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Health Canada wants influencers to help spread messaging

You may soon see Canadian influencers twisting arms, to get shots in arms. 

The federal government wants to hire an agency that can enlist influential Canadians to help share information on behalf of Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

“The Government of Canada is planning to use influencers for various campaigns to help connect Health Canada and PHAC messages to specific audiences within the Canadian population,” André Gagnon, spokesperson for the department, said in an email this week.

“This may include helping to share information about vaccines and public health measures in order to engage the public.”

Influential Canadians have lent their support before 

It wouldn’t be the first time high-profile Canadians have harnessed their clout to keep Canadians safe from COVID-19.

Last year, actors Seth Rogen, Ryan Reynolds and other Canadian celebrities encouraged people to stay home, maintain physical distancing and avoid partying. Rogen, who was born in Vancouver, suggested people should instead “hang out alone and smoke weed and watch movies and TV shows.”

The new Health Canada request for proposals for an agency closes April 13.

CBC News asked officials if they had any preference for who they’d like to see sharing their medical messaging.

“No, Health Canada does not have any specific influencers in mind,” said Gagnon.

“As each campaign and strategy is developed, influencers will be identified and vetted based on objectives and specific target audiences for the campaign.”

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