The Law Reform Commission of Saskatchewan was established by An Act to Establish a Law Reform Commission (proclaimed in force in November 1973) and began functioning in February 1974.  The Commission is incorporated by an Act of the Saskatchewan Legislature. Commissioners are appointed by Order in Council. The Commission’s recommendations are independent and are submitted to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Saskatchewan for consideration.  

The Law Reform Commission of Saskatchewan is interested in your response to its Consultation Report on Reform of The Libel and Slander Act. Your comments and opinions on the topic are welcome and are an important part of the Commission’s deliberations on recommendations for law reform in Saskatchewan.  Consultation is a central feature of the Commission’s work, and the Commission’s consultation activities will be discussed in its final reports.

Please note that this survey reproduces only the consultation questions contained in the Consultation Report on The Libel and Slander Act. If you would like further to read background material on a topic, please refer to the Report, available on the Commission's website:

Please allow the following questions to guide you in your response to this survey:
1.       What aspects of The Libel and Slander Act are in need of modernization? Is new legislation required?
2.       Which aspects of the law of defamation should be codified in legislation? Which should be left to be developed by the common law?
3.       How can The Libel and Slander Act be reformed to ensure those who have been defamed can seek an effective and timely remedy?
4.       To what extent should The Libel and Slander Act remain consistent with other Canadian common law jurisdictions’ defamation legislation?

The consultation period on this project will close on November 30, 2022. 

Question Title

* 1.
Distinction Between Libel and Slander

Should the distinction between libel and slander in Saskatchewan’s legislation be abolished?

If the distinction between libel and slander should be abolished, should this be done by creating new defamation legislation or could this be achieved by adding a provision to The Libel and Slander Act abolishing the distinction?

Question Title

* 2. Limitation Periods & Single Publication Rule

Would Saskatchewan benefit from the introduction of a single publication rule in the Act?

 When should the limitation period begin to run?

a.       Upon the first instance of publication?

b.       Upon discovery by the complainant?

c.       When the complainant ought to have discovered the defamatory publication?

Question Title

* 3. Publisher Definitions and Distinctions

Does The Libel and Slander Act still need to distinguish between publishers or should all sources that contain alleged defamation be treated in a similar fashion?

If distinctions should remain, should “newspapers” be treated differently, and if so, how should they be defined?

a.       Should online news sources be included?

b.       Should the interval between publications be part of the definition?

Should a definition of “publisher” be added to The Libel and Slander Act? If so, should the LCO’s proposed definition of publishers be used?

Question Title

* 4. Jurisdiction & Choice of Law

Is the jurisdiction provision for newspapers in section 13 of The Libel and Slander Act still needed? If so, should the provision be expanded to include other types of publications, or is the common law framework sufficient?

Should a choice of law provision be added to The Libel and Slander Act? If so, should the provision provide that the law governing multi-jurisdictional defamation action is the law of the place where the most substantial harm to the plaintiff’s reputation occurred.

Question Title

* 5. Security for Costs

Should section 12 of The Libel and Slander Act be expanded to apply to all publishers or should s. 12 be removed so that all publishers seeking security for costs follow the applicable rules in The Queen’s Bench Rules?

Question Title

* 6.
Notice Requirements

Should a single notice regime be created in Saskatchewan that includes all publishers or are distinctions between categories of publishers still needed?

a.       What distinctions are needed and how would these affect the requirements of the notice period?

What should the consequences be of not adhering to the notice period?

a.       Loss of a cause of action or the delay of the action?

What should the requirements for the content and form of a notice be?

a.       Should notices be sent electronically?

b.       If the author is unreachable or anonymous should notices be sent to internet intermediaries?

What requirements, if any, should those receiving a notice be under?

Question Title

* 7. Remedial Options

Should an offer to make amends regime be added into the Act or is the mitigation of damages currently available sufficient?

If an offer to make amends regime is implemented, should a defence of failure to accept a reasonable offer also be added?

Should other remedial options be added to The Libel and Slander Act?

a.       Should take down orders be available?

b.       Should publication orders be available?

Should these be available on an interim basis?

a.       What test should be applied?

Question Title

* 8. Privileges

Should the privilege of fair and accurate reporting in the Act be expanded?

a.       If so, should the privilege be extended to all publishers who meet certain requirements?

b.       Should it extend to broadcasts?

Should the Act be amended to create a privilege for peer reviewed material?

Question Title

* 9. Misuse of Defamation Claims

Are frivolous and trivial defamation claims a problem in Saskatchewan?

If yes, should this problem be dealt with in the legislation by adding a serious harm threshold or some other type of provision?

Is perceived – or actual  - abuse of defamation claims with respect to matters of public interest a concern in Saskatchewan? If so, how should this concern be addressed? Is this an issue that requires further consideration?

Question Title

* 10. Corporate Plaintiffs

Should Saskatchewan’s defamation legislation distinguish between human and corporate plaintiffs? If so, in what way(s) should they be treated differently?

If so, should there be a distinction between various types of corporations?

a.       Should for-profit or charitable status corporations be treated differently?

b.       Should a “serious financial harm” threshold test be required for corporate plaintiffs to bring a defamation claim?

Alternatively, should corporate plaintiffs be prohibited from bringing defamation claims?

Question Title

* 11. General Questions

Should the Commission consider any of the additional issues discussed by the LCO in a future project? Is there a need to consider any of these issues in the near future as a matter of priority?

Are there any other reforms that should be made to The Libel and Slander Act?

 How important is it that Saskatchewan’s defamation legislation be similar to other provinces’ legislation?