I see that my blog counter has gone up significantly over the last few days so I thought I'd update my blog on various news pieces - here and there:
From the Ottawa Citizen:
The Canadian media secured a major victory Tuesday when the Supreme Court of Canada put its seal of approval on a new defence to protect journalists from lawsuits.
The new libel defence, called "responsible communication," can shield media outlets, even if they had some of the facts wrong, provided they can show they did everything they could to get the story right.
In a 9-0 ruling, the court concluded that current defamation laws lean too heavily toward protecting reputations, at the expense of freedom of expression guarantees in the Charter of Rights.
"Freewheeling debate on matters of public interest is to be encouraged and the vital role of the communications media in providing a vehicle for such debate is explicitly recognized," wrote Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin.
The ruling is a win for the Ottawa Citizen and the Toronto Star newspapers. The court, in two separate rulings, ordered new trials so the publications could use the fresh defence to protect themselves in lawsuits brought against the papers.
Justice McLachlin said the new defence brings Canada in line with several other countries that have strengthened their defamation laws so that stories of public interest need not be perfect.
The court set out guidelines for judges and juries to consider when deciding whether stories are in the public interest and whether the publications did everything they could to get them right.
The above also pertains to Internet Bloggers, like myself
The Williams Lake Tribune this week is running stories that they covered in 2009. You can read more at http://www.wltribune.com, or pick a copy of the Williams Lake Tribune tomorrow
Premier Campbell still insists, in multiple year end interviews, that he'll lead the BC Liberal Party into the 2013 Provincial General Election. We'll have to wait and see on that one - first, he has to pass a Leadership Review at the BC Liberal Party's 2010 Biannual ConventionAlso - speculation is running rampant that Prime Minister Harper will prorogue or recess Parliament so he can get control of Senate Committees after 5 Liberal Senators retire on January 1st, 2010. It is a smart move on his part, given Liberal Senators' desire to amend Conservative Government Bills as of late including Bills C-15 (Drug Sentencing Bill) and C-52 (Consumer Protection Act)
A reminder that Local Government Meetings will resume early in the New Year, starting with Quesnel City Council meeting in a Delegation Session on Monday, January 4th, 2009 at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers.
Williams Lake Council will meet for the first time in 2010 on Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 at 7:30pm in Williams Lake Council Chambers
The CRD Board of Directors' is scheduled to meet for the first time in 2010 on Friday, January 22nd, 2010 in the CRD Boardroom
Don't forget - if you are planning to go out on New Years' Eve, please don't drink and drive. Take a taxi, bring along a designated driver or take advantage of the Red Nose Service. I'm sure that the RCMP will be out in full force including Road Blocks