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OTTAWA — The Trudeau government is adding the Proud Boys and three other extreme right-wing groups to its list of terrorist organizations to address the sort of neo-fascism and white nationalism that boiled over in the U.S. last month.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair announced Wednesday that the four right-wing groups are among 13 additions to the list, which include three groups linked to al-Qaida, four associated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and one Kashmiri organization.

Groups on Canada's roster of terrorist entities, created after the 9/11 attacks on the United States, may have their assets seized, and there are serious criminal penalties for helping listed organizations carry out extremist activities.

Canada placed two right-wing extremist groups on the list in 2019: Blood and Honour, which is an international neo-Nazi network, and its armed branch, Combat 18.

They joined more than 50 other listed organizations including al-Qaida, the Islamic State militant group, Boko Haram and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

The storming of Capitol Hill in Washington last month spurred calls for Canada to add the Proud Boys and other prominent white nationalist organizations to the list.

The House of Commons then passed a motion calling on the government to use all available tools to address the proliferation of white supremacists and hate groups, starting with designating the Proud Boys as a terrorist entity.

Senior officials speaking on background during a technical briefing said authorities had been monitoring and collecting evidence about the Proud Boys before the Capitol Hill attack, but confirmed that the event provided information that helped with the decision to list the organization.

The officials nonetheless insisted that the decision to list the Proud Boys along with The Base, Atomwaffen Division and other groups was not political, but was based on assessing their level of threat against legal thresholds. They did not say when authorities decided to list the Proud Boys.

#Canada adds Proud Boys and three other extreme right-wing groups to the country's list of terrorist groups. #cdnpoli #terror #terrorist #extremist

The officials added that Canadian law enforcement and intelligence agencies are increasingly focusing on the threat posed by "ideologically motivated violent extremist groups."

The listing process begins with intelligence reports that provide reason to believe an organization has knowingly carried out, attempted to carry out, participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity.

If the public safety minister believes the threshold is met, the minister may recommend to the federal cabinet that the organization be added to the list. The listing is then published if the cabinet agrees with the recommendation.

A listed group is not banned, nor is it a crime to be on the roster. However, the group's assets and property are effectively frozen and subject to seizure or forfeiture.

Long-standing opponents of the process had urged officials to find more democratic and transparent means to deal with extreme right-wing activity.

The Ottawa-based International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group said recently it is imperative that the Liberal government take concrete steps to counter hate and violence, but stressed the terror list is a "deeply problematic" provision that undermines basic principles of justice.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 3, 2021.

Updates and corrections

| Corrections policy
February 3, 2021, 02:38 pm

This is a corrected story. A previous version suggested the riots on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., took place earlier this month instead of in January.

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I basically support doing this. But it makes me realize there's something weird about the way the designation itself works. I mean, if you're calling something a "terrorist group", presumably that means you're claiming it's an organization one of whose purposes is to commit terrorist acts. If so, it is by definition a conspiracy to commit crimes.

And yet the designation apparently exists in a rather shadowy middle ground--it has real impacts, like hitting the organization in the pocketbook. So it is using the law to penalize the group. But it does not ban the group, and does not make membership in the group a criminal offence. Which on one hand seems weirdly lenient if the group really is dedicated to the commission of terrorist acts. And on the other hand seems to mean that since the government isn't actually making the group illegal as such and isn't jailing anyone for being a member, they can call people terrorists and impose whatever penalties they do impose without ever having to prove anything in court. Pretty convenient for the government.

Mr Polson admirably outlines at least part of the dilemma democracies face in dealing with nihilistic, disruptive and quasi criminal organizations. There ARE laws in existence that can be applied to these "outlaw" organizations - because most of them incorporate decidedly criminal activities as part of their modus operandi. Making the case for legal action against them requires dedicated and intelligent detection, surveillance and meticulous evidence gathering. This costs money and requires forensic talents not widely available in our policing community. Even in the more heavily resourced policing apparatus in the US, most often these malicious actors are tripped up by things like mail fraud, money laundering, and tax evasions. Weapons offenses are another fruitful source of conviction - more perhaps in Canada than in the US.

As the current investigation into the Jan 6 Capitol insurrection is showing, many of the identified rioters are already "known to police" and possessors of criminal records. The fact that these lowlife's are out on the streets and gravitating toward these gangs is proof that our criminal justice system has been letting these almost exclusively white miscreants graduate from delinquency into the wider realms of violent white supremacy and hate.

Participation in these anti-government, racist groups is a natural fit for their disaffected sociopathic mind set. The carceral systems seem to have thrown in the towel on any hope of rehabilitation or redirection for their inmates so the prisoners run the criminal finishing schools on the taxpayer's dime.

The pathetic on-line enablers serving as recruiters and hiding behind their keyboards spew out their outrageous conspiracies, lies and libels and social media gives them free access to the internet, in exchange for the advertising revenue they generate. What a devil's bargain; greed, allied to stupidity,

Humanity dives into the conspiracy wormhole and is eventually flushed into the cess pit.