Loading Events

Dis/Misinformation and Foreign Interference: Lessons from the Foreign Interference Commission

April 18 @ 4:00 pm - 4:45 pm

This talk is the keynote address for the Technology Governance Policy Challenge. Register here to attend the Policy Challenge presentations.

One of the most highly charged claims to emerge in the aftermath of the Canadian general election in 2021 was that the People’s Republic of China had been behind a campaign of disinformation that damaged the chances of the Conservative Party of Canada in the election. Doubt was sewn in some quarters about the integrity of the election—perhaps for the first time in Canadian history.

This claim of electoral interference has re-emerged to take centre stage in the current round of public hearings conducted by the public inquiry into Foreign Interference. Its prominence is a product of several factors—the public release of hitherto unseen intelligence reporting; testimony by leading players in the drama; the role that political parties, including the Conservatives, are now playing in the Commission’s hearings; and, at bottom, the challenge of determining the reality, impact and significant of disinformation and misinformation campaigns. That challenge makes partial evidence of such campaigns, as revealed in intelligence reporting, easy fodder for politicisation.

A key question for the Public Inquiry concerns the lessons to be learned about dis/misinformation campaigns.  Its hearings are an important moment in deepening public understanding.

Dr. Wark’s talk will explore the interface between intelligence reporting, political outlooks, and public responses on dis/misinformation and its impacts on democratic processes.

About the speaker

Dr. Wesley Wark is an expert on national security and intelligence issues, in both a Canadian and international context.

He is a senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, in Waterloo, where he co-directed a major project on Canadian National Security Strategy. He is co-author of the CIGI special report, “Reimagining a Canadian National Security Strategy, https://www.cigionline.org/publications/reimagining-a-canadian-national-security-strategy/ Wark was the co-editor of a digital essay series published by the Centre for International Governance Innovation, “Security, Intelligence and the Global Health Crisis” (August 2020). His most recent book is an edited volume: Secret Intelligence: A Reader (second edition 2019).

Professor Wark served as a member of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on National Security for two terms (2005-2009) and on the CBSA President’s advisory committee (2006-2010). He was an advisor to the Minister of Public Safety on national security policy and legislation between 2015 and 2019.

He spent most of his academic career at the University of Toronto, where he taught from 1988 to 2013. Prior to joining the University of Toronto he taught at the London School of Economics, McGill University and the University of Calgary.  He holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and an M.A. from Cambridge University. He currently teaches professional courses on intelligence and security and on national security and intelligence review.


April 18
4:00 pm - 4:45 pm
Event Category:


Room 1-42
67 Erb Street West
Waterloo, ON N2L 6C2 Canada
+ Google Map

Disclaimer: Events posted on this website are public events, unless otherwise stated. By attending our events, you are choosing to enter a space where your image and/or voice may be captured and used as part of a publication (online and/or in print), broadcast, or webcast. If you have any questions, please contact our office at events@balsillieschool.ca or 226-772-3001, or speak to the photographer or videographer at the event.
Scroll to Top