The Canadian Forces planned what some military insiders described as a propaganda campaign aimed at heading off civil disobedience by the public during the coronavirus pandemic.
But the initiative was shut down by the country’s top soldier who questioned whether it went too far in the methods military officers wanted to use.
The campaign called for “shaping” and “exploiting” information, allowing the Canadian Forces to be able to strengthen trust in official sources of information, said a military planning document reviewed by this newspaper. One of the desired results was that civil order be maintained during the pandemic. “Canadian public is deterred from participating in Civil Disobedience,” according to the objectives of the plan. “Canadian public compliance with suppression measures is reinforced.”
When Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance was briefed about the information operations campaign, he ordered it stopped. Some senior military staff raised concerns the plan could be open to abuse in using propaganda or deception to manipulate the Canadian public.