'Fact Check' website broke election advertising rules: Elections Commissioner

A pair of social media ads featuring editorials from an outlet called Canada Fact Check targeting then-Conservative leader Andrew Scheer were a violation of partisan advertising rules, said the Elections Commissioner.

'Fact Check' website broke election advertising rules: Elections Commissioner
Remove Ads

A news website branding itself as a "fact checker" was found to be in violation of “partisan advertising” rules, according to Canada's Elections Commissioner.

Ethan Phillips, editor of Canada Fact Check, advertised two posts promoting stories from the site which “contained the required elements of partisan advertising,” wrote the commissioner in an enforcement letter first shared by Blacklock's Reporter.

The 2019 advertisements warned of the “dangers of an Andrew Scheer federal Conservative government.” Phillips was fined $500 for the breach. The Scheer-led Conservatives, Phillips said, were “beholden to a minority, right-wing voting block that distrusts expertise and hard facts, dislikes change and is profoundly uncomfortable with the increase in visible minority Canadians.”

Phillips was previously employed as the research director for Ontario's New Democrats, according to his public LinkedIn profile.

While news outlets running opinion pieces is not a violation of the Elections Act, the website used those articles in paid ads on Facebook — a violation of rules requiring partisan advertises to register with the federal government.

Despite what the outlet's name suggests, Canada Fact Check is not a fact-checking website; instead, it describes itself as “an independent news platform dedicated to transparency, democratic reform, government accountability and corporate responsibility.”

The outlet was among several critics punished for running afoul of election rules in 2019.

In one prominent instance, Wilfrid Laurier University was issued a citation for giving the Scheer Conservatives a “fail” mark on immigration in its Muslim Voting Guide, a publication then-deputy industry minister Simon Kennedy described as “weird,” given it received federal funding.

“I’m just wondering if in fact we have any policies at the Council about paying for this stuff that is overtly political in the sense of paying for stuff that, for example, purports to guide people in how they should vote?” Kennedy said, the Toronto Sun reported. “It would seem weird that such a guide would be something we would subsidize no matter what one may or may not think about the content.”

Regular Rebel News viewers will be familiar with another noteworthy case, as Rebel publisher Ezra Levant was interrogated by Elections Canada over his 2019 bestselling book, The Libranos.

In that case, elections officials took aim at the only book published that year that was critical of the Trudeau Liberals. Levant was fined $3,000 on two separate occasions, and was ordered to pay the government $13,000.

An appeal of the Libranos ruling is still ongoing.

Remove Ads
Remove Ads

  • By Ezra Levant

Get your copy of The Libranos today!

"The Libranos: What the media won’t tell you about Justin Trudeau’s corruption" is the most censored book in Canada. Get your copy now to find out why.

Buy Now!

Don't Get Censored

Big Tech is censoring us. Sign up so we can always stay in touch.

Remove Ads