Discover more from Who can tell me the truth? (I+V+I = M)
In Prime Minister's own words...
Useful quotes to help you navigate in the world of misinformation, disinformation, and propaganda
Justin Trudeau says he 'regrets' calling Ottawa protester 'fringe minority' (17 Feb 2023)
When asked if he has any regrets about calling protesters in Ottawa a "fringe minority," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says "I wish I would have phrased that differently." The Public Order Emergency Commission's report into the federal government's use of the Emergencies Act found that Trudeau's comments further emboldened some protesters in Ottawa.
Question: do you have any regrets about calling Ottawa protesters a French minority ?
yeah I wish I had said that differently. as I look back on that and and you know as I've reflected on it over over the past months not just freshly from this commissioner's report I wish I had phrased it differently the fact is there is a very small number of people in this country who deliberately spread misinformation and disinformation that led to Canadians deaths that led to excessive hardship in people who believed them
I continue to be very very firm against those individuals but that is a small subset of people who were just hurting and worried and wanting to be heard
and as much as I tried to emphasize throughout the time that of course we're always going to stand up for freedom of speech and freedom to protest peacefully um
I wish I hadn't said something that was able to be spread larger if I had chosen my words a bit careful have been more specific I think things might have been a bit easier
PM Trudeau and German President Steinmeier hold Q&A with students in Ottawa – April 24, 2023.
12:45 On Future of Democracy:
I believe only if we succeed in enhancing that Readiness to engage in that way will democracy and politics survive
you're saying this is this is the um the ark that we've seen over the past decades and there is a sense with the rise of populism with the power of disinformation with a skepticism and even a cynicism coming in uh that there is more than just a taking for granted of democracy there is a a devaluing of those principles of democracy that have been fought for so hard over over decades and generations that we need to reignite I think one of the challenges around democracy is that it only works when we're really listening to each other when we understand that democracy by definition is different people with different experiences and different stories and different parts of countries with different religions or languages or what have you coming together to try and figure out a consensus that works for the largest number of people possible it's only possible to do that if we are actually one listening to each other and open to each other's experiences and learning from each other but it's also only possible if we are grounded in a similar acceptance of the facts an acceptance of reality as it is and what we're seeing unfortunately through disinformation misinformation and what's online is a a equivalencies between false narratives and scientific or evidence-based truth that is coring away at democracies in a in a very very challenging way and that's where these conversations become so important but one other reflection I've had on democracies recently and perhaps is the um was the the fault line in thinking that democracy was winning over the past decades is that democracies whether it's North America or Europe or elsewhere continued to rely for their economic prosperity and the well-being of their citizens on resources or Goods that were created or purveyed by autocracies so if we're sitting at the top of a so-called pyramid and say we're great in democracies but man oh man do we ever need those cheap lithium batteries from China or the uh or the the you know cheap coffee and food from the global South that aren't living either in democracies or with anywhere near the quality of life that we see there is a instability or a an inauthenticity in us being able to say well see our system works best and it goes as well for within our own with if we have as we have in Canada indigenous people continuing to live in marginalized situations that do not benefit from everything and yet we're drawing on the natural resources from um you know lands that are their territories there is a inconsistency that can only be a weakness in democracy until we start to fix it until we start to address it and both look at how we are starting to not just pay proper value to resources and goods from the rest of the world but also help bring them along so that they are at standards around labor and environmental and partnership with indigenous peoples that we would and can expect from ourselves globalization means we cannot pretend to ignore the situations around the world because that is part of how this instability around democracy has come when democracy has meant exploitation for so many people around the world it's hard to then turn around and say no no it can really work for you just protect our quality of life there's there's an undermining of that is we both in our contributions made it very clear that democracy has come under pressure and that interested parties autocracies across the globe are there that keep pressure upon us but sometimes we surprise ourselves Justin don't we uh you know we say after all it was the calculation that Putin made when he set out on attacking Ukraine that the West that the Western democracies would not stand United for a very long time but that Unity within the European Union of the European Union would come to an end soon and that the United cohesion in NATO the Western defensive Alliance would not work or would not last for a long period in time that the people in the countries we represent would become impatient with an eye to that major Financial political and Military Support that we've extended to Ukraine but I said that at the end of the day we surprise ourselves and by the fact that democracies even if we may not represent the majority of the people of the world about democracies are nevertheless stronger than Putin may have thought when he set out starting that war We Stand United side by side and I think it's fair to say that the Western Alliance has never been as United as it has been in this period of time and I think the same is true for the European Union and there are many reasons I believe also why the Canadian German relationship has become closer there are economic reasons for that it is to do with a free trade agreement that we have entered into and sign together and have also ratified in the meantime but I also believe that it is tied to the feeling that people on both sides of the Atlantic have they realize that we have to do something to protect our democracy we have to commit ourselves we have to engage we have to strengthen our resilience and I think that that feeling that sentiment is just as present in Canada as it is in Germany and as far as that is concerned I think we are all in the process of learning our lessons
19:40 about Russian military invasion to Ukraine
as I said we're drawing the right lessons from those experiences indeed there's a lot of questions around um you know people have questions about the amount of military aid and humanitarian support we're sending to Ukraine but the understanding that goes with it is Ukraine isn't just fighting for its own territory its own sovereignty its own ability to choose its future as a democracy it's also fighting for the principles that underpin the U.N Charter that underpin all of our democracies around Freedom around territorial Integrity around the principles of democracy versus an autocracy and that makes it a moment where perhaps the West was slow to get to this point because of course we don't want to see ourselves in a conflict like this. but having got to this point there is a sense of absolute certainty amongst our G7 countries and most European and Allied countries that this is a situation that Russia cannot end up benefiting from, because it's not just about Russia it's about autocracies and dictators all around the world who look at where their borders are and say but I have a bigger Army and there are people who speak the same language as my country just on the other side of that River we should liberate them and bring them back into the fold
if Russia is successful in its invasion of Ukraine, then countries around the world will see leaders dictators autocrats who invested massively in their military deciding that there is license for them to do the same thing and that would spread with very severe consequences.
