Protecting Democracy
Toolkit to resist disinformation and foreign interference for elected officials and public office holders

Our best defence against disinformation and foreign interference is to build resilience through awareness and understanding.

Democracy and democratic institutions (e.g. Parliament, provincial legislatures, the electoral process) have long faced threats from people or groups whose goal is to weaken them and weaken citizens’ trust in government.

This includes disinformation, the deliberate spread of inaccurate information, and foreign interference which have a negative effect on the well-being of people living in Canada and on Canada’s unity.

- False information that is deliberately intended to mislead.

Foreign Interference
- Deliberate and covert activities by foreign groups, state actors, or individuals to advance their interests, often to the detriment of Canada’s national interests.

As an elected official or a public office holder, you may become a target of disinformation. Individuals with input into or influence over the public policy decision-making process are attractive targets. You may have access to privileged information and it is your responsibility to ensure that the information is kept safe. It is important to provide your team with resources and training so they are aware of threats and have the tools combat them.   

For more information and resources, visit Protecting Canada's democratic institutions and Foreign Interference.


Tips on how to spot disinformation

Disinformation can be hard to spot, but there are some common signs to watch for

Look for content that: 

Stop the spread of disinformation

Be aware.

Disinformation is out there. You could be a target so always be on the lookout. Equip yourself with the tools to know how to identify and combat disinformation.

Be prepared.


Correct it.

To debunk disinformation means to expose false information, directly, with the aim of clarifying the facts.

Foreign interference

Foreign interference involves foreign states, or persons acting on their behalf, whose goal it is to covertly influence decisions, policy, or events within Canada to advance their own interests. This can erode trust and threaten the integrity of our democratic institutions, political system, fundamental rights and freedoms, and ultimately, our sovereignty.

State actors may use deceptive means to develop trusted relationships with elected officials, their staff or candidates in order to obtain privileged information, shape debate or influence decision making in a way that is advantageous to a foreign state. These relationships are often developed early in one’s political career to gain a level of trust that is exploited later on. In other cases, state actors may use coercive tactics. This can happen over time, and it can be hard to spot. Awareness of this risk is critical given anyone, at any level of government, can be a potential target.

Unlike legitimate international cooperation and diplomacy, which is transparent and done in good faith, foreign interference is covert and malign. Some other concerning signals to watch for include:

For more information, consult: Foreign Interference Threats to Canada’s Democratic Process.

Protect yourself from foreign interference

For more information on ways to protect yourself from foreign interference, consult: Foreign Interference and You and Protect yourself from foreign interference.

How to report foreign interference in Canada

Any individual in Canada who is concerned that they are being targeted by state or non-state actors for the purposes of foreign interference should contact local police or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s (RCMP) National Security Information Network at 1-800-420-5805, or by email at

Report espionage or foreign interference to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) at 613-993-9620 or 1-800-267-7685, or online.

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

© His Majesty the King in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Democratic Institutions, 2023.

ISBN: 978-0-660-68168-9

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