MPs agree to call on feds to declare Proud Boys a terrorist entity
OTTAWA -- On the proposal of NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, members of Parliament unanimously agreed Monday to call on the federal government to declare the Proud Boys a “terrorist entity.”
The motion called on the government to “use all available tools to address the proliferation of white supremacists and hate groups,” starting with the immediate designation of the Proud Boys as a terrorist group.
The Proud Boys are a far-right extremist group founded by a Canadian, and members of the group were present at the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
While this motion is not binding and the government would still have to formally add the Proud Boys to the list of terror groups, doing so was something that was already being considered.
In a recent interview on CTV’s Question Period, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair said that Canada could soon be adding more extremist groups like the Proud Boys to Canada’s list of recognized terrorist organizations.
Blair said at the time that Canadian national security officials were actively gathering intelligence about groups such as the Proud Boys on an ongoing basis.
“We're very mindful of ideologically-motivated violent extremists, including groups like the Proud Boys. They are white supremacists, anti-Semitics, Islamophobic, misogynist groups. They're all hateful, they're all dangerous,” Blair said. “We're working very diligently to ensure that where the evidence is available, where we have the intelligence, that we’ll deal appropriately with those organizations.”
Singh and others have been calling on the federal government to reassess the domestic terror threat within Canada for some time.
Formally taking the step of adding the Proud Boys or other extremist organizations to the list would see them named alongside Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, and the Taliban, among many others. It would also open up a range of criminal sanctions the organization could face.
“This was a great first step, and we're going to hold the government to account. The motion passed but the federal government now has to act,” Singh said on CTV’s Power Play. However, as Blair has noted in the past, the decision on who is, or isn’t declared a terrorist group, is not a political decision.
“It's based on the evidence, it's based on the intelligence, and it's based on the law,” Blair said in early January.