Canadian media is reporting that Canada’s chief election watchdog has warned that online disinformation and foreign interference are two of the biggest threats facing Canada’s electoral system. According to a CBS News report:
June 22, 2022 Disinformation and foreign interference are two of the biggest threats facing Canada’s electoral system and it will take everyone working together to counter them, says Canada’s chief election watchdog. Speaking in an interview with CBC News to mark the end of his 10-year term as Commissioner of Canada Elections, Yves Côté said online disinformation is one of the biggest challenges he’s had to face and noted that it can be difficult to be optimistic about the future. “I think there are all kinds of challenges that are lurking and some of them are becoming perhaps worse as we move on with time,” Côté said. However, he noted there is a solution if various groups can work together. “Nobody should just get discouraged and abandon the fight or abandon the project,” he said. “I think many people have to contribute and I think that it’s a job of politicians of all stripes, of institutions, of media, of academics. It’s all kinds of people that have to pull together and say this is a danger.”
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Recent Global Influence Operations Report coverage of foreign interference in Canada has included:
- In April, we reported that the Canadian government is “on high alert” against Russian disinformation attempts against the country.
- In January, we reported that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Canada’s domestic intelligence agency, was warning that China’s efforts to distort the news and influence media outlets in Canada “have become normalized” and “more sophisticated, frequent, and insidious.
- In November, we reported that Canada’s Cyber Centre said foreign influence represents “collateral damage” for Canada.