Long pandemic could add to extremism, decline in democracy: Defence Department report

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A new research report by the Department of National Defence suggests the longer the COVID-19 pandemic rages, the stronger right-wing extremism and other potential threats to Canada could become.

The report was written by the Defence Department's research agency and lays out a range of possible political, economic and security challenges that will be posed depending on how long the pandemic remains.

While right-wing extremism is expected to remain a concern even if COVID-19 is contained this year, the report predicts its prevalence will grow if the pandemic continues past 2023 or 2025.

Public trust in governments, particularly in democracies like Canada, will also suffer the longer the pandemic remains, as well as trust in international organizations like the U-N and NATO.

The Defence Research and Development Canada report also suggests the risk of more wars between countries and inside them is also directly related to the pandemic's duration.

Conversely, the report suggests trust in governments, international organizations and science could be boosted if the pandemic ends this year, though some threats such as a newly emergent China will remain.