- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Canadian parliament members called Monday for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to designate the Proud Boys group as a terrorist entity and categorize it alongside the likes of al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

The House of Commons unanimously passed a motion applying pressure on the federal government led by Mr. Trudeau, a liberal, to crack down on members of the multinational, all-male Proud Boys group.

The Proud Boys participated in the raid of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and Jagmeet Singh, the leader of Canada‘s left-wing New Democratic Party, quickly began asking the Trudeau administration to call them terrorists.

Weeks after he started pushing a petition asking the federal government to ban the Proud Boys as a designated terrorist group, Mr. Singh introduced the motion that ultimately passed without objection.

The motion asks the government “to use all available tools to address the proliferation of white supremacist and hate groups, starting with immediately designating the Proud Boys as a terrorist entity.”

Mary-Liz Power, a spokesperson for Bill Blair, Canada‘s minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, referred The Washington Times to remarks the politician made about the Proud Boys previously.

“We’re very mindful of ideologically motivated violent extremists, including groups like the Proud Boys. They’re white supremacists, anti-Semitics, Islamophobic, misogynist groups; they’re all hateful, they’re all dangerous. Our national security officials are very mindful of these individuals; they’re gathering intelligence; they bring that intelligence before me and I bring it before cabinet,” Mr. Blair told CTV on Jan. 10. “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.”

“To be clear: the decision to list any organization as a terrorist entity is based on intelligence and evidence collected by our national security agencies. Terrorist designations are not a political exercise,” Ms. Power told The Times in an email. “Such listings send a strong message that Canada will not tolerate acts of violence. Concretely, listings can help support possible criminal investigations and the prosecutions of those offences.”

If the Proud Boys be designated a terrorist entity in Canada, financial institutions would freeze its assets and it would become a crime to knowingly deal with its assets, Ms. Power explained.

Gavin McInnes, a Canadian, formed the Proud Boys in 2016. The group of self-described “western chauvinists” has since established a presence across North America, as well as a reputation for violence.

Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, the current leader of the Proud Boys, was arrested earlier this month in Washington, D.C., after he took credit for setting fire to a stolen “Black Lives Matter” banner.

Days later, several known Proud Boys were spotted among the mobs who stormed the Capitol during a violent insurrection that resulted in five deaths and the impeachment of former President Trump.

The U.S. Department of Justice has since charged more than 100 people with related crimes, including Proud Boys members Nicholas R. Ochs of Hawaii and Joseph Randall Biggs of Florida, among others.

A day after the Capitol was attacked, Mr. Singh described the incident as “domestic terrorism” and urged the Trudeau government to react accordingly.

“The Proud Boys helped execute it,” Mr. Singh said about the attack on Jan. 7. “Their founder is Canadian. They operate in Canada, right now. And, I am calling for them to be designated as a terrorist organization, immediately.”

Mr. Tarrio did not immediately respond to a message requesting comment.

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