Linda Frum on fighting back (and winning) against an Arabic-language newspaper’s defamation lawsuit

Linda Frum 2023
Former senator Linda Frum describes what it was like behind the scenes of being sued for $2.5 million by an Arabic-language newspaper in Montreal who accused the former Conservative politician of defamation because of a series of Tweets she posted about candidate Patrick Brown during the Conservative Party of Canada leadership campaign in April 2022. (file photo)

An Ontario Superior Court judge has sided with former Conservative senator Linda Frum and dismissed a $2.5-million defamation lawsuit brought against her by a Montreal-area newspaper, the Journal Sada Almashrek. The judge ruled on May 15 that the lawsuit violated Ontario’s anti-SLAPP laws, which are designed to protect people from long and expensive court cases that would effectively gag them from commenting on matters of public interest.

The lawsuit dates back to the summer of 2022, during the federal Conservative leadership campaign. Frum posted two tweets calling out then-candidate Patrick Brown for comments he reportedly made about Israel and Palestine during his interview with the Montreal newspaper, which were later published online. Frum—whose husband, Howard Sokolowski, is one of the key supporters of the politician who won the leadership, Pierre Poilievre—accused the newspaper of being an organ of Hezbollah, a terrorist organization.

The defamation lawsuit was thrown out because the judge ruled it was a blatant attempt to silence Frum. She now joins The CJN Daily to describe why she fought back, why she had to consult personal security experts while the court proceedings were underway, and what may come next.

What we talked about

  • Read why Frum resigned her seat in the Senate of Canada in August 2021 to focus on fighting antisemitism in the Jewish community of Toronto, in The CJN
  • Learn more about Frum calling out a newly appointed colleague for being anti-Israel, in The CJN from 2021


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here.