What is the test for proving a defamation claim?

British Columbia, Canada

The following excerpt is from M.L.D. v. British Columbia (Ministry of Children and Family Development), 2015 BCSC 405 (CanLII):

The test for proving a claim in defamation is set out in the decision of: Grant v. Torstar Corp., 2009 SCC 61 at para. 28, which read as follows: A plaintiff in a defamation action is required to prove three things to obtain judgment and an award of damages: (1) that the impugned words were defamatory, in the sense that they would tend to lower the plaintiff’s reputation in the eyes of a reasonable person; (2) that the words in fact referred to the plaintiff; and (3) that the words were published, meaning that they were communicated to at least one person other than the plaintiff. If the elements are established on a balance of probabilities, falsity and damage are presumed, though this rule has been subject to strong criticism:…

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