Canadian media personality and conservative activist Ezra Levant has been ordered to pay $80,000 as part of a libel judgment.
An Ontario Superior Court judge has delivered a stinging rebuke of Levant, declaring as part of an $80,000 libel judgment that the Sun Media personality displayed “reckless disregard for the truth” and “took little or no responsibility for the accuracy” of certain statements he published on his personal blog.
The Globe and Mail reported that the Court found that Levant acted with malice in his coverage of a 2008 British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal, Justice Wendy Matheson said “he did little or no fact-checking regarding the posts complained of, either before or after their publication. Nor did he accurately report what was taking place at the hearing. And, with one exception, when he learned that he got his facts wrong, he made no corrections.”
In finding for plaintiff Khurrum Awan, who was at the time an Osgoode Hall law student, the judge also rejected a defence, put forward by Levant’s lawyers, that their client’s reputation as an “outspoken provocateur and troublemaker” would preclude most reasonable people from taking his defamatory statements literally.
Mr. Levant has 15 days to remove the defamatory posts from his blog, ezralevant.com. At the time of their publication in 2008 and 2009, he was an independent commentator.