Canadian media a target for foreign interference, says national security committee chair

The chair of Parliament’s national security committee says foreign actors are trying to interfere with the Canadian media, and journalists and their bosses need to be aware of it.

Liberal MP David McGuinty says all forms of media, including mainstream news media, are being subjected to interference by bad actors, but he adds he can’t divulge specifics because the information is classified.

The media was singled out in a recent review by the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians (NSICOP), which McGuinty chairs.

It says China and India are interfering with Canadian media content through direct engagement with journalists and media executives.

The report says there have been instances of China paying to publish media articles without attribution, sponsoring media travel to China, pressuring journalists to withdraw articles and creating false accounts on social media to spread disinformation.

The report also says India has developed a network of contacts through which it conducts interference activities involving journalists, members of ethnocultural communities and MPs.

The redacted report is based on secret intelligence, which often doesn’t paint a full picture and does not equate to evidence.