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 The Plaintiffs further allege Dr. Jacobs’ August 10, 2020 tweet, which attached and quoted
from the August 10, 2020 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation article about Dr. Gill entitled
“Ontario doctor subject of complaints after COVID-19 tweets” is defamatory. The body of Dr.
Jacobs’ August 10, 2020 tweet contains only the title of the article, and a direct quote from the
article “It's important that physicians recognize the influence they may have on social media,
particularly when it comes to public health”, included in the article from a spokesperson of the
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Dr. Jacobs replied to the tweet “The fact that so
many people on this thread still believe that the current research supports the use of
hydroxychloroquine, when the opposite is true, is exactly why it is so important for physicians to
be responsible in what they say on social media”.
 Further, there are no grounds to believe that Dr. Jacobs’ August 10, 2020 tweet is
defamatory in that it would lower Dr. Gill’s reputation in the eyes of a reasonable person. An
excerpt of a quote from the CPSO, coupled with a statement that it is important for physicians to
be responsible on social media is incapable of bearing the defamatory meaning alleged. The
Plaintiffs cannot establish that there are grounds to believe that the defence of fair comment will
 Dr. Jacobs’ August 10, 2020 tweet satisfies all elements of the defence of fair comment:
(i) Public Interest: it was made on a matter of public interest, addressing physician influence on
social media with respect to public health; (ii) Based on Facts: The August 10, 2020 tweet attached
the CBC article, providing the full requisite factual backdrop; (iii) Recognisable as Comment: Dr.
Jacobs’ statement that the fact that many believed HCQ was an effective treatment for COVID-19
reflected why it was so important for physicians to be responsible on social media is clearly
recognizable to the “reasonable reader” as comment. Any reasonable reader would understand that
Dr. Jacobs shared the CBC article, then provided his opinion and conclusion regarding the article
as comment below; (iv) Could honestly be made by any person: Dr. Jacobs’ comment in the August
10, 2020 tweet is in agreement with the statement of the CPSO spokesperson mentioned in the
article, demonstrating two commentors could honestly come to the same conclusion on the same
known facts. (v) Absence of Malice: Dr. Jacobs posted his comment in good-faith, without malice.
There are no grounds to believe the fair comment defence has no real prospect of success.
 The Plaintiffs further claim that a tweet made by Dr. Jacobs on August 12, 2020 is
defamatory of Dr. Gill. The Plaintiffs cannot establish there are grounds to believe this claim has
substantial merit. For a statement to be defamatory it must refer to the Plaintiff. Dr. Jacobs’ August
12, 2020 Tweet does not refer to the Plaintiff, nor did the attached article. No connection was
drawn to Dr. Gill in the tweet thread.
 Dr. Jacobs further asserts a defence of qualified privilege with respect to all three tweets
that the Plaintiffs allege to be defamatory. As a physician, Dr. Jacobs has a moral and professional
duty to: educate the public to ensure that medical knowledge is appropriately conveyed to facilitate
health promotion and disease prevention; interpret information given out by health authorities
during emergencies; and to participate in setting the standards of his profession. The public has an
interest in receiving that information. There are no grounds to believe that this defence of qualified
privilege has no real prospect of success in these circumstances. Indeed, it is a strong defence.