Government officials said Wednesday that the Proud Boys met the legal threshold under Canadian law to be classified as a terrorist entity, citing reasonable grounds to believe that the group knowingly participated in or helped execute a terrorist act. Officials added Canada is believed to be the first jurisdiction to list the Proud Boys as a terrorist group.
“There is a growing body of evidence, collected here in Canada but also [by the U.S.], of an escalation of violence that the Proud Boys has been involved in,” said Public Safety Minister Bill Blair.
“This is not about politics,” he added, “and it is not about infringing upon the freedom of belief, association or speech. It is about controlling violent activities of ideologically-motivated extremism.”
Enrique Tarrio, leader of the Proud Boys, said the decision was unjustified and demonstrated heavy-handedness from Canada’s Liberal government.