Canada To Invest $2.14Mln To Combat COVID-19 Misinformation - Canadian Heritage

TORONTO (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 08th April, 2020) Canada is investing $2.14 million to counter misinformation online about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Department of Canadian Heritage said in a statement.

"Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, announced today that the Government of Canada is investing $3 million in several organizations through the Digital Citizen Initiative's Digital Citizen Contribution Program," the statement release on Tuesday said. "This funding will help combat false and misleading COVID-19 information as well as the racism and stigmatization that are often the result."

The largest chunk of money - $485,000 - will go to Digital Public Square, a project housed at the University of Toronto's Munk school of Global Affairs.

Other sums of money will go to East Asian advocacy groups - the Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal Clinic and the Asian Environmental Association - and media organizations, including the Professional Federation of Journalists from Quebec.

The Canadian government has taken steps to soften the blow for Canadian media outlets as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to bite into media revenue, including waiving licensing fees for the broadcasters, a move that will allow the major broadcasters to retain more than $21 million in cash.

In February, the Heritage Minister made headlines after telling a Canadian outlet that his ministry would pursue licensing for media outlets operating in Canada, later backtracking on his earlier comments, saying that news agencies would be exempt from the media licensing requirement.

In September, the Trudeau government announced a $450 million media bailout.