In Ohio, and in most common-law jurisdictions, this conduct is covered under the tort of defamation. It is a common law tort rather than a statutory tort, so there is no statute to consult. Case law requires a defamation plaintiff to prove:
- that a false statement of fact was made;
- that the statement was defamatory;
- that the statement was published;
- that the plaintiff suffered injury as a proximate result of the publication; and
- that the defendant acted with the requisite degree of fault in publishing the statement.
Am. Chem. Soc. v. Leadscope, Inc., 133 Ohio St.3d 366, ¶ 77.
In the United States, defamation is very rarely going to be a criminal matter in and of itself. Because of the First Amendment's robust protections for free speech, defamation cases are generally doomed to failure, even when the speech in question is demonstrably false.
In British Columbia, the elements should be roughly the same, but I don't have a sense of how often these claims are successful or whether there are criminal sanctions for defamation.