CV-22-00683933-0000

Galati v. Law Society of Ontario et al.
Filed: July 31st, 2023
Case No.: CV-23-00703697-0000

Not only was Ms. Toews sued in order to subvert her LSO complaint, but the Law Society itself was sued itself, twice. And for what?

Taking her story at face value, she donated $1,000 to each of Action4Canada, and to Vaccine Choice Canada. Presumably, she wanted her money back, since neither was advancing an anti-lockdown case in any meaningful way. The value of her donations amounted to a mere $2,000. And it resulted in 3 overlapping lawsuits.

3 lawsuits were filed in order to bury the Toews complaint, over $2,000. Other than in Small Claims, who files a case over that amount? Who files 3 Claims over the same issue? One really has to wonder what people were afraid the LSO would have found during their investigation. What was really going on?

From Justice Chalmers regarding the costs

[7] The Defendants argue that there is no reason to depart from the presumption that the successful party is entitled to their full indemnity costs. The Defendants claim costs in the amount of $159,920.97 inclusive of counsel fee, disbursements, and H.S.T. They argue that the proceeding was complex. The evidence before the court consisted of more than 3,000 pages. The Plaintiff sued four Defendants and cross-examined the deponents of all affidavits tendered on the motion. The transcripts were over 500 pages. The Plaintiff also filed the affidavits of Lee Turner and Alicia Johnson that were subject to a preliminary objection by the Defendants. I found that the affidavits were irrelevant and inadmissible.

[14] I am not satisfied that the Plaintiff’s offer provides a basis for not awarding costs on a full indemnity basis. The offer requires the Defendants to retract and apologize for their comments made about the Plaintiff. In my reasons, I found that the Defendants’ speech was an expression in the public interest. I also found that the defences of justification and fair comment applied. Acceptance of the offer would have satisfied the Plaintiff’s objective in bringing this action, namely, to silence the Defendants from making an expression in the public interest. It is my view that the Defendants were justified in not accepting the Plaintiff’s offer.

[15] The Defendants were required to incur the costs of the motion to strike the action that I found was brought for an improper purpose. I am of the view that there is no reason to depart from the presumption that the moving party is entitled to its costs on the motion and the proceeding on a full indemnity basis.

[16] Although s. 137.1(7) provides that the presumption is that the successful moving party’s costs will be awarded on a full indemnity basis, the court must consider the fairness and reasonableness of the award having regard to the r. 57.01 factors.

[17] Here, the Plaintiff brought an action in which he seeks damages totalling $1,000,000. The s. 137.1 motion was complex and involved a significant number of documents. There had been cross examinations of 7 witnesses. There were over 3000 pages of documents on the motion, including 500 pages of transcripts. The issues involved expressions in the public interest and in particular comments with respect to the counsel retained to conduct public interest litigation. I am satisfied that the issues were of importance.

The case was a typical SLAPP, or strategic lawsuit against public participation. It was lawfare from the Plaintiff, using the legal system as a weapon in order to silence his critics. The case was unnecessary, and involved a huge amount of time and expense to deal with it.

Also, Justice Chalmers was not impressed by the “Settlement Offer”. He stated that it would have achieved the Plaintiff’s goal of forcibly silencing his critics.

Then there is this little gem:

[20] I find that the time spent by the Defendants’ lawyers was excessive. The total hours for the preparation of the motion record, including the review of the file and drafting affidavits was 45.8 hours for Mr. Gleason and 92.4 hours for Ms. Rauff. For the preparation of the reply record and preparing for and attending on the cross-examinations, and drafting the factum was 83 hours for Mr. Gleason and 121.3 for Ms. Rauff. From a review of the Costs Outline, it appears that there was an overlap of the work performed by Ms. Rauff and Mr. Gleason. Both docketed for each item of work. There does not appear to have been an efficient division of responsibility.

[22] It is my view that an appropriate counsel fee for the motions is $112,500. This is a reduction of approximately 25% of the Defendants’ lawyer’s actual counsel fee. With H.S.T. in the amount of $14,625 and disbursements of $5,143.17, the total costs are $132,268.17.

Gleason and Rauff may have been overbilling, but at least they won their case on the merits. The same cannot be said for the Nadon reference case. Gonzo logic!

As reported in the National Post, an Appeal of the CSASPP dismissal is already in the works. Appealing a SLAPP decision (unsuccessfully) is presumably on a full indemnity (100% of costs) basis. Can we expect another $50,000+ ruling to come as a result of this?

Who really funded these intimidation suits?

Now, we get to the interesting questions: who really financed the lawsuit against CSASPP? Who funded both of the suits against the Law Society?

