Military leaders saw pandemic as unique opportunity to test propaganda techniques on Canadians

The Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) launched the information operations campaign in April 2020, without approval from the federal government. The campaign was intended to counter misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic and promote public health messages. It included activities such as creating social media accounts, monitoring online conversations, and engaging with Canadians on various platforms.

The initiative was not approved by cabinet or any other senior government officials, and it has since been discontinued.

Gosselin found that the military commanders had acted without consulting higher authorities, and that their plan was not approved by anyone in a position of authority. He concluded that the lack of oversight was a major contributing factor to the failure of the scheme.

The plan was developed to ensure that the Canadian Forces could effectively communicate with Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan focused on providing accurate and timely information about the virus, as well as promoting public health measures such as physical distancing and handwashing. It also aimed to counter misinformation and disinformation about the virus, while highlighting the work of Canadian Forces personnel in responding to the crisis. The plan included a range of activities such as social media campaigns, press releases, and targeted messaging.

The investigation was conducted by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages (OCOL) and focused on allegations that Gosselin had violated the Official Languages Act. The report concluded that there were “reasonable grounds” to believe that Gosselin had breached the Act, and recommended that he be reprimanded and ordered to take corrective measures.

The documents obtained include a copy of the OCOL investigation report, as well as emails, memos, and other correspondence related to the investigation. The documents show that Gosselin was accused of failing to provide services in both official languages in his constituency office, as well as failing to ensure that his staff members were adequately trained in both official languages.

The documents also reveal that Gosselin had been warned about potential language issues in his office prior to the investigation being launched. In addition, they show that he had taken some steps to address these issues but had not done enough to ensure compliance with the Official Languages Act.

Finally, the documents indicate that Gosselin has since taken further steps to ensure compliance with the Act and has apologized for any shortcomings in his office’s language services.

The campaign included a variety of tactics, such as using social media to spread positive messages about the government’s response to the pandemic and to counter misinformation. It also involved creating videos and other content that highlighted the importance of following public health guidelines. The CJOC also sought to engage with Canadians directly through online forums and other platforms. Additionally, it sought to use data analytics to better understand how Canadians were responding to the pandemic and what messages were resonating with them.

The Canadian Forces has since stated that the data collection was done in accordance with the Privacy Act and that it was only used to ensure the safety of personnel. However, many civil liberties groups have raised concerns about the military’s use of surveillance on peaceful protesters and activists. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has called for an independent investigation into the matter.

BLM organizers have expressed concern that the military’s gathering of information on their initiative could be seen as an attempt to intimidate them and discourage their activism. They have called for an investigation into why the military was collecting this information, and for greater transparency from the military about its surveillance activities.

Gosselin’s report concluded that the initiative was not authorized by the government and that it had been conducted without proper oversight. Vance then ordered an immediate halt to all activities related to the propaganda initiative.

Gosselin’s investigation revealed that the plan was not only supported by “passionate” military propaganda specialists, but it had become a mindset that was shared by many members of the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC). The CJOC saw the pandemic as an opportunity to test out information operations on Canadians. This showed a disregard for ethical considerations and a lack of respect for the public’s right to know.

The command saw the military’s pandemic response as an opportunity to leverage data and analytics to gain a better understanding of the situation, enabling them to make more informed decisions. They also sought to use this information to increase public awareness and help inform their decision-making process.

Gosselin noted that the CJOC staff seemed to be more focused on their own agenda and interests than on the advice and concerns of other military leaders. He also noted that there was a lack of respect for the opinions of others, which created an atmosphere of mistrust and tension.

The directive issued by CJOC on April 8, 2020 was to create a propaganda plan to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) narrative about the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan was to use social media and other digital platforms to spread positive messages about Canada’s response to the pandemic and its commitment to international cooperation. It also included plans for targeted messaging in countries where the CCP had been particularly active in spreading disinformation.

However, on May 2, 2020, Chief of Defence Staff General Jonathan Vance ordered that the plan be shut down due to concerns over its potential impact on Canada’s reputation and relationships with other countries.

He also suggested that the Canadian Forces should develop a comprehensive strategy for information operations, which should include a clear definition of the roles and responsibilities of personnel involved in such activities.

Gosselin also recommended that the Canadian Forces should ensure that all personnel involved in information operations are properly trained and equipped to carry out their duties. He further suggested that the Canadian Forces should establish an oversight body to monitor and evaluate information operations activities, as well as to provide guidance on best practices. Finally, Gosselin proposed that the Canadian Forces should create a centralized repository of information operations policies and directives, which would be accessible to all personnel involved in such activities.

