The Government of Canada updates the Canada Declaration on Electoral Integrity Online
Ottawa, August 11, 2021 – The Government of Canada recognizes that social media platforms play a meaningful role in promoting a healthy and resilient democracy. However, Canada is not immune from malicious actors who seek to spread disinformation in an attempt to interfere with the outcome of federal elections. As a pillar of Canada’s comprehensive plan to defend Canadian democracy and further strengthen our electoral systems against cyber-enabled and other threats, government officials continue to work with social media platforms on these issues.
Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, announced updates to the Canada Declaration for Electoral Integrity Online (the Declaration), a collaborative initiative with social media and digital platforms to strengthen integrity, transparency and authenticity in our elections. The Declaration establishes a set of common commitments with online platforms to safeguard federal elections from malicious interference and build a healthier online ecosystem.
Minister LeBlanc has called upon all digital platforms operating in Canada to join and publically commit to meeting these expectations. So far, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and TikTok have endorsed the Declaration.
The Declaration is an important tool that is part of the government’s ongoing efforts to safeguard Canada’s elections and democratic institutions. Along with other initiatives such as a renewed Critical Election Incident Public Protocol, the Declaration will continue to evolve, build on previous success and promote a healthy online environment for Canadians to engage in free and open democratic discourse.
“Social media and online platforms play a significant role in promoting and cultivating a healthy democracy, but can also be used by malicious actors to facilitate foreign interference, online harms and disinformation. By renewing the Canada Declaration on Electoral Integrity Online, the Government of Canada and social media platforms are demonstrating their mutual commitment to ensuring a safe online environment, free democratic expression and the integrity of Canada’s federal elections.”
‑ The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
The Canada Declaration on Electoral Integrity Online is the result of ongoing discussions with social media platforms who share the government’s commitment to fair, free and secure elections.
Updates to the Declaration include:
- A commitment from Partners to assist users to contextualize the content they are seeing and support the presence of trustworthy sources and information on their platforms.
- A commitment from Partners to publicly disclose policies and actions undertaken to support the Declaration.
- A commitment from the Government of Canada to work towards improving its communications methods on platforms to enhance the circulation of authoritative and verifiable Government of Canada information.
- A clearer focus on inauthentic behaviour online (i.e. fake accounts and “bots”), which provides further protection of free expression.
- The addition of new Partners, with the opportunity for additional signatories in the future.
- Alignment of the Critical Election Incident Public Protocol with the caretaker period.
- The renewed Declaration is an ongoing commitment, not for a single federal election.
In 2019, the Government of Canada launched Canada’s Digital Charter to guide government policy action in the digital space, and partnered with the international community and tech companies as Canada signed-on to the landmark Christchurch Call to Action.
In December 2018, Parliament passed Bill C-76, the Elections Modernization Act, which sets out concrete requirements for online activities to protect Canada’s electoral process.
The Government of Canada is committed to defending electoral processes in Canada and helping other democracies do the same. That is why Canada worked alongside co-leads of the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace’s Principle 3: Defend Electoral Processes, to develop Multi-Stakeholder Insights: A Compendium on Countering Election Interference, a good practice guide to help build global expertise and understanding about effective ways to counter election interference.
- Canada Declaration on Electoral Integrity Online
- Backgrounder: Enhancing citizen preparedness
- Backgrounder: Improving organizational readiness
- Backgrounder: Combatting foreign interference
- Backgrounder: Building a Healthy Information Ecosystem
- Backgrounder: G7 Rapid Response Mechanism
- Backgrounder: Safeguarding elections
- Infographic: Critical Election Incident Public Protocol
- Infographic: Security and Intelligence Threats to Elections (SITE) Task Force
- Video Series: Think critically about what you see online
For more information (media only), please contact:
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
Privy Council Office
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