Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir CAQ ministers are forced to get rid of the application, federal deputies will be on Friday.
The elected officials of the National Assembly and the House of Commons are giving up on TikTok. They will remove the Chinese-owned application from their function phones. Their political employees, too.
Hours after the President of the Treasury Board of Canada, Mona Fortier, raised the “unacceptable level of risk to privacy and security” posed by the social network, Quebec parliamentarians on Tuesday received an email from the Assembly national campaign urging them “strongly” to remove the application from their devices.
The Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ), the Liberal Party, Québec solidaire and the Parti Québécois have indicated their intentions to comply with this suggestion.
By Monday, public service employees in both Ottawa and Quebec had learned that they would have to get rid of the app as soon as possible.
On Tuesday morning, the CAQ ministers were warned that “the decision taken yesterday concerns devices used and provided by the Quebec public administration”. “So: all state cell phones must remove TikTok,” Prime Minister François Legault’s press secretary Ewan Sauves said in an exchange of text messages. The political employees of these elected officials are also affected by the directive, he said.
Will Ministers who have an account need to delete it? “There is no decision made at this time,” the Prime Minister's Office said. About 112,000 people follow Mr. Legault's account on TikTok. Minister Sonia LeBel, a regular on the platform, where she regularly posts videos of herself behind the handlebars of her snowmobile, has more than 3,000 followers.
The House of common too
In Ottawa, MPs will no longer be able to install TikTok on their phones starting Friday, they learned. “All users who hold devices managed by the House [have been notified] that the TikTok mobile application will no longer be able to be installed,” wrote the director of communications for the Office of the Speaker in the House of Commons, Amélie Crosson.
Avoid deleting the application and you will be in violation of the rules of the House, added the presidency in its message to parliamentarians.
At the Conservative Party of Canada, leader Pierre Poilievre, who is very active on the platform, closed his account in the past few hours and all caucus members will “suspend” theirs and remove the app from their phones, said political party.
“Conservatives take all threats to privacy and security from foreign authoritarian regimes seriously and will always defend the privacy rights of Canadians,” wrote their doorstep. -speaks Sebastian Skamski in an email.
The Bloc Québécois has announced that its TikTok account has been deleted. Chef Yves-François Blanchet did not have an account.
“For security reasons and to comply with the House of Commons directive, all Bloc Québécois MPs and staff will remove the TikTok app from their House-managed devices,” the party wrote on Twitter.
The account of New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jagmeet Singh, which has 879,000 subscribers, is still online. The NDP has indicated that its MPs will comply with the directive from the House of Commons. He was last posted five days ago.
Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau, did not have a TikTok account.
What about state-owned companies?
The ban on using the social network does not only apply to elected officials. On Tuesday, Hydro-Québec confirmed to Devoir that it “bans TikTok on its mobile devices and blocks access from the company's network”.
The Société des alcools du Québec had made no decision to that effect on Tuesday. “However, we are monitoring developments closely and do not rule out banning the use of the app on our devices as a preventative measure,” the state-owned company spokeswoman wrote. Geneviève Cormier.
With The Canadian Press
White House orders federal agencies to ban TikTok
U.S. federal agencies must clear their devices of the TikTok video app within 30 days, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) ordered Monday. Owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok has been targeted by US lawmakers who consider the application a threat to national security, and had banned its use on civil servants' devices in a law passed in late December. The OMB order is taken pursuant to this law, ratified in early January by President Joe Biden. In a memorandum, the director of this office, Shalanda Young, called on government agencies to “remove and prohibit installations” of the application on devices owned or managed by them, and to “prohibit Internet traffic from these devices to the app. The ban does not apply to non-federal US entities or the millions of individuals who use TikTok.