NDP Member of Parliament (MP) Charlie Angus has confirmed that the International Grand Committee on Disinformation and ‘Fake News’ is coming to Canada on May 28th.
Angus, who is also the co-chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics (ETHI), said in an email that there will be a meeting on that day and there will be a “follow up meeting in Ireland in November.”
University of Ottawa internet law professor Michael Geist also tweeted that the meeting would be happening to investigate Facebook and global privacy issues.
Canada to host the International Grand Committee investigating Facebook and global privacy issues on May 28, 2019 in Ottawa. This is a follow-up to the first hearing in the UK last November. Lead will be ETHI committee.
— Michael Geist (@mgeist) January 30, 2019
Conservative MP Bob Zimmer told the National Post earlier this month that this time more country representatives would be coming. He noted that it was all still in the planning stages.
The first meeting of the committee took place on November 27th, 2018 in London, U.K. 24 officials from Britain, Canada, France, Belgium, Brazil, Ireland, Latvia, Argentina and Singapore Questioned Richard Allen, Facebook’s vice-president of policy solutions.
24 official representatives.
447 million people represented.
One question: where is Mark Zuckerberg? pic.twitter.com/BK3KrKvQf3
— Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (@CommonsCMS) November 27, 2018
The committee’s discussion was focused on fake news and Facebook’s involvement in election meddling. Zimmer, who is the chair of the ETHI committee, was at the hearing with his co-chairs Angus and Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith.
The three MPs, along with the other representatives, had been pushing for Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg to be present at the hearing. He did not show up.
The last time Zuckerberg appeared before legislative leaders was in April 2018 before the U.S. Congress.
Angus said in his email though that ETHI was “discussing with the other countries on the agenda and witnesses” for the hearing that is to happen in May.
The grand committee was established after countries around the world felt it was important to have a hearing with Zuckerberg present to discuss issues around elections meddling, an issue that has affected all the countries involved.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal involves the firm that helped U.S. President Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election campaign by harvesting data from millions of Facebook users. In Canada, 600,000 people were affected by the scandal.