Against a potential Russian meddling
On September 25, 2018, during a panel discussion at the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denied direct Russian interference in the 2015 Canadian election, admitting, though, that Canada is aware of and has taken actions to prevent such a scenario in future.
The Prime Minister also stated that “certain countries, including Russia,” are motivated to weaken democratic foundation, western institutions and people’s confidence in their governments. To keep up with rapid technological changes and to successfully combat new disruptive tools, Canada stands for coordinated efforts in terms of cybersecurity. According to Justin Trudeau, the country led this conversation at the recent G7 meeting, advocating for a “quick response team to defend our democracies.” Moreover, as reported by the Canadian Prime Minister, Canada has invested in their own cyber capacities and electoral reform to ensure a better resistance to any external meddling. He specified two major differences between the U.S. and Canadian electoral systems. The first one has to deal with a limit set for donations to political parties, i.e. they are restricted to fully disclosed individual donations in a total of $1500 a year. And the other one is connected with electoral district boundaries, which are determined every ten years in Canada by fully independent commissions.
Meanwhile, Global News broadcasted on September 18, 2018, that Elections Canada had proposed a purchase of a “social media and open source data listening and analytics tool” to identify any interference in the electoral process “in near real time.” “The system must also be able to identify and help connect geo-located incidents and monitor specific hashtags, keywords, handles and accounts,” writes the online source. At the same time, several election officials admitted that the concept of social media monitoring was not new, the Canadian electoral body just required a new technology.