The Canadian Armed Forces has apologized for the incident and is conducting an investigation into how it happened. The military has also said that the incident was not authorized by any senior leadership and that those responsible will be held accountable. The Canadian Armed Forces has also stated that it takes this matter very seriously and is committed to ensuring that all personnel are aware of their responsibilities when engaging in activities related to information warfare.
The Canadian Armed Forces member said the exercise was designed to simulate a real-world situation in which soldiers had to respond to a hostile environment. The letter and speakers were meant to create an atmosphere of tension and fear, as if the soldiers were actually in a war zone. The goal was for the soldiers to practice their skills in responding to such a situation.
- â€œTactical psyops soldiers were practicing setting up and using a loudspeaker with a larger group of soldiers,â€ they said.Â
The letter instructed the soldiers to carry out a mission that was not part of their training exercise, and it was later discovered that the letter had been forged. The source said that the incident was investigated and appropriate disciplinary action was taken against those responsible.
- â€œOn the 3rd of August 2020, the Department of Lands and Forestry of Nova Scotia in conjunction with the Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment and Climate Change Canada untook [sic] the significant act to reintroduce the Gray Wolf to the forests of Nova Scotia,â€ the letter begins. â€œUnfortunately, the â€˜packâ€™ has migrated to the Annapolis Valley floor in search of easy pray and livestock â€¦ if a Gray Wolf is encountered, do not provoke, engage, or feed the animal. Back away slowly while remaining calmâ€”do not turn and run.â€
The military has since apologized for the incident and has launched an investigation into how the letter was created and distributed. They have also promised to take steps to ensure that similar incidents do not occur in the future.
- â€œThe creation of these letters and their contentsâ€“even if never meant for public consumptionâ€“was wrong,” said Department of National Defence spokesman Dan Le Bouthillier.
The letter was likely leaked by someone who had access to it, such as a reservist or someone in the military. It is possible that the letter was shared on social media or other online platforms, or that it was printed and distributed in physical form. The use of loudspeakers by the reservists could have been used to spread the message further, amplifying its reach and impact.
- â€œThey chose this sound [wolves howling] because a loudspeaker can get really loud. If locals hear a loudspeaker, they might complain. But in this part of Canada, the sound of wolves crying is part of normal, everyday life,â€ said the source. â€œThe whole idea was to get the [reserve soldiers] to listen for the sound of wolves, set up the loudspeaker, play sounds that donâ€™t upset locals,â€ then reveal to the reservists, â€œwhat a loudspeaker is, and what a psyops soldier is.â€
The letter was never meant to be taken seriously, and the Nova Scotia government was not consulted or informed of its existence. The incident has since been used as an example of how psyops can go wrong, and how important it is to ensure that all parties involved are aware of any operations taking place.
The source was adamant that the exercise was solely focused on training Canadian soldiers to respond to a domestic emergency, such as a natural disaster or terrorist attack. The source also stated that the exercise did not involve any kind of manipulation of Canadian civilians.
The committee found that the Canadian Forces Intelligence Command (CFIC) had failed to properly assess the privacy risks associated with its operations, and had not adequately informed Canadians about how their personal information was being used. The report also noted that CFIC had not implemented adequate safeguards to protect the privacy of Canadians.
In response to these findings, the government has taken steps to strengthen oversight of military intelligence activities. It has created a new position within CFIC, the Chief Privacy Officer, who will be responsible for ensuring that all operations comply with Canadian privacy laws. The government has also announced plans to create an independent review body to provide additional oversight of military intelligence activities.
These changes are intended to ensure that military intelligence operations are conducted in a manner that respects the rights and freedoms of Canadians. By increasing transparency and accountability, it is hoped that Canadians will have greater confidence in the way their personal information is handled by military intelligence agencies.
The incident in Nova Scotia highlights the need for greater awareness of privacy concerns when it comes to military operations. It is important that all members of the military, both active and reserve, are aware of the potential consequences of their actions and take steps to ensure that they do not cause unnecessary alarm or distress in the community. Additionally, it is important that military personnel are properly trained on how to handle sensitive information and adhere to protocols for protecting personal data.
- â€œFirstly, 36 CBG of the CAF have unreservedly apologised to the people of Nova Scotia for the recent release to the public of a mock letter warning about the reintroduction of grey wolves into rural Nova Scotia,â€ said Le Bouthillier. â€œThat is why an investigation is ongoing to determine how this incident occurred, and how similar incidents must be avoided in future.â€
The letter was likely leaked by someone with access to the document, either a reservist soldier or a member of the Canadian Armed Forces. It is possible that the letter was shared on social media, or that it was sent to a journalist or other media outlet. It is also possible that the letter was obtained through an unauthorized source, such as a hacker.
Regardless of how it made its way into the public domain, this incident highlights the need for increased security measures when it comes to sensitive military documents and training materials. The Canadian Armed Forces must ensure that all personnel are aware of their responsibilities when handling confidential information and exercise materials, and that appropriate protocols are in place to protect them from unauthorized disclosure.
The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has been training its soldiers in Latvia to detect and counter disinformation campaigns allegedly emanating from the Kremlin. The CAF has implemented a comprehensive training program that includes instruction on how to identify false information, recognize the tactics used by hostile actors, and develop strategies for countering these influence operations. The CAF is also working with NATO allies to share best practices and coordinate efforts to combat Russian disinformation campaigns. In addition, the CAF is engaging with local Latvian media outlets to ensure accurate reporting of events in the region.
- â€œInfluence activities are used by foreign entities,â€ said Le Bouthillier, â€œand it remains important that we train our CAF members on how best to respond to these malicious foreign actors in an increasingly complex information space, which was part of this training activity,â€