21:45 About not forcing vaccination and definitions of misinformation and disinformation
Question he's hello my name is Julia Musa I'm a second year student at jispia. um so my research will be looking at the Conservative Party of Canada and how they change their political discourse at the time of the freedom Convoy. so how we saw them speak differently about vaccines about the pandemic and masking and other measures.
PM: so words are really important to me in terms of my research I'll be looking at specific words. so today I want to ask you a question about the word misinformation. so the word misinformation or disinformation can be a loaded word and it can also have multiple meanings.
it became a popular word during the pandemic. it's used by both the right and the left. the concern is when this word is being used to discredit opposing views which was Amplified during the pandemic. it's been a word you've used many times. so how do you decide what's misinformation and when to use this word since the word can Encompass different ideas amongst Canadians.
unlike all of you in this room or most of you in this room, I never studied political science. I studied English literature, so words really matter to me. and you may call me old-fashioned but I tend to defer to the actual definitions of words when I use them. and misinformation and disinformation which you used a little interchangeably are actually very different things.
[Note PM incidentally swapped these definitions but corrected himself later)
disinformation is when things that are false, things that are untrue, are spread by people who don't know any better.
misinformation is a deliberate choice to spread and share falsehoods for a particular purpose, whether it's a personal purpose or a political purpose or a creating chaos purpose
now what can start as misinformation can quickly end up being Amplified as disinformation
but the entire discourse has to ground itself in something because you're absolutely right who decides what is misinformation and disinformation
well if someone looks outside and says it's a beautiful blue sky sunny day today, we would know that's wrong, because our experience here in Ottawa our experience looking out the window tells us otherwise
but if someone says the Earth is flat, you can see extensive YouTube Pages devoted by people who've decided and this is a recent phenomenon over the past decade or so that the Earth is flat, because their experiences they look out to the Horizon is boy the Earth sure looks flat. so it can't just be about perception, you look on the Weather Channel oh it's raining in Ottawa okay
so it's not a blue sky sunny day we have to agree that we're going to agree with the Weather Channel on this or with the scientists from Environment Canada who are saying that it is sunny today in Ottawa or it is rainy here today in Ottawa
there has to be an acceptance that there are experts out there that create a basis of fact that was built up on in generations to tell us that you know water is wet and it freezes at zero degrees Celsius and it you know they're a scientific realities that have been proven and accepted
and the challenge that we have now is that increasingly misinformation and disinformation is carrying people to believe things that are untrue, and vaccinations is a perfect example of it -
like any modern bit of medical advancements, there are potential side effects in vaccinations. And there, you know, are people who've probably gotten very sick from vaccinations on the billions of people who've been vaccinated against covet over the past few years, but there are far more people who obviously have died due to covet, died from not getting vaccinated.
and the idea that people can fly in the face of science - well individuals are allowed to make their own choices, there may be all sorts of different reasons why someone is hesitant to get vaccinated - but I make a distinction, I have always have between, someone choosing for personal reasons to choose not to get vaccinated and someone deliberately using misinformation to mislead and scare other people with so-called facts, that aren't facts at all, that lead them to make a choice that endangers their lives and the lives of other citizens.
so as prime minister, through the greatest Public Health crisis that we've faced in a hundred years in this country since the Spanish Flu, my responsibility was to keep as many Canadians alive as possible
and all of the scientists and the medical experts and the researchers, not just in Canada but around the world, understood that vaccination was going to be the way through this.
and therefore while not forcing anyone to get vaccinated, I chose to make sure that all the incentives and all the protections were there to encourage Canadians to get vaccinated, and that's exactly what they did.
we got vaccinated to a higher level than just about any other of our peer countries and that's why we had a less deadly pandemic in most other countries
now a lot of people nodding along with that but boy oh boy you know the comments section on the live stream right now is exploding with people who are in deep deep disagreement with everything I just said,
and we have to figure out how to continue to protect those people, because my job as prime minister is to keep people alive and keep people safe and keep democracy going - whether or not they choose to believe that's what I'm doing or not -but this is a challenge that we've all faced throughout our democracies and I know you guys had similar discourses in in Germany around that…