In documents filed in B.C. Supreme Court last week, International Language Schools of Canada alleges the groups have published false and malicious information about the company to the point where it has lost revenue.
The two Vancouver-based groups are One World Agency and the International Student Assistance Society. The lawsuit also names the groups' director, Warren Brundage, and his wife, Asuka Brundage.
"This is a gentleman who is on a crusade," Richard Novek, the schools' director of operations in Vancouver, said in an interview about Warren Brundage.
"I'll guess we'll let a judge decide whether or not what he's doing is appropriate."
International Language Schools of Canada operates language schools around the world, including five in Vancouver. On Aug. 16, Brundage and the International Student Assistance Society staged a protest at one of the Vancouver campuses, handing out leaflets alleging mistreatment of students, according to court documents.
In his affidavit, Novek alleges Brundage and the groups defamed the schools at that protest and online afterwards. Novek highlights a number of tweets sent from the student assistance society Twitter account following the event, including one that says his company intimidates and lies to its students.
Novek also alleges in the lawsuit that Brundage made a number of accusations at the protest, including telling company employees that the schools "worked with some of the worst criminal organizations in Vancouver" and had committed "immigration fraud."
In an interview Monday, Brundage said the dispute started three months ago when the student society filed a complaint with Languages Canada, the governing body for language schools, about a student from Japan who Brundage complained had not been provided proper documentation and as a result was unable to get a refund.
Brundage said he was consequently not surprised by the lawsuit.
"I knew eventually they were going to take some sort of action."
Brundage denied the accusations made in the lawsuit that he benefits financially from aiding students.
"We don't get any money from getting a student out of a school," he said.
"We're not being unreasonable with ILSC, and I'm not trying to ruin their reputation or close them down or anything like that. We really just want them to start respecting the rules and start respecting students."