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Press Release: U of O threat to sue student for Youtube video

March 1, 2013

U of O threat to sue student for Youtube video

OTTAWA, February 25, 2013 – After posting a video online about her opinion about a lawsuit involving a University of Ottawa law professor, student Hazel Gashoka received a letter from the professor’s lawyer claiming that her video was defamatory and malicious and demanding that she take it down.

In her video, Gashoka stated her opinion that “I would say that Joanne St. Lewis acted as Allan Rock’s house negro”. Gashoka was referring to St. Lewis’ role in criticizing a student association report about systemic racism at the University of Ottawa.

The Gashoka video can be viewed at the following link:

The notice of libel to Gashoka from St. Lewis’ lawyer can be viewed at the following link:

Gashoka’s request to Allan Rock to not fund a lawsuit by St. Lewis can be read at:

Media are invited to a press conference on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 11:00am in the Rotunda of Tabaret Hall, University of Ottawa, where Hazel Gashoka will speak about her video, the legal threat, and the chronology of her involvement with the case dating back to Prof. St. Lewis’ 2008 evaluation report about a student centre’s claim of systemic racism at the University of Ottawa.

Hazel Gashoka
1-647-863-0586 (c)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Roarker permalink
    March 1, 2013 3:32 pm

    If I were a student at the University of Ottawa, I would be pretty pissed off right now. Here we have a second lawsuit being carried out by a law professor, presumably also paid by the University of Ottawa administration (in this era of secrecy, I’m not sure that we, the public know for sure if St. Lewis’s second lawsuit is being bank rolled by the Rock or not) – presumably paying the same University of Ottawa professor, Dearden, who is also senior partner at a law firm for this lawsuit – out of tuition and other public funds for what is tantamount to a private citizen’s lawsuit. Public money can and should be better spent than to assuage Rock’s vengeful ego. Oh the “vicious” criminal, in question? A student who is expressing her opinion and critique of an elite and arrogant professor. And yet here, in Canada, we still believe we have “freedom of speech.” Sorry, in Canada we have limited speech – nothing that even comes close to “free speech.” When defamation lawsuits are used as weapons to shut down dissent that the whole spirit of “protecting someone’s good name” takes on the most grotesque absurdity…. the shame is all yours Ms St. Lewis. I have absolutely no respect for you or what you represent. The average citizen’s speech is so curtailed and limited by elite power that it’s a joke to even use free speech and Canada in the same sentence. And don’t get me started about academic freedom and freedom of expression/speech on the University of Ottawa campus…. only if Rock approves. Tuition for lawsuits… I think students should be asking for refunds on their tuition bills and St. Lewis should be paying her own way. Just my opinion… no need to speed dial the lawyers.


  1. Press Conference at Tabaret Hall | Joanne St. Lewis vs. Denis Rancourt

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