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

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Three projects on the North Coast awarded funding

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Hagensborg Water District purchases new fire truck; prepares for conversion to CCRD

Approximately $1.3 million of the district’s infrastructure grant has been transferred to the CCRD.

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Man found dead in Sicamous near vehicle linked to suspicious death in Edmonton

The man was found dead on the evening of July 11, 2020

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Most Read