The Canadian federal government has declared the Proud Boys group, along with 12 other groups as “terrorist entities” after a push to declare the group terrorists by far-left New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh.
The Liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated Wednesday that it would be adding a total of 13 groups to the list of terrorist entities, which could see criminal sanctions and asset freezes of anyone associated with the groups.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair made the announcement, stating that the Proud Boys along with he neo-Nazi groups ‘Atomwaffen Division’, ‘The Base’ and others will be considered by the government as terrorist groups as they have called for and taken part in violence against political opponents, CTV reports.
“Based on their actions and ideologies, each group meets the legal threshold for listing as set out in the Criminal Code, which requires reasonable grounds to believe that an entity has knowingly participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity, or has knowingly acted on behalf of, at the direction of, or in association with such an entity,” Blair said.
Violent extremism has no place in Canada. Today, we announced that 13 additional groups have met the threshold to be listed as terrorist entities in Canada. These additions include four groups whose violent extremism is motivated by hateful ideologies. pic.twitter.com/scg3ljJuVP
— Bill Blair (@BillBlair) February 3, 2021
The move comes after New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh called for the Proud Boys to be declared a terrorist group following the Capitol riots in Washington D.C. last month.
Singh took to Twitter after the announcement commenting, “It’s official. Proud Boys are designated a terrorist organization. Young people[,] Working people[,] Black, Brown and Indigenous people[,] This is our victory. I will be speaking to the country about the next steps soon.”
A motion to declare the group a terrorist organisation was met with unanimous approval from all political parties in the house of commons late last month.
While the Proud Boys’ activity in Canada has been small in comparison to their activity in the United States, the group was founded by Vice Magazine co-founder Gavin Mcinnes, who himself is a Canadian citizen living in the U.S.
In Canada, the group is most known for interrupting an aboriginal ceremony in Halifax, Nova Scotia in July of 2017. The Proud Boys confronted the Mi’kmaw ceremony which itself was a protest for the removal of a statue of Halifax founder General Edward Cornwallis.
The Cornwallis statue was later removed in 2018 and though there was no violence at the Proud Boys protest, several of the men who were serving military were reprimanded for their actions.
Since the Capitol riot last month, two Proud Boys members have been indicted on federal conspiracy charges and the leader of the group was revealed to have been a long-time informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).