Canada and the World: Safeguarding Security in the Age of Disinformation

Event Overview

Information manipulation is an emerging threat to democratic societies. Amidst global geopolitical instability, malicious actors are increasingly using incendiary disinformation to compromise national security. Leveraging recent technological advancements these actors have made it difficult for populations to distinguish between fake and genuine content, a challenge which has the potential to severely undermine democratic processes and institutions.

Co-hosted by the uOttawa Information Integrity Lab and The Canadian International Council with support from DND's MINDS program, this one-day conference will serve as a forum for understanding the disinformation threat landscape, exploring the associated risks and solutions, and addressing how we can collectively strengthen our capabilities in dealing with malign information influence, reinforcing our informational integrity.


  • Promote dialogue on information influence and collaborative solutions.
  • Identify and showcase successful strategies in countering disinformation.
  • Contribute to evidence-based policy recommendations.


Conference Speakers

  • Atlantic Council, DFR Lab
  • Business Council of Canada
  • Canadian International Council
  • Computer Research Institute of Montreal
  • Concordia University
  • Department of National Defense
  • Digital Public Square
  • Disinfowatch
  • Embassy of Finland to Canada
  • EU Mission to Canada
  • Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada
  • Google
  • Information Integrity lab
  • King's College London
  • Macdonald-Laurier Institute
  • Media Ecosystem Observatory, McGill University
  • National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine
  • Silent Harbour
  • StrategyCorp
  • United States Embassy in Canada
  • University of Ottawa
  • World Press Freedom

Event Partner







8:30 – 9:00 Opening Remarks

Opening remarks by Haythem Euchi, Manager, Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS), Directorate of Strategic Coordination and Outreach, ADM(Pol)

Opening by Serge Blais, Executive Director, Professional Development Institute (PDI), University of Ottawa

Remarks by Mariana Savka, Canadian International Council, MINDS Grant Recipient

Conference Moderator: Jennifer Irish, Director, uOttawa Information Integrity Lab

Interactive Element Slido Poll
9:00 – 9:45  Keynote 1

Fighting Disinformation through Strategic Communication: Ukraine

How to navigate the information battlefield? This keynote will highlight the importance of countering disinformation using lessons from Ukraine. Anayit Khoperiya, Head of the Department for Countering Information Threats to National Security will speak about the Centre’s tasks, work, and disinformation trends regarding Ukraine in the international information field, emphasizing the importance of international cooperation in countering hostile influence at the national and international levels.

Anayit Khoperiya, Deputy Head Centre for Countering Disinformation, National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine

9:45 – 11:00   Panel 1 

International Perspectives on Disinformation

The proliferation of disinformation poses a significant strategic risk to social fabric, national security, and democratic processes. Canada and like-minded countries have endorsed a framework to fight foreign information manipulation. This opening panel will delve deeper into the challenges the West faces, and ways to counter disinformation including through collective approaches.

H.E. Jari Vilén, Ambassador of Finland to Canada
Gabriela Alexandru, Head of the Political Section, EU Mission to Canada
Christopher Smith, U.S. Embassy to Canada
Christopher Duggan, Director General Policy and Partnerships, CFINTCOM, Department of National Defence (Outgoing)

Moderator: Jennifer Irish, Director, uOttawa Information Integrity Lab

11:00 – 12:15  Panel 2

Protecting Democratic Processes from Disinformation

Participants will explore the intersection between undermining democratic processes, particularly elections, and the exacerbation of social divisions, ethnic tensions, and cultural conflicts within Canada’s diverse society.

Marcus Kolga, Disinfowatch
Aengus Bridgman, Director, Media Ecosystem Observatory, McGill University
Heather Bakken, World Press Freedom, Pendulum

Moderator: Alexander Dalziel, Macdonald-Laurier Institute             

12:15 – 13:15 Lunch break   
13:15 – 14:00  Keynote 2

The Weaponization of Social Media: War, Attention and You

When do states resort to information manipulation? When is it effective? This talk will consider the context and planning of state-sponsored disinformation campaigns, the intersection of disinformation and warfare, and the role of the counter-disinformation community in mitigating the impact of targeted influence efforts. Q&A will follow.

Emerson Brooking, Resident Senior Fellow, DFR Lab Atlantic Council

14:00 – 15:15 Panel 3

Economic Impacts of Disinformation

Understanding and addressing disinformation is crucial to safeguarding economic security in an information-driven world. This is not just the work of governments -- targeted businesses can pay the price in terms of reputational risks and brand damage, loss of public trust, disruptions in supply chains and markets, and financial losses. Public-private partnerships are crucial. This panel will focus on disinformation campaigns directed at businesses, financial markets, and trade relations, their implications for economic security, and ways of mitigating them.

John Perenack, Principal, StrategyCorp
Michael-John Almon, Director General, Strategic Intelligence, Research and Analysis at FINTRAC
Chadi Asaad, Healthcare Business Leader and Associate Director, Partnerships, Development and Innovation at uOttawa Professional Development Institute

Moderator: Alan McCafferty, Technical Lead, uOttawa Information Integrity Lab

15:15 – 15:30 Health Break   
15:30 – 16:45

Panel 4

Technology as an Enabler and Tool Against Disinformation

At its core, technology empowers individuals and organizations to disseminate information rapidly and globally, fostering connectivity and amplifying voices. However, this same connectivity also provides a fertile ground for the spread of misinformation and disinformation, challenging the integrity of public discourse. This session will explore AI solutions and tech-based initiatives such as open-source intelligence to combat disinformation. It will also highlight the role of collaborative efforts with governments, civil society organizations, and academia to enhance the resilience of digital ecosystems against disinformation campaigns.

Houman Zolfaghari, Scientific Director,  Computer Research Institute of Montreal             
Dave McMahon, Associate, Information Integrity Lab, uOttawa and CEO Clairvoyance
Fanny Magalhães Gonçalves, Data Center Security Manager, Google Canada.

Moderator: Nancy Clark, Silent Harbour

16:45 – 18:00 Workshop

Gamification as a Means to Fight Disinformation

Explore innovative approaches in combating misinformation and promoting digital security through gamification. Hear directly from the creators of disinformation games such as "Go Viral" and "Lizards and Lies," and learn how these games are meticulously designed to stimulate critical thinking and increase awareness of worldwide digital security issues. Engage in an interactive session that delves into the principles and rationale behind using gamification to counter disinformation. This session offers a unique opportunity to explore the strategic applications of gamification in promoting digital literacy and resilience against misinformation in today's interconnected world.

Scott De Jong, Concordia University
Jon Roozenbeek, King's College London
Ben Windeler, Digital Public Square

Moderator: Mariana Savka, Canadian International Council

18:00 – 18:10 Closing Remarks   Summary of the Day and Takeaways
18:15 – 19:15 Reception  Networking


* Schedule may be subject to change.


 June 21, 2024

 8:30 to 18:00

Full (waitlist: [email protected]

 $55 general; $35 CIC Members; $25 students; $0 DND members

 FSS, Room 4007, 120 University Private