Feds promise action to ensure healthy democracy in era of ‘false information’


OTTAWA — The federal government says it will try to bolster Canadian democratic institutions in the digital age that are confronting growing public mistrust and concern about campaigns of false information and “fake news.”

The promise, which has yet to be fleshed out with concrete ideas, comes in a newly published draft list of federal commitments to foster open government and a healthy democracy over the next two years.

The commitments for 2018-20 — covering everything from access to information and digital government to corporate transparency and open science — make up an early version of Canada’s fourth national action plan on open government.

The plan flows from Canada’s participation in the Open Government Partnership, an international initiative that encourages countries to be more open and accountable.

The draft plan says it is critical for Canadians to have the tools to think critically about public policy so they can participate more effectively in democratic processes.

It says agencies including Canadian Heritage, the Privy Council Office and Global Affairs Canada will take actions to strengthen democracy before and after the 2019 federal election.

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The Canadian Press