Ottawa launches $ 2.4 million project to combat “harmful online disinformation”

The Government of Canada announced on Thursday another measure aimed at affecting the information space. This time around, we invested $ 2.4 million to combat “harmful online disinformation.” The minister responsible for this file cited the desire to “have a common fact” as part of the motivation behind the new measures.

A Canadian Cultural Heritage-funded initiative is “Citizens, News and Digital Media Literacy by Funding Third-Party Educational Activities and Programming to Make Citizens Responsive to Disinformation.” The purpose is to promote. statement..

“These projects provide Canadians with the skills and tools to tell facts from fiction online. When we have common facts, we live and work better as a society,” said the Minister of Canadian Heritage of Canada. Said Pablo Rodriguez.

Funding is said to be specifically directed to “disinformation online” in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Canadian heritage states that citizens should have access to diverse and reliable sources of information to seek clarification from governments and public authorities.

Government funding will be provided to 11 different project Responded to the application call from the department.

Three universities are funded, including Magill (Maxbell Graduate School of Public Policy), Concordia (Project Samwan), and Toronto Metropolitan (formerly Ryerson) (Leadership Lab).

They produce podcasts and online courses and work directly with the online platform on disinformation topics.

Other funded groups include DisinfoWatch, CIVIX, and Digital Public Square.

Multiple initiatives

This latest announcement by the Liberal Government is part of a broader strategy to regulate the Internet and influence what Canadians can hear and see online.

Justin Trudeau repeats Mentioned “Misinformation and disinformation” as a problem he wants to tackle.

The government’s bill C-11, which calls for amendments to the Broadcasting Act, will empower the Canadian Radio and Television Communications Commission (CRTC) to regulate user-created content, the chair said.

Another bill related to online content is Bill C-18, an online news law aimed at increasing the online revenue of Canadian media. The bill has critics, including Professor Michael Geist of the University of Ottawa. To tell It will undermine the independence of the press and increase its reliance on Big Tech.

The government also conducted consultations with a panel of selected experts to assist in developing legislation to address “online harm.”

A previous analysis of a panel of 12 experts by The Epoch Times included measures against COVID-19, advocating more vaccine obligations, labeling “conspiracy” from alternative perspectives, and criticizing freedom-themed protests. Showed that they share most of the government’s ideology on various issues.

One of the panel’s experts teaches at the Maxbell School of Public Policy, which is funded by the latest initiatives. Some are already working in federally funded programs, such as Canada’s Anti-Hate Network.

A summary of the discussions from the Panel Working Group reveals that many experts are in favor of regulating private communication in future “online harm reduction” legislation.

The group of experts also agreed that “disinformation” “becomes one of the most imminent and harmful forms of malicious behavior online.”

“Given the serious and urgent nature of the harm caused by disinformation, experts argued that online security legislation should consider disinformation in some way,” said Canadian Cultural Heritage. Gives a summary of the discussions provided by.

Nevertheless, experts cannot define disinformation by law because the government cannot determine what is true and what is false, and disinformation is usually an intent that is difficult to establish. Said to have.

Noe Chartier


Noé Chartier is a Montreal-based Epoch Times reporter. Twitter: @NChartierET Gettr: @nchartieret