The Geroge Floyd death at the hands of police officer, Derek Chauvin, had reactions around the world in different countries including Canada. Canadian Joint Operations Command, which directs missions in Canada and around the world kept track of protests during this time.
It is now being revealed by Ottawa Citizen media outlet that the Canadian army had its intelligence unit keeping track of Black Lives Matter who were the biggest unit protesting for social justice in 2020.
Canadian Forces intelligence officers compiled data on the Black Lives Matter movement in Ontario as part of the military’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report on BLM was included among the information collected as the military worked in long-term care homes in Ontario during the pandemic.
“Protests for social reform after police-involved deaths of George Floyd in Minnesota and Regis Korchinski-Paquet in Toronto continue to gain traction in Ontario,” noted the intelligence report from June, 2020.
In a statement, the Department of National Defence noted the information was collected with the aim of increasing the Canadian Forces’ “understanding of the local environment” as the military prepared to work in long-term care facilities during the pandemic.
“In order to ensure the movement of our personnel/vehicles to support Ontario LTCF (Long Term Care Facilities) would not interfere with BLM solidarity activities, preliminary research was undertaken,” the statement added. “To be clear, this work was only done with the intent to avoid disruption to both planned BLM activities and CAF operations.”
Black Lives Matter in Canada stated that there was no need for this by the army and questions the legality of the process. She insists the organization is peaceful and is about raising awareness about racial injustice.