Lionsgate remained defiant last night following a ruling by the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) that its shareholders can vote on whether to accept Carl Icahn’s offer of $7 per share.

Unless Lionsgate wins an appeal, the decision means shareholders will be able to decide without triggering so-called “poison pill” provisions contained in a shareholder rights plan proposed by the company.

“Lionsgate is disappointed by the BCSC’s decision,” Lionsgate said in a statement. “The company believes that its shareholders’ right to vote is paramount and any decision to cease trade the shareholder rights plan should have been withheld until Lionsgate shareholders had the opportunity to consider and to vote upon it at the special meeting of shareholders on May 4, 2010.

“The shareholder rights plan was implemented to help ensure that all Lionsgate shareholders are treated equally and fairly in connection with any proposals to acquire effective control of the company and has succeeded in getting the Icahn Group to amend its offer on two separate occasions. 

Icahn owns approximately 19% of Lionsgate and his $7 offer expires on April 30.