1994 Legislative Session: 3rd Session, 35th Parliament

The following electronic version is for informational purposes only.
The printed version remains the official version.


BILL M 207 -- 1994


HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as follows:

1 The Libel and Slander Act, R.S.B.C. 1979, c. 234, is amended by adding the following section:

Fair Comment

6.1 (1) Where the defendant published alleged defamatory matter that is an opinion expressed by another person, a defence of fair comment shall not fail for the reason only that the defendant did not hold the opinion if

(a) the defendant did not know that the person expressing the opinion did not hold the opinion

(b) a person could honestly hold the opinion, and

(c) the person expressing the opinion was correctly identified by name and address in the publication but the defence shall not fail by reason only that the person was not correctly identified if the defendant took reasonable care to verify the identity of the person expressing the opinion.

(2) For the purposes of this section, the defendant is not under a duty to inquire into whether the person expressing the opinion does or does not hold the opinion.


2 Section 1 comes into force by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Explanatory Notes

Section 1: This section makes a defence of fair comment available to a person who publishes an allegedly defamatory opinion of another, where the publisher did not know that the opinion was not held by the person expressing it and the opinion was one that a person could reasonably hold.

[ Return to: Legislative Assembly Home Page ]

Copyright © 2002: Queen's Printer, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada