John Baglow is a retired public servant and self-described left-leaning blogger who believes Omar Khadr’s trial violates international law. Roger Smith, a self-described right-leaning blogger, described Baglow in an online posting as ‘one of the Taliban’s more vocal supporters’ on account of his views about Khadr. Baglow sued Smith for defamation, alleging that that statement would damage his ability to earn income through short-term contracts with clients including the federal government.
Smith sought summary judgment to dismiss the action – something rarely granted in a defamation case, given the low threshold required to establish a case. Annis J of the Ontario SCJ nevertheless concluded that Baglow’s action ought to be dismissed. Smith’s comment was unlikely to lessen Baglow’s reputation, especially in the context of ‘normally acrimonious debate’ in the blogosphere. Smith’s comment was fair, in any event. A simple rejoinder from Baglow would have been the better response: Baglow v Smith, 2011 ONSC 5131.