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Democracy and Civic Space (CA0075)



Action Plan: Canada Action Plan 2022-2024

Action Plan Cycle: 2022



Lead Institution: • Canadian Heritage (PCH) • Privy Council Office (PCO) • Global Affairs Canada (GAC) • Public Safety (PS) • Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) • International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Support Institution(s):

Policy Areas

Anti Corruption and Integrity, Capacity Building, Civic Space, Digital Governance, Digital Inclusion, Disinformation/Misinformation, Elections, Freedom of Expression, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Inclusion, LGBTQIA+, Online Civic Space, Public Participation, Security & Public Safety

IRM Review

IRM Report: Canada Action Plan Review 2022-2024

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Yes

Ambition (see definition): No Data

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review


Issue to be addressed Democratic governments must take appropriate measures to ensure that everyone – including the most marginalized – can participate in decisions that affect them. For democracy to prosper, it must be inclusive, safe and participatory. Holding free and fair elections is a first essential step. It is critical to maintain all the rights, processes and institutions that make up a healthy democracy, from a free press to an independent judiciary to the holding of free and fair elections. But we must be mindful of the opportunities and challenges presented by rapidly evolving digital technologies. For instance, the spread of online disinformation since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic further demonstrates how the malicious use of technology can have harmful consequences to the health of democracy and the lives of individuals.

Problem statement There is a need to take action to ensure a healthy and inclusive democracy in Canada.

Commitment The Government of Canada commits to ensuring that democracy works for all by actively combatting disinformation, safeguarding fair elections, fostering social inclusion and trust toward public institutions, and protecting civic space online and offline in an inclusive way.


2.1 Take action to address the rising spread of disinformation in Canada and its consequences on the health of our democracy

- 2.1.1 Summit for Democracy: Projects are supported by the Digital Citizen Contribution Program with a focus on combatting online disinformation and other harms in a Canadian context to better understand the origins, impacts and potential response to online disinformation By March 2023 PCH

- 2.1.2 Summit for Democracy: Projects are supported by PCH’s Joint Initiative with Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council with a focus on combatting online disinformation and other harms in a Canadian context By March 2023 PCH

- 2.1.3 Summit for Democracy: Annual Digital Citizen Initiative conferences are held, bringing together stakeholders for capacity building and knowledge dissemination By February 2022 and February 2023 PCH

- 2.1.4 Summit for Democracy: New models are explored that enable private giving and philanthropic support for trusted, professional, non-profit journalism and local news By March 2024 PCH

- 2.1.5 Summit for Democracy: The Local Journalism Initiative supports the hiring of journalists to provide coverage for under-served communities across Canada to support a healthy, diverse and reliable news ecosystem By March 2024 PCH

- 2.1.6 Lead a multi-stakeholder working group to develop and advance international priorities related to Diversity of Content Online By March 2023 PCH

- 2.1.7 Finalize voluntary actions in line with the Guiding Principles on diversity of content online By December 2022 PCH

- 2.1.8 Countries, private sectors and civil society organizations sign on to the Guiding Principles and commit to advancing voluntary actions By March 2023 PCH

- 2.1.9 Summit for Democracy: During its tenure as Chair of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) in 2022, Canada will engage partners on the challenges created by disinformation, particularly those affecting governments and marginalized and vulnerable groups, and its impact on democratic processes, including participation and representation By December 2022 GAC

- 2.1.10 Publish an educational document for Canadians that would raise awareness on what the national security community does, why they do it and how, with specific reference to national security efforts to combat disinformation meant to undermine our democratic system and social cohesion By September 2022 PS

- 2.1.11 Launch an online engagement tool to foster dialogue with Canadians on national security transparency issues, with specific reference to national security efforts to combat disinformation meant to undermine our democratic system and social cohesion By June 2022 PS

2.2 Continue protecting democracy at home and abroad and safeguarding Canada’s electoral and democracy processes by combatting foreign threats to democracy

- 2.2.1 Summit for Democracy: Release an annual G7 Rapid Response Mechanism public report aimed at raising awareness of and strengthening societal resilience to foreign interference, including statesponsored disinformation, by keeping publics in the G7 member states informed about the latest threats and countermeasures By May 2022 GAC

- 2.2.2 Summit for Democracy: Share Canada’s experience in implementing its Plan to Protect Democracy, such as the Critical Election Incident Public Protocol and the Declaration, with domestic and international partners By fall 2022 PCO

- 2.2.3 Summit for Democracy: Engage provincial and territorial officials on threat awareness, including countering cyber threats and disinformation in electoral processes By fall 2022 PCO

- 2.2.4 Summit for Democracy: Implement the Declaration for Electoral Integrity Online commitment to enhance the circulation of authoritative and verifiable government information in the Internet ecosystem, including ensuring that electoral management bodies are identified as the leading source of information online for where, when and the ways to vote By fall 2022 PCO

- 2.2.5 Summit for Democracy: Work with social media companies on the next iteration of the Declaration for Electoral Integrity Online By fall 2022 PCO

- 2.2.6 Summit for Democracy: Canada will establish a new centre to spread Canadian expertise and assistance to those seeking to build peace; advance justice; promote human rights, inclusion and democracy; and deliver good governance By fiscal year 2023–24 GAC

- 2.2.7 Summit for Democracy: As co-chairs of the Media Freedom Coalition in 2022, Canada will take positive steps toward strengthening its capacity to defend journalists around the world and protect the right to freedom of expression, public interest media, and the safety of journalists By December 2022 GAC

2.3 Take steps toward strengthening trust, inclusion and social cohesion in Canada

- 2.3.1 Summit for Democracy: Monitor trends on trust in government and identify lessons learned from other countries through the OECD’s work and its survey on what drives trust and how trust can foster greater social cohesion By fall 2022 PCO

- 2.3.2 Summit for Democracy: Support research to better understand the state of civic discourse (both online and offline) and social cohesion in Canada By fall 2022 PCO

- 2.3.3 Summit for Democracy: Canada will launch its first-ever federal LGBTQ2 Action Plan to advance the health, social and economic outcomes of LGBTQ2 people in Canada and the human rights of LGBTQ2 individuals internationally By December 2022 WAGE

2.4 Advance digital inclusion at home and abroad with a focus on shaping global norms, empowering multi-stakeholder engagement, and boosting communication and outreach

- 2.4.1 Summit for Democracy: Launch a program of action for Canada’s 2022 chairship of the Freedom Online Coalition to advance digital inclusion to ensure that everyone can participate in society online and offline, at home and abroad, with a focus on shaping global norms and expanding diplomatic networks, promoting multi-stakeholder engagement, and increasing advocacy, communication and outreach By December 2022 GAC

- 2.4.2 Conduct a landscape study and a mapping on disinformation in the four global south regions: Middle East and North Africa, Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, Asia; examine policies and actors; and build an agenda to work together to reduce disinformation By spring 2022 IDRC

- 2.4.3 Support research in 18 countries on how technology has facilitated gender-based violence (GBV) By spring 2022 IDRC

- 2.4.4 Conduct research on fostering a feminist Internet: infrastructure, data, discourse from AI to LGBTQI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex, plus) to labour to GBV By June 2022 IDRC

- 2.4.5 Support two countries in the global south to advance legal and gender transformative approaches to countering sexist hate speech online (India and Brazil) By December 2022 IDRC


Open Government Partnership