Canadian national security agencies may designate groups affiliated with white supremacy as terror organizations, the Toronto Star reported Sunday.
Canadian Public Safety Minister Bill Blair announced that agencies are investigating whether groups with white supremacist affiliations such as the Proud Boys should be designated as terror organizations alongside ISIS and al-Qaida, the Star reported.
“We strongly denounce ideologically motivated extremists including groups like the Proud Boys, white supremacists, (anti-Semites), Islamophobic and misogynist groups,” a Spokesperson for Blair, Mary-Liz Power said, the Star reported.
The federal government says it is looking into adding the Proud Boys to Canada’s list of terrorist organizations. https://t.co/x2cNrmcJVe
— CityNews Toronto (@CityNews) January 10, 2021
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service started investigating white nationalist and right-wing extremist groups in 2016 and again in 2018 after a deadly shooting at a mosque in Quebec City, the Star reported.
“Intolerance and hate have no place in our society,” Power said, the Star reported. (RELATED: Canadian Sen. Says Trudeau Liberals Knew Group They Honored Had Extremist Views)
Two white supremacist groups, known as Blood & Honour and Combat 18, were the first to be designated as terror organizations in Canada in 2019, according to the Star. Canadian agencies are considering expanding the list to include other organizations so that their financial assets could be frozen if necessary to treat the group as a criminal entity.
The Proud Boys were founded by a former Canadian media personality Gavin McInnes as a “western chauvinist” group, the Star reported. Members of the group were involved in the riots at the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday, and the national chairman was arrested on unrelated criminal charges days before the incident.
Blair’s office said the designation of any group on the list requires evidence and is confirmed through a legal process, according to the Star.
“Such listings send a strong message that Canada will not tolerate such acts of violence,” Power said, the Star reported. “Concretely, listings can help support possible criminal investigations and the prosecution of those offences.”
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