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The Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa.


The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear an appeal by former Dragons' Den contestant John Turmel, who launched a lawsuit claiming he was libelled by the popular CBC television program.

Mr. Turmel taped an episode of the show in 2009, inviting the panel of entrepreneurs to invest $100,000 in a program to use poker chips from a local casino as currency at local businesses in his home town of Brantford, Ont.

The business executives said they didn't understand what he was talking about, and mocked his pitch. Outspoken CBC personality Kevin O'Leary suggested he should "burst into flames" while Jim Trevliving suggested he was "blowing air up a dead horse's ass."

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Mr. Turmel launched a lawsuit after the episode aired in 2010, claiming their comments were offensive and objecting to the way the item was edited to make his pitch sound worse.

The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the case in a ruling in July, saying Mr. Turmel signed a consent and release form that gave the CBC the right to air any portion of his pitch, or none at all.

"He made a calculated decision to sign the contract in order to participate in a taping and receive the opportunity to ask the Dragons for a $100,000 investment in his proposal," Mr. Justice Thomas Lofchik wrote in his decision. "He received what he expected."

Mr. Turmel sought leave to appeal further to the Supreme Court of Canada, but the top court turned down his appeal request Thursday. As with all cases in which the Supreme Court denies leave to appeal, it did not give reasons for the decision.

Mr. Turmel, who describes his occupation as "professional gambler," was cited by The Guinness Book of World Records for holding the record for running in the most elections, and for losing the most elections. He says he has run 74 times in municipal, provincial and federal elections.

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Real Estate Reporter

Janet McFarland is the real estate reporter for The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business, with a focus on residential real estate trends. She joined Report on Business in 1995, and has specialized in reporting on corporate governance, executive compensation, pension policy, business law, securities regulation and enforcement of white-collar crime. More

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