Canadian government to spend $7 million fighting ‘fake news,’ despite lack of evidence
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April 16, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – The Canadian government plans to spend $7 million to combat fake news from unidentified groups that will supposedly stoke “racism and hatred” in the next election.
Citing a subscribers-only report from Blacklock’s Reporter, the Western Standard reported that Privy Council President Dominic LeBlanc said Wednesday, “We should just assume the threat environment and the threat context have increased since our last election” from unspecified organizations who “want to disrupt and sow discord and divide societies or agitate racism and hatred.”
“Malicious actors who use technology to threaten democracies are always adapting and so must we,” he argued. “Elections are necessarily contact events, but people expect to have free and open discourse based on reliable information and not be manipulated by foreign state actors, by disinformation.”
“We shouldn’t assume those practices will necessarily go away during an electoral cycle where many of these views become sharper and where people sort of have a bigger megaphone as an election is rolling, and therefore the temptation from these malevolent actors I think will increase,” LeBlanc added, while acknowledging, “I’m not an expert.”
The Standard noted that last summer that the federal Communications Security Establishment acknowledged it had found no evidence of fake news, election manipulation, or foreign misconduct that “met the threshold for public announcement or affected Canada’s ability to have a free and fair election.”
In September, the Security Establishment also released a report finding that just under half of Canadians (49 percent) trust the Liberal government to balance such security concerns with Canadians’ civil liberties.
Last year, LeBlanc was quoted as saying he would be interested in drafting legislation that would make it a criminal offense in Canada to “spread misinformation” regarding the coronavirus that could “harm people.”