Projects launched to help strengthen Canadians’ resilience against harmful online disinformation

A common set of facts is fundamental to a healthy democracy and a strong society. Canadians should have diverse and reliable sources of information so that they can form opinions; hold governments, public institutions, and individuals to account; and participate in public discourse.

The Minister of Canadian Heritage, Pablo Rodriguez, and the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, Dominic LeBlanc, today announced over $2.4 million in funding for projects that will help citizens determine for themselves what is fact and what is fiction online. Most of these projects will focus on fighting Russian disinformation in the face of its unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine.

Today’s announcement is the result of a special call for proposals launched in March 2022. These projects are citizen-focused activities and funded under Canadian Heritage’s Digital Citizen Initiative (DCI). The Initiative promotes civic, news, and digital media literacy through funding third-party educational activities and programming to help citizens become resilient against disinformation.

Projects will create educational workshops, podcast documentaries, and learning materials for new educational resources, focused on countering Russian disinformation.

We are also announcing the annual call for proposals for the Digital Citizen Contribution Program. Applicants are encouraged to submit research proposals that focus on countering online disinformation and other online harms and threats. Funds received through this open call for proposals are for fiscal year 2022–23 and must be spent by March 31, 2023. The application deadline for this call for proposals is August 18, 2022.

Details on how to apply can be found on the DCCP webpage.

Investing in these projects will help Canadians critically assess what they see online; understand misinformation and disinformation; understand how algorithms impact a user’s online experience; recognize how and when bad actors exploit online platforms; acquire skills to avoid being manipulated online; and effectively engage in public debate and online discussions.

A list of the funded activities, including recipients, funding amounts and project descriptions, is available in the attached backgrounder.