Fact Check: Reports Say Canada Preparing for 2nd US Civil War. Here's What We Know

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Social media posts in June 2024 accurately stated Canada was preparing for a second U.S. civil war.


Rating: Mixture
Rating: Mixture

What's True:

In April 2024, the Canadian government did publish a report saying the country needed to be prepared for a potential civil war in the U.S.


What's False:

However, the document did not say any preparations were under way. It also described such an event as "underanticipated" and listed it alongside seven other "underanticipated disruptions" and 10 more probable "prominent disruptions."


On June 16, 2024, a Facebook user posted a status claiming Canada was making preparations in the event of a second American Civil War.

"Did you Know? Canada is preparing for the US to have a Civil War," the user wrote.


Similar posts appeared elsewhere on Facebook, with one user asking: "Is the Canadian government genuinely worried about the possibility of an American civil war?"

The claim also cropped up on X in June 2024, where one user posted a link to a YouTube Short — with more than 200,000 views at the time of this writing — that also posited Canada was preparing for another U.S. civil war. A TikTok user linked to the YouTube account also posted the video, where it had amassed more than 770,000 views at the time of this writing.

The video's narrator claimed the Canadian government published a "new report" titled "Disruptions on the Horizon," which proposed a civil war south of the country's border "as a scenario worth worrying about."

He said the document cited escalating "ideological divisions, democratic erosion and domestic unrest" as the potential causes of a civil conflict in the U.S., but added the Canadian government considered it an "improbable, but ultra high impact event."

The document in question was published by the Canadian government on April 22, 2024, and it did cite a civil war in the U.S. as a potential future disruption that Canada needs to be prepared for. However, it did not say any preparations were under way, which is why we have rated this claim and the YouTube and TikTok video as a "Mixture" of truths and falsehoods.

Policy Horizons Canada (PHC) — which describes itself as "the Government of Canada's centre of excellence in foresight" — titled the report "Disruptions on the Horizon." PHC is a Canadian government organization that provides the government with future-oriented proposals to influence decision making; however, its publications are not necessarily government policy. In "Disruptions on the Horizon," PHC noted its content "does not necessarily reflect the views of the Government of Canada."

In a section titled "Reflections on key disruptions," which "explores 18 disruptions that could have significant impact for Canada," the document cited the possibility of a second civil war erupting in the U.S. as an "underanticipated disruption."

It said escalating ideological divisions, democratic erosion, and domestic unrest could plunge the U.S. into civil war, which is why Canada needed to be prepared for such an event. However, it did not say the Canadian government had started preparing for a civil war.

Other underanticipated disruptions deemed necessary for Canada to prepare for included antibiotics no longer working, the basic daily needs of Canadians — such as housing, food and water — not being met, and a third world war breaking out.

Prominent disruptions included citizens being unable to tell what is true or false due to misinformation, emergency services becoming overwhelmed, artificial intelligence running wild, and billionaires taking over the world.

The document added:

Exploring both prominent and underanticipated disruptions can help decision makers think through potential implications, policy considerations, and preparedness. One disruption could have cascading implications in unexpected areas, and the occurrence of one disruption could set off others.

Numerous media outlets reported on the Policy Horizons Canada document, such as Politico, The Economic Times and the Daily Mail.


About Us – Policy Horizons Canada. https://horizons.service.canada.ca/en/about-us/index.shtml. Accessed 17 June 2024.

Canada, Employment and Social Development. Disruptions on the Horizon. 22 Apr. 2024, https://horizons.service.canada.ca/en/2024/disruptions/#Reflections.

'Canada's Big Worry: A US Civil War'. Politico, 11 June 2024, https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2024/06/11/canada-us-civil-war-00162521.

'Is US on Brink of Civil War? Why Is Canada Upset and Why Does It Apprehend Unrest in Neighboring Country? Details Here'. The Economic Times, 11 June 2024. The Economic Times - The Times of India, https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/us/is-us-on-brink-of-civil-war-why-is-canada-upset-and-why-does-it-apprehend-unrest-in-neighboring-country-details-here/articleshow/110917456.cms?from=mdr.

Poleo, Germania Rodriguez. 'REVEALED: Canada's Plans for American CIVIL WAR after the Election'. Mail Online, 12 June 2024, https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13521773/Canada-preparing-American-CIVIL-WAR-election.html.