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Distrust and Disinformation

Distrust in public institutions and disinformation – two aspects of the current Canadian political fabric that are of great concern – are mutually reinforcing. When public institutions are perceived as less trustworthy, citizens may be more susceptible to believing disinformation. Conversely, the spread of disinformation can further erode trust in institutions. This situation can undermine the integrity of democratic processes and outcomes as well as societal cohesion.

This is a key point made in a Global News article, which perhaps unsurprisingly, cites Statistics Canada data showing that 50% of Canadians “find it hard to tell what’s true online.”

Addressing both declining trust and rising disinformation requires a multi-facetted approach, and fostering good public governance is a key part of the solution.

Good governance enhances transparency, accountability, and responsiveness, thereby bolstering trust in institutions. Moreover, by providing platforms for inclusive and respectful dialogue, governments can foster an environment where diverging perspectives are acknowledged and addressed constructively.