Federal Liberals aim to make voting easier for Canadians, harder for parties to persuade them

The federal Liberal government wants to make it easier for Canadians to vote and make it harder for political parties or foreign entities to persuade them who to vote for using falsehoods or vast sums of money.

Treasury Board President Scott Brison introduced a bill yesterday meant to address several promises Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made in 2015, including by tackling how much political parties and third-party advocacy groups can spend on election campaigns.

It is also meant to shield the electoral system against the proliferation of so-called fake news and barring any organizations, including social media sites, from knowingly selling election advertising bought with foreign funds.

The legislation, if passed, would also cap how much political parties can spend on partisan advertising leading up to the official campaign period, which would be about 1.5-million dollars in 2019.

Third-party advocacy groups, meanwhile, would be limited to spending 10-thousand dollars per electoral district, up to one-million dollars in total, on partisan advertising, activities and election-related surveys.

But after the writs are dropped, those third parties would be able to spend up to 500-thousand dollars in 2019.

That's more than is allowed now, but it would cover a wider range of activities and none of it could come from foreign entities.