A plan devised by the Canadian Joint Operations Command relied on propaganda techniques similar to those employed during the Afghanistan war.
Canadian military leaders saw the pandemic as a unique opportunity to test out propaganda techniques on an unsuspecting public, a newly released Canadian Forces report concludes.
The federal government never asked for the so-called information operations campaign, nor did cabinet authorize the initiative developed during the COVID-19 pandemic by the Canadian Joint Operations Command, then headed by Lt.-Gen. Mike Rouleau.
But military commanders believed they didn’t need to get approval from higher authorities to develop and proceed with their plan, retired Maj.-Gen. Daniel Gosselin, who was brought in to investigate the scheme, concluded in his report.
The propaganda plan was developed and put in place in April 2020 even though the Canadian Forces had already acknowledged that “information operations and targeting policies and doctrines are aimed at adversaries and have a limited application in a domestic concept.”