Most Canadians trust media, but a similar share worry about fake news being weaponized: survey – National

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Nearly three-quarters of Canadians profess trust traditional media, but the same share admitted to be worried about false information, and fake news being weaponized, said a poll released by a global communications firm on Thursday.

The Edelman Trust Barometer found 71 per cent of Canadians saying they’re increasingly concerned about fake news, with the share of worried respondents having climbed six points from last year.

Some of this anxiety may come from a lack of understanding about what “fake news” really is, Edelman CEO Lisa Kimmel told Global News.

WATCH: Edelman Trust Barometer






“What it’s now evolved to, that term, is if people don’t like coverage by the media, then it’s coined as fake news. The president of the U.S., who anytime there’s negative coverage around him, just terms it and deems it fake news,” she said.

This share is on par with the rest of the world, as 73 per cent of respondents in the 27 countries surveyed by Edelman reported their concerns about the weaponization of “fake news.”

Anxiety about the future may be driving an increase in news engagement among Canadians.

WATCH: Trump says public ‘loves’ border patrol, but ‘fake news’ does not







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The share of Canadians who claimed to consume news every day was 42 per cent, up 11 points from 2018.

Meanwhile, the share of people who have disengaged from the news has fallen from 54 per cent to 33 per cent.

Traditional media may be seeing an uptick in trust — but the opposite is true of social media.

In every market surveyed — Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Asia Pacific, Middle East and African regions — social media was considered the least reliable source of information.

In the U.S. and Canada, social media commanded the trust of only 34 per cent of respondents.


READ MORE:
Who do Canadians trust most? Their employers, apparently

“It’s not surprising, given the fact that fake news has been disseminated over social media, that social media is now the least trusted source for general news and information,” Kimmel explained.

However, it’s important to note that while trust in media rose in Edelman’s latest report, media organizations remained the least-trusted institutions among those polled in the survey.

In Canada, approximately 61 per cent of men and 53 per cent of women indicated that they trusted their media.

That was higher than the average of all 27 countries that were surveyed — there, 50 per cent of men reported trust in media, compared to 45 per cent of women.

See the full results of the poll here. 


METHODOLOGY

Edelman conducted an online survey of over 33,000 people in 27 countries. 

The margin of error was considered three ways.

There was a “27-market global data margin of error” which showed a margin of 0.6 per cent among the general population, 1.3 per cent among respondents considered the “informed public” and of  0.8 per cent among a “global general online population.”

There was also a “market-specific data margin of error” of 2.9 per cent among the general population and 6.9 per cent among the informed public.

Finally, there was an “employee margin of error” of 0.8 per cent across 27 markets, and an additional “market-specific” margin of error of anywhere between 3.2 and 4.6 per cent.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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‘Revolving door’ of ministers in the veterans affairs department causing worry

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OTTAWA—In the political controversy engulfing Justin Trudeau’s government, advocates fear that the revolving door atop the veterans affairs department means that veterans and their priorities are getting short shrift.

Jody Wilson-Raybould on Tuesday announced her resignation from cabinet after serving barely a month as veterans affairs minister.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will also take on the role of veterans affairs minister after Jody Wilson-Roybould left the federal cabinet on Feb. 12, 2019.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will also take on the role of veterans affairs minister after Jody Wilson-Roybould left the federal cabinet on Feb. 12, 2019.  (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

She quit cabinet amidst allegations that Trudeau’s office had pressured her in her former role as attorney general to mediate a settlement with SNC-Lavalin rather than pursue criminal charges.

In the wake of her announcement, Trudeau said that Harjit Sajjan, who is the defence minister, would take on the role of veterans affairs minister too. He becomes the eighth minister to hold the position since 2010 and the fourth since the Liberals took office in 2015.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” said Scott Maxwell, executive director of Wounded Warriors Canada.

“Who can possible effect the real substantive reforms needed in any ministry under these time frames. The answer, of course, is nobody,” he said.

“Our message is that veterans and their families deserve better,” said Maxwell.

In the wake of Tuesday’s resignation, the Royal Canadian Legion called on the government to create one department to merge Veterans Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence to ensure seamless oversight of military personnel “from recruitment into retirement.

“We have witnessed several puzzling changes to VAC’s leadership in recent years, and we now question just how committed government is to Canada’s veterans,” the legion said in a statement.

“On their behalf, we ask that the veteran portfolio overall be treated as a vital one, and that government take swift action so that critical issues related to our veterans’ well-being are dealt with immediately,” the statement said.

Successive governments have faced criticism that the benefits provided to veterans fall short at the very time that government is faced with a wave of veterans suffering the mental and physical wounds from Canada’s extended mission in Afghanistan.

Kent Hehr was the first politician to hold the post in Trudeau’s government, followed by Seamus O’Regan, then Wilson-Raybould and now Sajjan.

Each change means a steep learning curve for the minister and their staff as they get up to speed on the issues facing the department, the complex array of veterans benefits and get acquainted with stakeholders. That inevitably means delays.

