Military leaders saw pandemic as unique opportunity to test propaganda on Canadians: report | National Post

The plan devised by the Canadian Joint Operations Command, also known as CJOC, relied on propaganda techniques similar to those employed during the Afghanistan war. The campaign called for “shaping” and “exploiting” information. CJOC claimed the information operations scheme was needed to head off civil disobedience by Canadians during the coronavirus pandemic and to bolster government messages about the pandemic.

A separate initiative, not linked to the CJOC plan, but overseen by Canadian Forces intelligence officers, culled information from public social media accounts in Ontario. Data was also compiled on peaceful Black Lives Matter gatherings and BLM leaders. Senior military officers claimed that information was needed to ensure the success of Operation Laser, the Canadian Forces mission to help out in long-term care homes hit by COVID-19 and to aid in the distribution of vaccines in some northern communities.

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.

Military leaders saw pandemic as unique opportunity to test propaganda on Canadians: report | National Post