Fighting back against ‘fake news’

Literacy, Education & Employment

CIVIX educates young people about the importance of democracy.
Photos courtesy of CIVIX.

With the federal election only months away, first-time voters may find themselves questioning whether their vote actually matters, and whether they should bother heading to the ballot box at all. Lindsay Mazzucco, Chief Operating Officer of CIVIX, is working to change that feeling.

“Research has shown the habits of voting or not voting are established at an early age,” Mazzucco says. “We believe it’s important to establish these habits early in life.”

CIVIX is a non-partisan, national charity dedicated to building the capacity and commitment of young Canadians to participate in democracy.

“We’ve been doing a lot of research and developing tools to help combat mis and dis-information, which is a growing threat worldwide,” Mazzucco says. “We’ve got a variety of tools to help students develop the skills to fact check information and teach them about the standards of journalism and the role of journalism in democracy – which are all key elements to growing informed and engaged citizens.”

The habits of voting or not voting are established at an early age.

Lindsay Mazzucco
CIVIX Chief Operating Officer

The CIVIX team held a Democracy Bootcamp for Manitoba educators this past spring. The Bootcamp provided 120 educators with the opportunity to learn about current threats to democracy, as well as how to engage the next generation of voters – and their families. In a world full of ‘fake news,’ it’s important for all citizens to develop skills and habits to navigate information.

“The impact of the program goes beyond the classroom and really touches families as well,” Mazzucco says. “It gives them an opportunity to learn more about elections. Which is a great thing for democracy in general.”

During the Bootcamp, educators are also informed of CIVIX programming such as Student Vote, which gives youth an opportunity to learn about the democratic process, research political parties, and cast their ballot in a mock election.

CIVIX is preparing for the upcoming federal election later this fall, and anticipates its programs will reach about 9,000 schools from coast, to coast, to coast.

For more information on CIVIX and its programming, visit

Recipient: CIVIX
Program: Democracy bootcamp
Grant: $50,000, drawn from the Strategic Initiative budget

This story is featured in the Summer 2019 issue of our Working Together magazine. Download or view the full issue on our Publications page.

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