Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes his seat for a session at the Paris Peace Forum in Paris, France, Sunday, November 11, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

Politicians need to do better on social media, Trudeau says

Prime minister suggests at conference in Paris some are trying to use technology to polarize voters

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says politicians need to learn how to enhance citizen engagement through the use of social media in the face of leaders using those platforms to undermine democracy.

He made the comment this morning while speaking at a conference in Paris.

Without mentioning anyone by name, he suggested there are politicians who are trying to use technology to polarize voters.

Trudeau said it is easier to push someone into being angry through a well-timed tweet than to pull them into a positive dialogue about issues.

The discussion at the Paris event was driven by U.S. President Donald Trump, who regularly uses Twitter to fire up his legions of followers and vent at his critics.

READ MORE: White House says Trump’s tweet about Russia probe was an opinion

READ MORE: Trump takes to Twitter to criticize FBI, special prosecutor

Trudeau has been a target of Trump’s irate tweeting, particularly after the G7 meeting in Charlevoix, Que., over the prime minister’s comments on trade negotiations.

When asked directly to comment about Trump’s Twitter usage, Trudeau suggested Trump is just being Trump, adding that it’s important people are authentic on Twitter, and the American president is certainly that.

The comments came the day after Trudeau and other world leaders issued dire warnings about leaders calling themselves nationalists and the problems they pose for maintaining the world order built in the aftermath of the world wars.

Again, no names were mentioned, but the warnings seemed clearly aimed at Trump who has repeatedly professed his “American” nationalism.

Trudeau also took time at the conference to tout his government’s progress on digitizing the way it delivers services.

The prime minister has made the use of technology and data a priority in providing government programs to Canadians through digital channels alongside better, more up to date information to feed federal decisions.

In September, the federal government launched its new “digital standards” to help public servants navigate their way towards what the Liberals call an “effective digital government.”

But there have been hiccups along the way.

A pilot project from Statistics Canada to scoop up anonymized and randomized banking transactions on 500,000 Canadians has faced steep criticism from opposition parties in the House of Commons.

And internal documents obtained by The Canadian Press paint a clearer picture of detailed work underway to overcome the challenges the civil service faces in meeting the Liberals’ digital goals.

Trudeau is on a 10-day trip across Europe and Asia that began Friday with a gathering of world leaders in France to mark a century since the end of the First World War.

Jordan Press, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cariboo ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

BC SPCA team helps discover new feline virus after outbreak at Quesnel shelter

Fechavirus is a kind of parvovirus, which makes cats and kittens very sick

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Commercial salmon fisheries delayed for Bella Coola area

DFO notice says Area C gill net fisheries in Area 8 have been delayed until June 15

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Most Read