A group that backed logging protests near Argenta is under fire in court as an attorney for Cooper Creek Cedar seeks to have the organization identify their online managers.
Court heard allegations last week that Last Stand West Kootenay was telling their members through online postings to participate in violating a court injunction imposed by the Supreme Court of B.C..
“They’re alleging that account has created wrongdoings by encouraging people to breach the injunction and counsel people to cause harm to Cooper Creek,” Noah Ross, the lawyer for Last Stand West Kootenay, said in court on Friday
Cooper Creek asked for information that would give them access to the last 300 logins and logouts of the organization’s social media accounts. They are also seeking information about the user’s contact information, and IP addresses.
“It is a fairly unusual order to give up the identity of any anonymous social media account,” says Ross. “Cooper Creek is saying wrongdoing was done to them, but they are not pursuing charges against anyone who was arrested.”
Ross says there is no evidence of wrongdoing since all Last Stand West Kootenay was doing was inviting people to come to the site and witness the protest.
“I will argue that the application doesn’t hold merit, and should not be granted,” says Ross.
Access to information of this nature is currently protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as outlined in section eight.
- Individuals in Canada have a right under section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to be free from unreasonable searches and unreasonable seizures of their property and their personal information.
“I hope that the verdict of this case is in favor of protecting privacy,” says April Giroux. “You can’t just take private information, and it would be a scary world if companies could just do that.”
Giroux was in court with Meghan Beatty, who were among 19 people arrested near Argenta to protest against logging. They appeared in court earlier in the summer.
When they appeared in front of a judge in July in a Nelson court, Cooper Creek Cedar said they would file criminal proceedings against the defendants.
“I think they are just trying to intimidate us,” says Beatty. “This seems to be their standard approach when it comes to dealing with protests.”
“I think they are just going to try and tie up prosecution, and waste tax dollars.”
After six hours of testimony, Justice Lindsay Lyster didn’t reach a verdict on the company’s application. No date has been set for her ruling.