Right before Christmas, the Federal Court sided with Justin Trudeau and ruled that my book, The Libranos, was illegal and that I have to pay $13,000 to the government in fines and costs.
You can see the stunning court ruling right here:
Trudeau has been prosecuting me for more than four years over that book. And I’ve been put on notice that if I write another book about Trudeau, and if I publish and promote it during the next election, I could actually be prosecuted criminally, and even jailed.
(I should tell you: I am writing another book about Trudeau right now. And I am going to publish it before the next election.)
Which is why I need to appeal this court ruling. Click here to watch this video I made about my situation:
This has never happened before in Canadian history. No other author has ever been prosecuted by Elections Canada for publishing and promoting a book that is critical of a politician.
The Elections Act specifically exempts books and the promotion of books from prosecution.
Trudeau’s hand-picked staff at Elections Canada claim that The Libranos is illegal as if it were some campaign donation or something. They say I had to register my book with the government, tell them my business plans and disclose my finances to them like a political party would have to do.
But the Elections Act exempts things like newspaper editorials, speeches and letters. Section 2(1)b of the law exempts “the distribution of a book, or the promotion of the sale of a book, for no less than its commercial value, if the book was planned to be made available to the public regardless of whether there was to be an election.”
Well, my book was sold on Amazon for $14, which is fair commercial value. And of course, we would have published the book whether or not there was an election. We just timed it for the election, like every other book about the election published by everyone else. There were 24 books published about Trudeau during that election. Mine; and then 23 books that were pro-Trudeau. All were published at the same time — right before the election.
But mine was the only book Elections Canada investigated and prosecuted.
I think they really hated the fact that even though not a single mainstream media outlet reviewed my book, and even though Chapters Indigo bookstores banned it, we still made it the number one best-seller in Canada through our guerrilla marketing campaign, including turning the cover of the book into lawn signs, with the words “buy the book”.
Trudeau is obsessed by that book cover — the Elections Canada cops wouldn’t stop talking about it, and the judge mentioned it eight times in her ruling.
There’s no doubt: my book has been censored because it criticized Trudeau. The judge says so herself, and she’s fine with that.
And now I’ve got to pay $13,000. And they’re hinting that if I do it again, I could go to jail.
We’ve got to fight this.
I am the only person in history they are targeting for writing an election book during an election. And it’s because Trudeau hates Rebel News.
But I’m really disappointed in the Federal Court. The judge actually said being censored like this is no big deal — that being summoned by two RCMP officers for an interrogation, and being hounded for four years, and being asked to disclose my internal editorial plans to the government, is not a chill on political speech.
Here’s what she said, in paragraph 196:
“Rebel News has not put forward any evidence of the alleged chilling effects... and I agree with the [Attorney General of Canada] that the spectre raised by Rebel News of censorship, prohibitions on book publication and government scrutiny of political writing is not supported by the legislative text of the subject provision.”
Really? Being grilled by two senior Mounties for an hour isn’t “chilling” political dissent?
I think a normal person would just pay the $13,000 penalty and stop criticizing Trudeau. That’s the rational thing to do. Appealing this court case will cost up to $75,000. Why not just pay the fine and walk away, and just agree not to write about Trudeau during an election?
Well, I have an answer to that. Because I’m a free man in a free country and this is an outrageous infringement on freedom of speech and freedom of the press, and because if Rebel News doesn’t fight against this, no-one else will.
So I’m appealing this awful ruling.
I’m really disappointed (and surprised) that I didn’t win in court. But I’m not going to give up. I’ve hired a top lawyer to handle the appeal: Sarah Miller, who managed to overturn Artur Pawlowski’s conviction in the Alberta Court of Appeal last year. So she’s used to David vs. Goliath battles!
But I need your help. Like I say, Trudeau has spent more than a million dollars coming after my book. And appealing is an uphill battle.
And you know he’ll attack me again for my next book — he’ll probably insist they prosecute me with criminal charges and seek jail time. So I’m outgunned and outnumbered. They’re going to throw another million bucks worth of lawyers at us.
Can you help save Rebel News — and help save me from a possible criminal prosecution for my next book about Trudeau?
This is an important battle for me.
But I really think it’s an important battle for Canada don’t you think?
This is really a turn for the worse — we have to change this precedent. Authors being fined for criticizing the government is something that they do in Communist China, not Canada! Please donate right here on this page to help us crowdfund the appeal! (Thanks.)
As a special thank-you for any donation of $250 or more, I will send you a hand-signed copy of my forthcoming book about Trudeau. That book will be a collector’s item — it could literally be banned in Canada! (Thanks again.)