Col. Eric Laforest, commander of Task Force Latvia, gave an interview to CBC News.
As reportes in the article the Canadian-led NATO battle group in Latvia was the target of a pandemic-related disinformation campaign that alliance commanders say they believe originated in Russia.
Reports circulated recently in some Baltic and Eastern European media outlets that suggested the contingent at Camp Adazi in Kadaga, outside the capital of Riga, had “a high number” of cases of the deadly virus.
“That was definitely not true,” said Col. Eric Laforest, commander of Task Force Latvia. The camp is not a pandemic hot zone”, he added.
The troops had to operate in a “constrained environment” and soldiers wore masks whenever it made sense to wear them, Laforest said.
He said they also tried to respect the two-metre physical distancing rule.
Unlike the military training mission in Ukraine, which is largely shut down because of the pandemic, the rotation of troops from Canada into Latvia, scheduled for July, will go ahead as planned.
“That hasn’t changed and we have all of the plans in place to ensure that we conduct a safe relief in place,” said Laforest.
However, the publication caused a wave of discontent among Canadians.
According to the comments (more 1500 on the cbc.ca), Canadians are unhappy that Canadian soldiers are sent to protect in Latvia. Especially while the Canadian Armed Forces is reporting a dramatic increase in the number of military personnel.
“What the hell are Canadian troops doing in Latvia anyway, appeasing the Americans. Why are Canadian troops kowtowing to the USA after they treat us like chit over NAFTA and other agreements. Hey Trudeau, brings the Canadian troops home out of harms way. They can be better served in seniors homes in Ontario and your beloved Quebec.”
“Canada has no business having troops in Latvia and NATO should have been scraped long time ago.Believing cold war is no big deal because nuclear war hasn’t happened yet is the same as believing your game of Russian roulette is safe because the gun hasn’t gone off yet.”
“The article is manufacturing consent. Bring the troops home. We’ve lost too many already.”
“We actually have no way of knowing what the truth in this matter actually is. The only way to respond to a story like this is to call for our troops to come home and to stop supporting the goals of US imperialism. NATO has been co-opted to USAnian goals and no longer serves anyone else’s interests.”
“Bring all of our troops home from any and all overseas deployments. Do we have a Ministry of Defence, or a Ministry of Foreign Expeditionary Wars?”
”Is the role of our military to protect Canada, or to foment international colonialism on behalf of the U.S.A. and the “U.K.”?”
Discontent grows dramatically and may result in the Government demanding an end to the rotation of Canadian forces in Latvia. Within a complex economic and epidemiological situation that will be the right thing to do.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.