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Social media, 'fake news' tops discussion at first Burnaby-South all candidates debate

Last Updated Feb 6, 2019 at 11:29 pm PDT


Fake news and funding the CBC were two issues discussed at the first all-candidates debate for Burnaby-South

The by-election is set for February 25th.

BURNABY (NEWS 1130) — The first all candidates meeting for the riding of Burnaby South kicked off tonight.

The main topic of the night was, ‘Can Canada survive Facebook’, looking at the influence social media can have in this country. Candidates debated issues like cyber security, with Liberal Candidate Richard Lee insisting the federal government is doing enough to protect data from other countries.

“They get quite a few ministries together. They have joined forces so they are having discussions with social media platforms,” Lee said.

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Others, like Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh stressed the importance of online security, saying it ‘cuts to the heart of democracy’. He’s calling for tougher penalties for foreign interference from the federal government.

So called ‘fake news’ also topped the discussion.

When asked about Canada’s response to foreign influence, Singh said more needs to be done to put an end to it.

“When we have fake news and foreign interference, those things cut to the heart of our democracy,” he says. “We’ve seen, in the States, the investigation ongoing into something as fundamental as whether or not there was influence into the election.”

Liberal candidate Richard Lee insisted the Trudeau government is doing enough, reaching out to major social media sites.

Funding for the CBC was also discussed. Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh supported funding Canadian media.

“Our voice and our story as Canadians often gets drowned out, and I think about why that is. If you look at the decisions that have been made, they have been made purposely to choose one platform or another,” he says.

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Liberal Candidate Richard Lee as well as Conservative Jay Shin also touted support for the CBC.

Laura Lynn-Thompson, candidate for the People’s Party of Canada, was also involved in the debate.

The by-election is set for February 25th.