Elections Canada had been planning to use high-profile social ‘influencers’ in promotional videos in an effort to encourage youngsters to register to vote in the upcoming elections but a report by CBC News has confirmed that the agency has abandoned its plans to do so.
According to the Chief Electoral Officer Stephane Perrault, some influencers could be seen as biased due to past activities, which is why the agency has dropped the plan to use them for spreading election information.
Perrault, however, did not go into detail about the “past activities” or say which influencers were causing concerns for Elections Canada.
“It was clear from the outset that it had to be beyond any reproach, beyond any possible interpretation that, whether for lifestyle choices, or comments, or pictures, that these could be tied to a particular partisan point of view,” Perrault told CBC.
“If I use examples, then it will start pointing fingers at some of them and I think that’s not fair. I think these people were in good faith and they wanted to support the election,” Perrault said.
Perrault also said that as an independent officer of Parliament, it’s not his role to comment on what politicians say about the elections agency.
The following 13 influencers were recruited by Elections Canada for the videos:
- Ashley Callingbull, actor, model and First Nations activist
- Andre De Grasse, Olympic sprinter
- Mitch Hughes, YouTuber
- Katherine Levac, comedian
- Elle Mills, YouTuber
- Maripier Morin, TV host and model
- Alex Nevsky, singer-songwriter
- Penny Oleksiak, Olympic swimmer
- Nicolas Ouellet, TV host
- Max Parrot, Olympic snowboarder
- Thanh Phung, lifestyle/family blogger
- Lilly Singh, YouTuber and talk show host
- Maayan Ziv, photographer, disability issues activist and founding CEO of AccessNow