Sajjan at least comes into the portfolio with some familiarity with the issues, thanks to his time as defence minister and a veteran of the Armed Forces himself. But it still means that the job of veteran affairs minister is now a part-time role, held by a minister juggling two departments.

Maxwell noted that a few ministers have stayed in their portfolios for a prolonged period, including Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Sajjan and questioned why veteran affairs doesn’t merit the same stability. “It’s time that it did and it needs to,” he said.

NDP MP Gord Johns, the party’s critic for veterans affairs, said that veterans have grown frustrated with “revolving door” of ministers for the department.

He praised Wilson-Raybould as a “capable” minister and said expectations were running high that she could make headway on the issues facing the department. “I think a lot of veterans were very excited of her stature and her CV,” said Johns (Courtenay—Alberni).

He met with Wilson-Raybould just last week and agreed to meet again to work together on veterans issues. “She was open and willing to work on issues with me,” Johns said.

“Veterans are tired of rhetoric. They want a minister that is committed to working on their issues,” he said in an interview. “Veterans are really being lost in all of this.”

Even when she took on the post in a January cabinet shuffle, Wilson-Raybould had to push back on suggestions that the veterans affairs role was a demotion in the hierarchy of cabinet positions.

“I can think of no world in which I would consider working for our veterans in Canada as a demotion,” Wilson-Raybould told reporters on the day of the shuffle.

Trudeau himself declared that day that serving as veterans affairs minister is a “deep and awesome responsibility.”

Bruce Campion-Smith is an Ottawa-based reporter covering national politics. Follow him on Twitter: @yowflier

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Most Canadian cannabis users worry it will cause them problems at U.S. border: Ipsos poll – National

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Over half of current Canadian cannabis users — 57 per cent — say they’re worried about their ability to cross the U.S. border because of legal marijuana use in Canada, an Ipsos poll done exclusively for Global News shows.

Are they right to be worried? It’s not clear.

WATCH: Government workers could face border problems after marijuana legalization






In mid-October, U.S. border officials said they might bar Canadians from the U.S. for legal marijuana use in Canada if a border officer decides they are likely to consume it in the United States.


READ MORE:
Legal cannabis use could still get you banned at the border, U.S. confirms

But Canadians seem to no longer be being banished from the U.S. because of marijuana use in Canada, says Blaine, Wash., immigration lawyer Len Saunders.

“It has been eerily quiet with regards to marijuana cases at the border,” he says.

“Over the last month, since they’ve legalized marijuana, the calls I’m getting with regard to cannabis-related issues have almost dropped to nothing.”

Saunders says the change could be a quiet policy shift, or it could be due to Canadians becoming more discreet at the border about past marijuana use due to media coverage of the issue.

WATCH: B.C. woman banished from U.S. gets second chance






Canadians who are banned from the U.S. due to marijuana use can apply for a waiver to be allowed to cross the border, but the process of getting one is cumbersome, expensive and has to be started all over again from scratch every few years for the rest of the person’s life.

“My waiver business has gotten a lot slower,” Saunders says. “I’m still doing a lot of waivers for Canadians with marijuana convictions and stuff like that, but the new cases, going forward after October 17, have almost dropped to zero.”

Saunders thinks that a legal Canadian marijuana user would probably be able to be open about it and cross the border, unless the guard decides their use seems habitual. In that case, they would be sent to a U.S. government-approved doctor in Canada to be evaluated; the doctor’s report isn’t shown to the person or their lawyer, but sent directly to U.S. border officials.

“I think that person would be fine, but I haven’t seen anybody admit to that yet, and I wouldn’t want to have someone test that out and be my guinea pig.”


READ MORE:
Non-Americans barred from U.S. for smoking pot — even in states where it’s legal

WATCH: How has legalization changed marijuana consumption in Canada? 






The poll was conducted in the first week of November, about two weeks after legalization.

Most concerned were cannabis users in Quebec (65 per cent) and Alberta (63 per cent), male users (62 per cent), those under 35 (68 per cent) and university graduates (64 per cent.)

“There are substantial majorities who should be concerned, and frankly, so they should be,” says Jennifer McLeod Macey, vice-president at Ipsos.

“We’ve also had some news around the U.S. border recently, so this doesn’t surprise me. I would maybe have expected it to be higher.”

Users in British Columbia weren’t more concerned than other Canadian cannabis users — at 55 per cent — despite the fact that a disproportionate number of people appear to have been banned from the United States at West Coast border crossings, at least based on public reports.

(We asked the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for a more detailed breakdown of Canadians banned from the U.S. for marijuana use, along with a simple count, and they refused to provide one.)

WATCH: Canadian lawyer questions government advice to be honest at U.S. border







Exclusive Global News Ipsos polls are protected by copyright. The information and/or data may only be rebroadcast or republished with full and proper credit and attribution to “Global News Ipsos.” This poll was conducted between November 1st to 6th, 2018, with a sample of 2,402 Canadians from Ipsos’ online panel. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. This poll is accurate to within +/ – 2.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Reality check: Do Canadians need to worry about growth hormones in dairy post-USMCA? – National

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The new and improved NAFTA — called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement — has opened the door to allow U.S. milk into the Canadian market.

Canada has agreed to provide U.S. dairy farmers access to about 3.5 per cent of its approximately $16-billion annual domestic dairy market.


READ MORE:
Canadians shouldn’t bet on lower dairy prices under new trade deal: experts

Along with outrage in support of the livelihoods of Canadian dairy farmers, Canadians are also concerned about the U.S.’s use of hormones on cows and the effect it will have on the milk they drink.

The recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is a manmade bovine hormone that increases milk production in cows.

The hormone is banned in Canada and Europe because it’s been found that “it’s too stressful for that cows and it was rejected in this country or made illegal based on animal welfare grounds,” explained researcher Marie-Claude Fortin.

WATCH: Dairy Farmers on USMCA






The Animal Welfare Institute says the increased lactation period for cows doubles the “metabolic stress” of the cow, and increases the rates of illnesses in the cows.

It isn’t banned in the U.S.

Only about 20 per cent of U.S. farmers use the hormone, Fortin says since the synthetic hormone is identical to the natural hormone, it’s impossible to tell whether the hormone is present in milk.

As for effects on human health, the bovine hormone rBGH can trigger an increase in another hormone called IGF-1 which has the capacity to impact humans.


READ MORE:
Alberta dairy farmer explains why he’s disappointed with NAFTA replacement

Health Canada found no evidence of adverse health concerns from the hormone, which is also called rBST.

But Fortin says the science isn’t clear on how much this second hormone can affect us.

“Frankly, the results go both ways,” Fortin said.

“We have some studies in the United States that have looked at its possible impact on humans. … It’s not clear if there’s an increase in potential for the development of tumours or cancer.”

A study commissioned by Health Canada said there was not yet evidence to suggest IGF-1 is carcinogenic to humans, but that the worldwide scientific community will continue to study the matter.

No way to tell

While some dairies attempt to use farms that don’t use the growth hormone, there’s no test or third-party certification.

“It means that if Canadian consumers do not want to have dairy products (or) milk that comes from cows that have received this hormone, (there) is really very little we can do,” she said.

Once American milk starts coming into Canada, Fortin says processing plants will have to update their policies.

“Right now the different packages or labelling types that we see across the country are not are not equal in how much they disclose,” Fortin said.

“There’s nothing in any regulation of any source that requires that processing plants to disclose where the milk comes from because it has always come from Canada [previously].”

The one thing Canadians can do, is look for the “100% Canadian” logo on their dairy products — which has prompted both Canadian companies and consumers to talk about “buying Canadian.”

“This symbol guarantees 100% Canadian milk ingredients, no antibiotics and no synthetic growth hormones. #bluecow,” Manitoban cheese company Bothwell wrote on Facebook.

 

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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94 per cent of GTA millennials worry young people won’t be able to afford a home, poll says

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More than nine in ten millennials are concerned people their age won’t be able to afford to buy a home in the GTA, according to a new poll.

Eighty-five per cent of GTA residents of all ages said they are concerned about young people’s ability to buy a home, according to an Ipsos poll released Tuesday on behalf of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB). That number rises to 94 per cent for millennials aged 18-34.

Construction at a condo construction site near Queens Quay and Lower Jarvis St. in an Oct. 23, 2017, file photo.
Construction at a condo construction site near Queens Quay and Lower Jarvis St. in an Oct. 23, 2017, file photo.  (Bernard Weil / Toronto Star)

The poll also finds widespread concern that GTA children will be unable afford to buy in the their community. Just one in three residents said the children they know will grow up to be able to afford local housing.

“According to a recent Centre for Urban Research and Land Development study, there are about 730,000 millennials living in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) who may be planning to move on from living in their parents’ homes and from sharing a dwelling with roommates in the next ten years, potentially creating 500,000 new households,” said Dave Wilkes, BILD president and CEO, in a press release.

Interestingly, although millennials are concerned about the ability to own a home, they are also the most optimistic group regarding housing supply, with 41 per cent of them believing that the GTA is well prepared to provide housing for the number of new residents that settle here every year. That is substantially higher than those age 35 to 54 (31 per cent) and those over 55 (27 per cent).

When picking a new home, 60 per cent of GTA residents say they value a neighbourhood that is walkable and bikeable, in addition to being within proximity to shopping, entertainment and government services.

This is closely followed by those who prefer access to convenient transit (56 per cent) and proximity to work and school (54 per cent).

“The best public policy is proactive, not reactive. We hope these poll results demonstrate that the time for municipal decision-makers to start thinking about housing choice and supply for all GTA residents who want to own a home is now,” said TREB president Garry Bhaura.

“In the next decade, we are likely to be part of a significant housing shift in our region as a large wave of millennials start looking for a place to live of their own,” added Wilkes.

Marta Marychuk is a reporter with the Brampton Guardian. Email: mmarychuk@metroland.com

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