The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is “determining appropriate steps” to take against four serving members who used their public social media accounts to bash Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre, Conservatives at large and the Freedom Convoy movement.
On Wednesday, a Department of National Defence spokesperson confirmed with True North that it is investigating a series of social media posts that appear to violate various portions of the CAF’s code of conduct.
“We can confirm that they are currently serving members,” a DND spokesperson told True North.
“While we were not previously aware of this activity, we are currently determining the appropriate steps to be taken.”
True North has decided to not disclose the names of the currently serving members and will instead paraphrase the contents of their social media comments.
All four members involved used their Twitter accounts to express negative and sometimes inflammatory opinions about Poilievre or the Conservative Party of Canada.
One member in particular who has since deleted their account wrote a tweet with the expletive “f*ck Poilievre.”
Comments by members involved also ranged from comparing the Conservative leader to US politicians, saying that he will lose the next election and a claim that he is unfit to lead the country.
Additionally, some members chimed in on Ontario Premier Doug Ford, the fiscal policy of past Conservative governments and more.
The CAF members in question serve in various branches of the military and hold the Captain, Master Sailor, Sergeant and Warrant Officer ranks.
All CAF members are expected to abide by the Queen’s Regulations and Orders (QR&O). In particular, tweets seemed to breach Volume 1, Chapter 19, Section 1. (19.14) and Section 2. (19.36 & 19.44) of the QR&O. These sections have to do with improper comments, disclosure of opinion and political activities.
In response to inquiries, the DND cited “specific guidance” about professional military conduct.
“While the CAF does not actively monitor the social media accounts of its members, any member engaging on social media is expected to present good judgment and conduct themselves in a manner that respects our clear guidelines regarding professional military conduct, including the behaviour of CAF members both on and off social media,” the DND spokesperson told True North.
One of the cited policies warns members about the public nature of social media comments.
“CAF members shall ensure that their online activity, whether on – or off – duty, does not reflect discredit on the CAF, compromise the CAFs reputation and lead others to refuse, be reluctant to or be unable to work with the CAF,” the cited policy stated.
Three of the four members identified also openly discussed their opposition to the 2022 Freedom Convoy and CAF veterans involved in the protest movement.
One member accused CAF veteran James Topp of being an extremist while another used expletives aimed at CAF veteran Jeremy Mackenzie.
On the Freedom Convoy in general, comparisons were made to it being an “insurrection” and there were claims about alleged foreign funding or US involvement. One member also claimed the convoy was hiding fascists.
As reported by various media outlets, the Canadian military has also launched investigations into members who supported the Freedom Convoy.
“The CAF holds its members to a very high standard of conduct and performance. Canadians have a clear expectation that their armed forces will conduct itself professionally while reflecting Canadian values and ethics,” a DND spokesperson told True North.
Other tweets also involved one member discussing a superior’s positions on the war in Ukraine and seemingly supporting the use of nuclear arms against Russia.
True North also identified one account that brands itself as a CAF member called “CAF.Insider” which has posted far-left extremist rhetoric. The account regularly advocates for communism and supports the far-left extremist movement antifa.
When approached about this account, the military told True North that they “cannot speak” to the individual involved since the account is anonymous.
“We cannot speak to whether the individual using the “CAF Insider” handle is a serving member, as they appear anonymous,” said the DND.
Are you a member of the Canadian Armed Forces worried about the politicization of the military? Please contact True North and a journalist will be in touch with you shortly.