The debate about the use of information operations techniques in Canada is a complex one. On the one hand, there is a need to ensure that the public receives accurate and timely information from government sources. On the other hand, there are legitimate concerns about potential abuses of such techniques, including deliberately misleading the public or targeting those who criticize government or military policy.

In order to address these issues, it is important for national defence headquarters to develop clear policies and procedures that outline how information operations techniques can be used responsibly and ethically. These policies should include guidelines on when and how such techniques can be employed, as well as safeguards to ensure that they are not abused. Additionally, it is important for national defence headquarters to provide training for personnel involved in using these techniques so that they understand their responsibilities and obligations when engaging in such activities. Finally, it is essential for national defence headquarters to have an independent oversight body in place to monitor the use of information operations techniques and ensure that they are being used appropriately.

In response to the incident, the Canadian Forces has implemented a new training program for its information operations staff. The program includes instruction on ethical considerations and legal implications of using propaganda techniques. It also provides guidance on how to properly assess the impact of such operations on local populations.

The Canadian Forces has also launched initiatives to increase public awareness of military propaganda activities. In October 2020, it released a video outlining the importance of information operations and how they are used in support of military objectives. The video was widely shared online and received positive feedback from viewers.

Despite these efforts, some critics remain concerned about the potential misuse of military propaganda techniques in Canada. They argue that more oversight is needed to ensure that such tactics are not abused or used without proper consideration for their potential consequences.

The plan was met with criticism from many Canadians who felt that it was an invasion of privacy and a violation of their rights.

The Canadian Forces has since abandoned the plan, but the controversy surrounding it has raised questions about the role of public affairs in the military. Critics have argued that public affairs should be used to inform and educate Canadians about military activities, not to manipulate them. They have also suggested that public affairs officers should be held accountable for their actions and that they should be subject to oversight by an independent body.

The Canadian Forces has responded by creating a new policy on public affairs which outlines the roles and responsibilities of public affairs officers, as well as guidelines for how they should conduct themselves when engaging with the public. The policy also requires all public affairs activities to be conducted in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

Overall, while there is still some debate over the role of public affairs in the military, it appears that the Canadian Forces is taking steps to ensure that its activities are conducted responsibly and ethically.

The plan was never implemented, but it is indicative of the lengths to which the Canadian government has gone in recent years to control public opinion and shape public discourse. The use of information warfare and influence tactics is a growing trend among governments around the world, and Canada is no exception. In fact, the Canadian government has been actively engaged in such activities for some time now.

The Canadian government has used a variety of tactics to influence public opinion, including using social media platforms to spread pro-government messages, creating “astroturf” campaigns to give the appearance of grassroots support for government policies, and even hiring outside firms to conduct online “influence operations” on behalf of the government. These tactics are often used in conjunction with more traditional forms of communication such as press releases and advertising campaigns.

The use of these tactics raises important questions about how governments should be allowed to interact with citizens online. While it is important for governments to be able to communicate effectively with their constituents, there must also be limits on how far they can go in trying to manipulate public opinion. It is essential that governments respect citizens’ right to free expression and ensure that any attempts at influencing public opinion are transparent and accountable.

The Canadian Forces also spent more than $1 million to train public affairs officers on behaviour modification techniques of the same sort used by the parent firm of Cambridge Analytica, the company implicated in a 2016 data-mining scandal to help Donald Trump’s U.S. presidential election campaign.

The investigation found that the Canadian Forces public affairs leadership had been attempting to use a “strategic communications” approach, which was seen as an attempt to manipulate public opinion. This approach was deemed to be in violation of government policy and the principles of public affairs, which are designed to ensure that information is presented in an unbiased manner.

The investigation also found that the Canadian Forces public affairs leadership had failed to properly consult with other government departments and stakeholders before implementing their strategy. As a result, the initiative was shut down and all associated documents were destroyed.

In response to the findings of the investigation, the Canadian Forces has implemented new policies and procedures for its public affairs operations. These include increased oversight from senior leaders, more rigorous review processes for proposed initiatives, and improved communication between different government departments.

The message went on to state that the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) had taken steps to address these issues, including the creation of a new policy framework for domestic operations and training. The CAF also established an independent review panel to examine the conduct of IO activities and report back with recommendations.

In addition, the CAF has implemented a number of measures to ensure that all personnel are aware of their responsibilities when it comes to conducting IO activities. This includes providing additional training and guidance on ethical considerations, as well as ensuring that all personnel understand the importance of transparency and accountability in their work.

Finally, the CAF is committed to engaging with Canadians in an open and transparent manner. To this end, they have launched a public consultation process on how best to communicate with Canadians about military operations and activities.