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A Chill in the Niagara Air: Marineland Lawsuits Target Activists, Whistleblowers

2012 was a tough year for Marineland. The Toronto Star ran a series of damning articles in which former Marineland employees told of neglect, chronic water quality problems that caused pain and even blindness in the animals, and mass graves on site. The revelations bolstered public opposition to the embattled park, culminating in an 800-person demonstration in which chanting protesters spontaneously flooded into the park.

Now, Marineland has lashed back by filing two $1 million-plus lawsuits: one against Dylan Powell, longtime community organizer and a major voice in Marineland Animal Defense, and another against Christine Santos, a former Marineland trainer whose criticism of the treatment of killer whale Kiska was featured in the Star.

Tune in as Powell talks SLAPP lawsuits and legal strategy. (SLAPP = Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, a lawsuit designed to intimidate and silence critics.) Powell will also reflect on the activism successes of 2012, and tip us off about what Niagara activists have planned for 2013, including a speaking tour about Marineland and an anti-vivisection campaign at Brock University.

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