Consider the following timeline:

October 11th, 2023: Justice Dow strikes the Claim against the Law Society (the first one), on the grounds that it doesn’t disclose a Cause of Action. He does permit a rewrite, which doesn’t appear to have happened. He also ordered $14,600 in costs to be paid to the LSO for legal costs.

December 11th, 2023: Justice Chalmers dismisses the Toews/CSASPP suit under Ontario’s anti-SLAPP laws, ruling that it was brought for improper purposes, and as an act of intimidation.

January 18th, 2024: CSASPP publishes the decision, and a lengthy commentary piece.

February 3rd, 2024: Justice Chalmers issues his ruling ordering that $132,000 be paid as a result of this failed lawsuit. While a reduction from the $160,000 sought, this is still a large sum of money.

February 4th, 2024: Action4Canada updates its website to announce that they will be doing an “expose” on the so-called agitators within the Freedom Movement.

February 7th, 2024: Kuntz and Gaw have their stream on Zoom, where they claim to be exposing a coordinated “military style” campaign to destroy their lawyer. There are complaints from observers on Zoom that comments are being deleted. The stream itself is a hit piece designed to deflect from the true nature of the criticism.

The Action4Canada, Vaccine Choice, Adelberg (Federal), and Take Action Canada cases were critiqued in detail. At no point is it stated or implied that it’s not worthwhile fighting martial law measures. Instead, the quality of the documents themselves is looked at. They clearly fail to follow the basics of procedure.

Just because someone is skeptical of long delays, and poorly drafted pleadings, it doesn’t mean they’re anti-freedom. It means they’re anti-grifter. There is a difference.

Are Action4Canada and Vaccine Choice Canada funding intimidation lawsuits, such as the one with CSASPP? Although they explicitly deny it, they do lament the drop in donations since 2021.

Interestingly, it’s stated that “he had to act in order to avoid getting disbarred”. Presumably, this refers to the LSO complaint from Ms. Toews. Suing her either for retaliation, or to subvert an investigation, is grounds for revoking a law licence. So, what exactly was so bad? Was there a fear that the LSO would force an audit of the books?

Who’s paying for the $14,600 over the struck suit against the LSO?
Who’s paying for the $132,268 over the dismissed SLAPP against CSASPP?
Who’s paying for the Appeal lodged against CSASPP and the Chalmers rulings?
Who’s paying for when the the second LSO suit is struck?
Who’s paying for the intimidation suit filed against Canuck Law?

Donors to Action4Canada and Vaccine Choice — if there are any left — really need to be asking these questions. Since neither organization is diligently pursuing a case against the Government, are funds being used to silence critics?

The anti-lockdown cases are considered “public interest litigation”. As the name implies, it’s society as a whole, not just private parties, who are impacted. Why the reluctance to be transparent?

A closing thought: if A4C/VCC money was used to sabotage the Toews LSO complaint and/or to silence legitimate inquiry, does it make them accomplices? Are donors now (unknowingly) complicit in illegal activity? Just something to think about.

(1) CSASPP RG Statement Of Claim
(2) CSASPP RG Moving Party Motion Record Volume 1
(3) CSASPP RG Moving Party Motion Record Volume 2
(4) CSASPP RG Moving Party Motion Record Volume 3
(5) CSASPP RG Responding Motion Record Volume 1
(6) CSASPP RG Responding Motion Record Volume 2
(7) CSASPP RG Responding Motion Record Volume 3
(8) CSASPP RG Moving Party Supplemental Motion Record
(9) CSASPP RG Moving Party Record Motion To Strike
(10) CSASPP RG Plaintiffs Responding Record Motion To Strike
(11) CSASPP RG Transcript Brief
(12) CSASPP RG Moving Party Factum (Arguments)
(13) CSASPP RG Responding Plaintiff Factum
(14) CSASPP RG Moving Parties Reply Factum
(15) CSASPP RG Reasons For Judgement
(16) CanLII Posting Of Decision

(1) Law Society Of Ontario Statement Of Claim
(2) Law Society Of Ontario Intent To Defend
(3) Law Society Of Ontario Amended Statement Of Claim
(4) Law Society Of Ontario Requisition For Amended Claim
(5) Law Society Of Ontario Motion Record, To Strike
(6) Law Society Of Ontario Moving Party Factum To Strike
(7) Law Society Of Ontario Plaintiff Responding Factum

(1) Law Society Of Ontario Second Statement Of Claim

2 Replies to “Failed “Intimidation Lawsuit” Results In $132,268 Cost Award”

  1. In my neck of the woods, the saying is ‘Galati is indeed taking a sh_t-kicking’. He was a fool to sue Canuck Law … Canuck Law articles never stated anything but what was going on in a summary manner, so that every one could arrive at their own conclusions.

  2. Thanks for all you do. It looks like our legal system, and our political system, needs a complete overhaul.

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