Politics This Morning: Facebook to unveil new election integrity initiative in Ottawa

Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould will be on hand at the Chateau Laurier today as Facebook introduces its new Canadian Election Integrity Initiative. The Hill Times file photograph

PUBLISHED :Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017 10:50 PM

Good Thursday morning,

Social media giant Facebook is launching its new Canadian Election Integrity Initiative this morning at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, alongside Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould.

The initiative is designed to protect the next federal election, expected in 2019, from cyber threats.

The announcement, which runs from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., will also feature a panel conversation on citizen literacy and “authentic civic engagement online,” according to the press release. It would appear the initiative represents Facebook’s efforts to clamp down on fake news, in light of serious allegations of foreign attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election by spreading blatantly false news stories.


Meanwhile, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay are in Erinsville, Ont., to talk up the government’s tax proposals, potentially unveiling further tweaks to the Liberals’ controversial plans to restrict the tax savings generated by incorporation.

The two ministers are set to speak at 9:15 a.m. at the Maclaughlin Farm, located some two hours southeast of Ottawa. A media availability is scheduled for 9:45 a.m.

Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc will also be discussing the government’s tax reforms and plans to lower the small business tax rate during an appearance in Cap-Pelé, N.B. at 2 p.m. (Atlantic time).

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on the other hand, is spending the day travelling through the northeastern Quebec riding of Lac-Saint-Jean with Liberal candidate Richard Hébert, in advance of the byelection being held there on Monday, Oct. 23.


The Liberals are hoping to flip the riding after the Conservatives narrowly took it in the 2015 election.

Back in Ottawa, it’s Startup Day on the Hill, with Small Business and Tourism Minister and Government House leader Bardish Chagger set to make appearances at several events during the annual daylong gathering of entrepreneurs and policymakers.

At 8:40 a.m., Ms. Chagger is delivering the opening address at the event, organized by Startup Canada and hosted at Ottawa’s Shaw Centre.

She will then participate in a panel discussion on building an inclusive economy at 9:20 a.m., and deliver opening remarks at the Startup Awards at 6:30 p.m. Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains will also be in attendance at the awards event.


Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor will also be in the Shaw Centre this morning, delivering introductory remarks at 9:30 a.m. at the 8th Milestones of a Global Campaign for Violence Prevention Meeting, hosted by the Canadian government, on behalf of the World Health Organization. She will available to chat with the media at 10:30 a.m.

Also in Ottawa, Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu is appearing before the Senate Social Affairs, Science, and Technology Committee on the Hill to discuss her private member’s bill on developing a framework for palliative care in Canada, which is currently being studied by the committee.

The committee meeting goes at 4:15 p.m. in room two of the Victoria Building.

Ms. Gladu’s bill already passed in the House, a rare feat for any private member’s bill, let alone one pitched by a rookie opposition MP.

Speaking of the opposition, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is meeting with supporters and community members at the Army Navy and Airforce Veterans Banquet Hall in Stratford, Ont. He is the guest of local Tory MP John Nater.

Mr. Scheer will likely raise his objections to the Liberals’ proposed tax reforms during his visit to the midwestern Ontario city.

Moving south, the House Finance Committee is dropping by Windsor to host consultations in advance of the 2018 budget. The meeting, hosted at the Best Western Plus hotel in downtown Windsor, runs from 8:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.

Speaking of Hill business, onetime Liberal leader and ex-cabinet minister Stéphane Dion, who currently serves as Canada’s ambassador to Germany and special envoy to the European Union and Europe, is appearing via teleconference before the Senate Foreign Affairs and International Trade Committee to discuss his role and responsibilities.

Shifting to the evening, Famous 5 Ottawa is celebrating the 2017 recipients of the Governor General’s Persons Case Awards. Betsy Bury, Dr. Micheline Dumont, Dr. Ramona Lumpkin, Elizabeth Sheehy, Linda Slanina, and Melissa Sariffodeen will be honoured as “nation builders” during an event at the National Arts Centre, running from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Famous 5 Ottawa, named after the five suffrage advocates that helped lead the successful fight for women to vote in Canada, is a volunteer group that celebrates the achievements of women who have made significant contributions locally, nationally, and internationally.

Have a great day!

The Hill Times