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Most federal candidates saw false information as problem, survey suggests

Last Updated Jun 1, 2020 at 3:24 pm EDT

Host Patrice Roy from Radio-Canada, centre, introduces Federal party leaders, left to right, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, Green Party leader Elizabeth May, People's Party of Canada leader Maxime Bernier, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, and Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet before the Federal leaders French language debate in Gatineau, Que. on October 10, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

OTTAWA — A newly released survey report suggests nearly two-thirds of candidates in the last federal election felt there was a problem with the spread of false information online.

The survey, conducted for Elections Canada by Ekos Research Associates, found that among those who saw false information as a headache during the campaign, 30 per cent said it had a major impact on the election outcome.

Over two in five felt that foreign countries or groups were using social media and other means to influence the political opinions of Canadians.

Support for online voting among candidates was low, with just over one-third saying ballots should be cast by using the internet.

A total of 1,172 interviews were completed — 396 by phone and 776 online — from Oct. 25 to Nov. 27, 2019, from a list of the 2,146 candidates who ran in the fall election.

Survey results were weighted by candidate age and party, as well as whether the nominee was an incumbent and whether or not they were elected, to reflect population characteristics of all candidates.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2020.

The Canadian Press