Court orders paper to name commenter

A court order from a New Brunswick judge has ordered a Moncton newspaper
to reveal the identity of an anonymous commenter who made accusations
of racism in against the fire department.

Two months ago the Nova Scotia Supreme Court faced a similar case, and ordered a Halifax paper to unmask seven anonymous commenters who allegedly made libelous allegations of racism and incompetence by the city’s fire fighters.

This follows a recent trend of judge ruling in favour of claimaints who want anonymous posters to stand behind their accusations and comments.

The CBC reports:

“The controversy started when Daryl Doucette, a Moncton firefighter, wrote a letter to the editor to the Moncton Times & Transcript in February criticizing a speed limit imposed on the province’s ambulances.”

CBC continues:

“In his June 29 decision, Justice George Rideout determined that Doucette had made reasonable efforts to identify the anonymous commenter and the posted material could be actionable in a defamation case.

” “In my view, the interests of justice favour [Doucette] being able to proceed and to obtain a final ruling on this matter. As is said, [Doucette] is entitled to his day in court with all the attendant consequences of such proceedings,” Rideout wrote in his decision.

” “Consequently I believe the interests of justice favour obtaining the disclosure rather than non-disclosure.” “