Protecting Democracy
Toolkit to resist disinformation and foreign interference for public servants

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

In Canada and around the world, 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 a public servant, and depending on the focus of your work, you could become a target of disinformation or foreign interference. Individuals with input into or influence over the public policy decision-making process are attractive targets. You may also have access to privileged information, and it is your responsibility to ensure that the information is kept safe.

You can fight disinformation and help maintain the integrity of Canada’s democratic institutions by being aware of these threats and by taking steps to address 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.

Organizations can build resilience by planning ahead and considering the priority areas that are more vulnerable to disinformation. Recognize or anticipate possible misleading narratives that may affect your work. Know where your organization may be vulnerable.


Correct it.

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

Foreign interference

Foreign interference can erode trust and threaten the integrity of our democratic institutions, political system, fundamental rights and freedoms, and ultimately, our sovereignty. No matter the department, classification, or level, public servants and others with input into, or influence over, the public policy decision-making process can be targeted by foreign actors.

Foreign state actors use a variety of techniques to target all aspects of civil society, such as diverse communities, electoral processes, post-secondary campuses, and traditional and social media. Common techniques or activities used by foreign state actors can include elicitation, cultivation, coercion, illicit financing, cyber-incidents, intimidation, and disinformation.

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:

Protect yourself and your department 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: 978-0-660-68170-2

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