The training also involved using a loudspeaker to generate wolf sounds, the Canadian Forces confirmed to this newspaper.
The fake letter was part of new skills being tested by the military as it hones its expertise for launching propaganda missions at home and abroad. The letter was developed by information warfare specialists with the Halifax Rifles, a reserve unit.
They not only forged the logo of the Wildlife Division of Nova Scotia’s Department of Lands and Forestry but they also attributed the letter to a real Nova Scotia government employee, even though they didn’t have permission to do so. A phone number on the letter, which residents were to call if they had concerns about the wolves, was traced by this newspaper to the work number of an Environment Canada employee, who also appears to be a Canadian Forces reservist.
The Canadian Forces revealed its role behind the fake letter last week to the Nova Scotia government and then on the weekend to local news media. Media outlets reported military staff had written the letter but didn’t know why.
Department of National Defence spokesman Dan Le Bouthillier said the fake letter wasn’t meant to be released to the public and an investigation is underway to determine how that happened. The letter was an aid for the propaganda training. Le Bouthillier said he didn’t know why the loudspeaker was set up to transmit wolf sounds and that will be investigated as well.
The letter is signed by a real person living in Nova Scotia, but Petrie said the man has nothing to do with the letter.
CBC News reached out to the person whose name is on the letter, but has not heard back.