Posts Tagged ‘Canada Elections Act’

Do efforts to protect Canada’s electoral system from foreign interference go far enough?

November 29th, 2018 by Shelina Ali

This article was first published on rabble.ca

The federal government’s efforts to address foreign interference in next year’s federal election came into the spotlight recently after it was reported that the Minister of Democratic Institutions, Karina Gould, told the Senate’s legal and constitutional affairs committee that it would be “virtually impossible” to prevent foreign interference in the upcoming election.

In response to the threat of foreign interference in the Canadian democratic process, the government has proposed a variety of amendments to the Canada Elections Act, through Bill C-76, the Elections Modernization Act. Bill C‑76 undoes many of the amendments passed by the Harper government through the Fair Elections Act (which were widely criticized as undemocratic at the time), and attempts to address foreign interference by prohibiting the use of funds from foreign entities for political advertising or election surveys and by amending the prohibition in the Canada Elections Act against making false statements about political candidates. Despite these efforts, the amendments, particularly around making false statements, do not go far enough in addressing the problem of “fake news” and the use of social media to spread it. Read the rest of this entry

Whose freedom of expression is the Harper government protecting?

January 30th, 2014 by Shelina Ali

Last week, in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s address to the Israeli Knesset, he equated criticisms of the Israeli state and its policies with anti-Semitism. He stated that “most disgracefully of all, some openly call Israel an apartheid state,” continuing on to say that “it is nothing short of sickening.”

Mr. Harper’s strong condemnation of individuals who criticize Israel’s policies and practices raises serious concerns about his government’s commitment to protecting political speech in Canada. His comments should be seen in light of his government’s claw‑back of hate speech legislation in the name of freedom of expression. In acting as a champion of freedom of expression, while targeting critics of the Israeli government and its policies, Mr. Harper has attempted to redefine political speech as speech that would meet the definition of hate speech under the Criminal Code. These contradictory actions should raise serious doubts about whose expression the Harper government is actually committed to protecting.

Read more on rabble.ca