B.C. salmon farming company appeals judge's ruling in defamation case

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VANCOUVER - A British Columbia salmon farming company is appealing a judge's decision to dismiss a defamation case against an industry critic.

Mainstream Canada took British-born activist Don Staniford to court earlier this year over a 2011 campaign that included images of cigarette-like packages and statements such as "Salmon Farming Kills Like Smoking.''

Justice Elaine Adair dismissed the case in September, saying while Staniford's statements were defamatory and he was motivated by malice, the activist honestly believed in what he was saying and animosity wasn't his dominant purpose.

Mainstream Canada says in a release announcing the appeal that Adair's decision, if it stands, could compromise healthy debate on matters of public policy.

The company says that public policy debates should be based on fact, and critics should be accountable for their comments.

Staniford, who was removed from Canada this past February for overstaying a visitor's permit, says he will return next year for a lecture tour with the leader of the Green Warriors of Europe, an environmental organization.

Geographic location: VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada Europe

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