National Newswatch

Threat of violent extremism rising in Canada, MPs told

May 12 2022 — Elizabeth Thompson — The threat of violent extremism has increased in Canada during the pandemic — fuelled by misinformation and resulting in threats to politicians and public servants — top security and policing officials told members of Parliament on Thursday. But while police and intelligence agencies are taking steps to detect extremists and prevent them from carrying out […]

Canadian online searches for far-right material increased during pandemic, MPs told

May 10 2022 — Elizabeth Thompson — The number of Canadian online searches for material related to far-right extremist groups spiked sharply during the pandemic, an expert in online violent extremism told members of Parliament Tuesday. Vidhya Ramalingam is co-founder of Moonshot, which monitors and researches violent extremism. She said the number of such searches in the Ottawa area climbed even more […]

Online content creators are making money from hate, misinformation, MPs told

May 5 2022 — Elizabeth Thompson — Creators of hateful content and misinformation are making millions of dollars through social media, the head of an international non-profit group told MPs studying ideologically motivated violent extremism Thursday. Imran Ahmed is chief executive officer of the Center for Countering Digital Hate, which has been tracking online hate for the past six years. He told […]

Crowdfunding platforms now required to report transactions, after truck convoy protests

May 4 2022 — Elizabeth Thompson — Canada has become one of the first countries in the world to require online crowdfunding platforms to report to its anti-money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, government officials told a special committee examining the truck convoy protest and the steps the government took to end it. Finance department officials said new regulations went into effect […]

One quarter of Canadians believe online conspiracy theories, expert says

Apr 28 2022 — Elizabeth Thompson — A quarter of Canadians believe in online conspiracy theories, an expert on radicalization and terrorism told a parliamentary committee Thursday. David Morin, a professor at the Université de Sherbrooke, said a poll conducted for an upcoming report he is preparing for the Quebec government found that 9 to 10 per cent of Canadians strongly believe […]

Anti-hate group calls for regulator to police social media platforms

Apr 26 2022 — Elizabeth Thompson — The federal government should appoint a regulator with the power to force social media companies to disclose information to help fight far-right extremism, an anti-hate group told MPs Tuesday. Evan Balgord, executive director of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, said an ombudsperson could put more pressure on tech companies to do more to reduce online harms. […]

Crowdfunding platform GoFundMe lobbied MPs before testifying on truck convoy protest

Apr 22 2022 — Elizabeth Thompson — Grappling with the political fallout from hosting a fundraiser for the convoy protest that paralyzed downtown Ottawa, crowdfunding platform GoFundMe lobbied members of Parliament behind the scenes before company executives testified publicly before two parliamentary committees. According to the federal government’s lobby registry, GoFundMe representatives met with three MPs on the public safety and national […]

Budget will compel crowdfunding platforms to report suspicious transactions

Apr 8 2022 — Elizabeth Thompson — Popular online crowdfunding platforms and their payment processors will soon have to report suspicious transactions to Canada’s money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog. The policy change, outlined in Thursday’s budget, comes in the wake of the anti-vaccine mandate convoy protest that paralyzed downtown Ottawa for three weeks and blocked several border crossings. Crowdfunding campaigns raised […]

GiveSendGo defends decision to raise money for protest convoy

Mar 3 2022 — Elizabeth Thompson — American crowdfunding site GiveSendGo is defending its decision to host a fundraiser for the Ottawa convoy protest, telling a parliamentary committee Thursday that the Canadian government never asked it to stop. The site’s spokespeople also told MPs that it would host fundraisers for the Proud Boys or the Ku Klux Klan if what they were […]

Convoy protest received large number of donations from abroad

Feb 10 2022 — Elizabeth Thompson — Hundreds of the GoFundMe donations to the truck convoy protest came from donors who said they were located outside of Canada, according to an analysis of data collected by CBC News. The analysis of a sample of more than 6,600 comments made on the GoFundMe crowdfunding page before it was shut down shows that 573 […]

GoFundMe pauses anti-vaccine mandate protest fundraiser

Feb 2 2022 — Elizabeth Thompson — The popular crowdfunding site GoFundMe has paused a multi-million dollar fundraiser for the convoy protest now tying Ottawa in knots, saying it wants to ensure that the fundraiser complies with its terms of service. Late Wednesday afternoon, a notice suddenly popped up on the “Freedom Convoy 2022” fundraising page. “This fundraiser is currently paused and […]

Critics call for new rules for online fundraisers after protest convoy takes anonymous donations

Jan 29 2022 — Elizabeth Thompson — Critics are calling on the federal government to introduce new rules for online fundraising campaigns after a fundraiser for this weekend’s protest in Ottawa against vaccine mandates raised millions of dollars — in part from anonymous donors and people using fictitious names. Green Party parliamentary leader Elizabeth May said the GoFundMe fundraiser for the protest […]

Hundreds of air passengers flouted in-flight mask rules in 2021

Jan 17 2022 — Elizabeth Thompson — More than 1,700 passengers refused to wear masks during flights on Canadian air carriers last year — a problem the union representing many of Canada’s flight attendants says is getting worse. Figures collected by Transport Canada show that 959 of those cases resulted in enforcement action, ranging from warning letters to fines. Airlines like Air […]