Oct 29, 2021

By Jeremy Logan

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Disinformation campaigns and extremism are a serious threat to global economies and democracy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a speech to Dutch parliamentarians in The Hague Friday.

Trudeau is in the Netherlands for an official visit, opening his day giving a speech to and taking questions from members of the House of Representatives and Senate in the historic Ridderzaal.

Paying homage to the friendship between Canada and the Netherlands that rose out of the Second World War, Trudeau said the very values and security Allied forces fought to defend are in peril.

“It’s not just conspiracy theorists and marginalized, angry people online,” he said. “It’s state actors, too, using disinformation, propaganda, and cyberwarfare to harm our economies, our democracies, and undermine people’s faith in the principles that hold us together.”

Trudeau did not name any particular state actor, but more than one question from Dutch parliamentarians centred on the rising influence of China, a fact Trudeau said “poses tremendous challenges around the world to democracies and our trading systems.”

And yet, Trudeau said China is too big a player to withdraw engagement entirely.

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