Ottawa/Chilliwack – UPDATE – In a tweet from former BCTF President Glen Hansman, the Supreme Court of Canada has now heard the case, and we wait for a decision. There is not timeline for that announcement.
ORIGINAL STORY – It as been a long legal process which appears to to be coming to a head in the Supreme Court of Canada on Tuesday October 11. Just four days before Municipal Elections (October 15).
The SCOC list of October hearings can be found here.
Chilliwack School Trustee Barry Neufeld will have his day in the Supreme Court of Canada in his years-long defamation legal action against for BCTF President Glen Hansman. Neufeld has stated publicly that he will be in Ottawa to defend himself (with his lawyer). This started with Neufeld’s public comments about the SOGI 123 program that the Chilliwack School Board endorses.
The controversy started in 2017.
NOTE: On October 15, Municipal Elections will take place throughout BC, and Mr Neufeld will run for re-election to the School Board.
The applicant (Glen Hansman )is a teacher and the (past) president of the British Columbia Teacher’s Federation. Mr. (Barry) Neufeld is an elected public school board trustee in Chilliwack, British Columbia. The Minister of Education published resources for teachers for the promotion of inclusive environments, policies and procedures in schools regarding sexual orientation and gender identity (“SOGI 123”). In 2017, Mr. Neufeld made negative comments and criticisms about the implementation of the SOGI 123 materials, which were posted on his Facebook page. His comments attracted significant criticism and media attention. Mr. Hansman was interviewed about Mr. Neufeld’s post. Mr. Neufeld alleged that Mr. Hansman defamed him in that interview, and in subsequent statements that were broadcast and published in the press and online. Mr. Neufeld filed a defamation action against Mr. Hansman, identifying 11 specific publications in which Mr. Hansman allegedly made defamatory remarks that Mr. Neufeld promoted hatred, was discriminatory against gay and transgender students, acted with malice, and presented a safety risk to students. Mr. Hansman applied to have Mr. Neufeld’s application dismissed pursuant to s. 4 of British Columbia’s Protection of Public Participation Act. The application judge granted the motion and dismissed the defamation action. This decision was overturned on appeal.