OTTAWA — Canada formally designated the Proud Boys as a terrorist entity beneath its legal legislation on Wednesday, a transfer that would result in monetary seizures and permit police to deal with any crimes they commit as terrorist exercise.
Authorities officers mentioned Wednesday that they consider Canada is the primary nation to label the Proud Boys a terrorist group. The occasions final month in Washington, they added, contributed to the transfer, which was already into consideration.
An official, who spoke on the situation that he not be recognized, mentioned that whereas data gleaned following the assault on the Capitol in Washington was a “contributing issue, it actually wasn’t the driving power.”
Members of the Proud Boys, a far-right, all-male group that lauded avenue brawling as a part of its founding thought, performed a outstanding position in storming the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
For the reason that assault, Jagmeet Singh, the chief of the opposition New Democratic Social gathering, has pushed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to declare the Proud Boys a terror group.
It was amongst 13 teams added to the federal government’s terrorism listing, together with three different far-right or neo-Nazi teams: the Russian Imperial Motion based mostly in Russia, and the Atomwaffen Division and The Base, which largely function in the USA. The opposite teams added to the listing are affiliated with the Islamic State and Al Qaeda.
Officers harassed that the designations are unlikely to result in arrests within the close to time period. “Simply since you’re listed doesn’t imply that impulsively you’re now going to be charged with a criminal offense,” one mentioned.
However the official added that any crimes dedicated by members of the group can now be the topic of terrorism prices beneath legal legislation. These potential crimes embrace offering a terrorist group with funds or different help — equivalent to buying Proud Boys paraphernalia or clothes from the group, though displaying or sporting them publicly breaks no legal guidelines.
In its designation, the federal government mentioned that members of the Proud Boys “espouse misogynistic, Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, and/or white supremacist ideologies and affiliate with white supremacist teams.”
The federal government didn’t point out what number of chapters of the The Proud Boys are lively in Canada. In 2017, 5 members of the Canadian Armed Forces had been a part of a Proud Boys group that disrupted an Indigenous ceremony in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada Day. They had been disciplined however not charged by the army.
The Proud Boys was established in 2016 by Gavin McInnes, who was born in England however raised in Ottawa and helped to discovered the Vice media empire. Vice has sought to distance itself from each Mr. McInnes and the Proud Boys.
At protests, Canadians members of the Proud Boys usually carry the purple ensign, a flag containing the Union Jack in a single nook that was Canada’s official banner till it adopted its maple leaf flag in 1965. Members of the group have a historical past of participating in violent avenue clashes with left-wing activists often known as antifa.
Some Canadian information shops reported that the web sites of Proud Boys chapters in a number of Canadian cities disappeared final month following the occasions in Washington. It seems that they had been eliminated by the teams themselves somewhat than service suppliers.
Neil MacFarquhar contributed reporting from New York.