Her Excellency to host The Governor General’s Symposium: Building a Safe and Respectful Digital World

OTTAWA, Ontario—Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, will host The Governor General’s Symposium: Building a Safe and Respectful Digital World on Thursday, April 11, 2024, at Rideau Hall.

This one-day symposium aims to promote respectful digital dialogue by raising awareness of toxic online discourse, bringing together people and organizations working to promote digital respect, creating partnership opportunities and amplifying co-operation.

Participants will hear directly from individuals affected by online abuse to demonstrate the gravity and impact of this disturbing trend. Participants will also learn about existing initiatives against online abuse, and take part in discussions focused on building a safer, more respectful digital world. 

The diverse group of participants will include academics, journalists, government officials, gender equality advocates, mental health practitioners, tech industry representatives, and youth leaders from across the country.


“Creating respectful digital spaces is a priority for me as governor general. Countless public figures, especially women, have withdrawn from public life because of toxic online spaces. Luckily, more and more people are saying ‘enough is enough’. The symposium will convene individuals and experts from across the country to share their experiences, explore solutions and empower one another to stand up against toxic online discourse. Together we can build a digital landscape that is safe and respectful for all.”

The Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada

Quick facts

  • In February 2023, the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General disabled all comments on its social media platforms due to an increase in abusive, misogynistic and racist engagement, including a greater number of violent threats.
  • In March 2023, on International Women’s Day, the Governor General hosted a round-table discussion with women ambassadors, public service leaders and journalists that aimed to shine a light on the rise of toxic online discourse.

Notes for media

  • Additional details about media access to the symposium will be announced at a later date.
  • Media interested in receiving updates on events and activities related to digital respect can register their interest via media@gg.ca.


Media information:
Rideau Hall Press Office

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