Truth Tracker: No, Trudeau did not ask Kenya for a million immigrants
In this May file photo, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with the media. Canada’s High Commission in Kenya has called out a false claim circulating online that Prime Minster Justin Trudeau asked the Kenyan president for a million immigrants. (The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld)
Published Tuesday, May 28, 2019 2:26PM EDT
Canada’s High Commission in Kenya has called out a false claim circulating online that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked the Kenyan president for a million immigrants, just one month after a similar fake news story involving a supposed plea for migrants from Nigeria.
The latest report, published on an unverified website called CBTV, falsely claims that Trudeau “pleaded with Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta to allow one million Kenyans to enter Canada under a new Employment and Migration Programme designed for immigrants.”
The article makes the untrue claim that Canada has “granted residency to all Kenyans who were illegally living in Canada and applied to remain.”
This latest fake news story follows a near-identical report that was published on the same website last month, claiming Trudeau had begged Nigeria for one million immigrants. Both articles were shared widely on social media, prompting Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to respond.
In early May, Canada’s High Commission in Kenya debunked the fake news story in a tweet that read, “Fake News Alert. If you have seen this link on your social media timeline, don’t fall for it.”
The tweet directs users to the government’s immigration information website for accurate information.
According to a domain search on WHOIS—a website that allows users to look up ownership information about a domain name or IP address—the CBTV website was only created in April.
The website doesn’t have any contact details listed on their website, nor does it have any information about the authors of their articles. These are both commonly used as measures of credibility when evaluating disinformation online, as laid out by Harvard University.
Both articles also include, word for word, the same false statement attribute to Trudeau.
In a statement issued to CTVNews.ca Monday, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said it regularly monitors for disinformation, often referred to as “fake news,” online.
“The information published in the article is not true. To warn people about similar false information, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s has issued a tweet and Facebook post from official accounts informing people that the immigration program referenced does not exist,” read the statement from an IRCC spokesperson.
“When false information is being circulated, as in this case, we aim to act quickly to provide facts.”
In the 2016 census, 27,150 people identified themselves as Kenyan immigrants.
According to the 2018 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, Canada plans to welcome one million immigrants between 2019 and 2021; however, the report does not specify what countries those immigrants will come from.
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