The Maple is excited to announce the launch of our latest article series: Missed Information: A Deep-Dive Into 'Foreign Interference' Narratives.

Having led the way on critiquing Global News’ reporting on the allegations against MP Han Dong earlier this year, The Maple will seek to ask deeper questions about how such “foreign interference” narratives are constructed and whose interests they ultimately serve, particularly as this issue has become such a dominant topic in recent news headlines.

As a publication, we've already played a key role in covering this topic and related issues. Besides covering the Han Dong story, we recently critiqued "foreign interference" reporting on Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow. We've also examined the extreme positions advocated by right-wing pro-Israel groups, which are almost never included in panics about "foreign interference."

Too often, the spectres of “foreign interference” and “disinformation” are invoked to reinforce the “national security” state apparatus, shut down democratic dissent against Canadian foreign policy, and explain away serious problems within Canadian society as being solely the handiwork of foreign agitators. These narratives can also whip up racism and feed conspiracy theories.

This series will ask why “foreign interference” is portrayed as such a menace when it is allegedly exercised by certain countries and actors, but quietly permitted and/or completely ignored when it is done by others. We’ll critique the idea that Canada is merely a passive victim of foreign interference, and examine how Canada’s geopolitical choices have contributed to current tensions on the world stage. Indeed, we’ll look at the many ways that Canada itself interferes with the affairs of other countries, particularly those in the Global South.

We’ll challenge the myth that right-wing extremism in Canada is merely a foreign import from the United States or Russia, and explore how Canada’s existence as a settler-colonial capitalist state has long laid the groundwork for reactionary politics to flourish. We'll critically examine the so-called “foreign disinformation” panics peddled by Canadian media and think tanks that sometimes weaponize the concept to write off or explain away legitimate dissent on foreign and domestic policy.

These questions and others like it will be explored in the form of in-depth essays, thoughtful interviews, and original investigations. We’ll produce some of this content in house, and commission independent journalists to undertake this work as well.

It is a leading issue that receives very little critical scrutiny, and is too often broadly accepted as fact without serious questioning. With this series, we will aim to challenge prevailing narratives, and to encourage democratic debate, ultimately providing the Canadian public with the resources they need for a deeper understanding and better critical awareness of this issue.

To support our work on this series, please consider joining our community of paying members who sustain our publication.

If you'd like to pitch an article for this series, please review our submission guidelines page.

You can also read some of our past articles on this topic below: