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Councillor wants public purse to fund libel suits

Some Toronto councillors want to be able to use taxpayers’ money to sue taxpayers for libel or defamation.

Some Toronto councillors want to be able to use taxpayers’ money to sue taxpayers for libel or defamation.

Coun. Sandra Bussin says she’s being accused by a publication circulated in her ward of supporting a proposed development when, in fact, she opposes it.

“I’ve had enough,” she said. “I wouldn’t be subjected to this if I were an ordinary citizen ... I need help.”
She said the city should allow councillors, in certain circumstances, to use public money to sue people who spread falsehoods.

Bussin claimed her adversaries were using “big bucks” against her, and argued she “shouldn’t be on my own” to defend her-self.

Councillors are covered by city insurance if sued for libel in the performance of their office. But Bussin and others want to be able to take the offensive against people whose criticism, they believe, has crossed the line into defamation.

 
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