Chief Electoral Officer: Not much agency can do about 'fake news'

When it comes to combating fake news during elections, Canada chief electoral officer says there's not much his independent agency can do.

Speaking with a House committee yesterday in Ottawa, Stephane Perrault said there were some ``minimal rules'' that cover impersonation of parties, candidates or Elections Canada officials and some limited forms of disinformation.

But when it comes to outright lies spread on social media, he says there is no way for Elections Canada to regulate that.

Perrault also refused to comment specifically on an ad that falsely suggests NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who is in the midst of a byelection contest in British Columbia's Burnaby South, owns an opulent mansion.

Recently passed omnibus legislation modernizing Canada's election laws included a narrow-focused provision that makes it an offence to make false statements about a candidate, but it didn't cover false statements about property ownership.