North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney says the government needs to support local media to help defend against foreign election interference.
Blaney made a motion to that effect, asking for more federal support to go to local, rural and community media on Nov. 14, though the motion was denied by the house of commons.
“We need more support for rural, remote, Indigenous, and ethnic communities and their local media to prevent foreign interference in Canadian elections,” Blaney said. “When people cannot get accurate, credible information from a trusted source, misinformation spreads. This has a significant impact on our elections, which undermines our democratic society.”
Blaney’s motion was specifically directed at smaller communities, which she said could be more exposed to misinformation and foreign interference.
She said that one of the keys to fighting misinformation is local media.
“We are fighting for our local media,” she said.
=“If our local, rural and community media aren’t supported in a sustainable way, those trusted sources can be undermined, and that takes away our right to be included in the democratic process. Passing this motion would have been good for Canadians and good for democracy.”
Last week, Global News reported that China targeted Canada during the 2019 federal election. Blaney called on the government to “support a robust plan” to combat that interference.
“The people I have spoken with say there aren’t enough resources for rural and remote communities to fight against such activities,” she said. “They see a good solution as providing educational programs and taking an all of society approach in solving disinformation.”
Blaney’s motion did not receive unanimous consent and did not move forward.