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Federal government weighs listing Proud Boys as terrorist group

Last Updated Jan 11, 2021 at 5:04 pm MST

FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2020 photo, a protester carries a Proud Boys banner, symbol of a right-wing group, while other members start to unfurl a large U.S. flag in front of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem, Ore. President Donald Trump didn't condemn white supremacist groups and their role in violence in some American cities this summer. Instead, he said the violence is a “left-wing" problem and he told one far-right extremist group to “stand back and stand by.” His comments Tuesday night were in response to debate moderator Chris Wallace asking if he would condemn white supremacists and militia groups. Trump's exchange with Democrat Joe Biden left the extremist group Proud Boys celebrating what some of its members saw as tacit approval. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File)

OTTAWA — The federal government is weighing whether to add the Proud Boys and other right-wing groups to Canada’s list of terrorist organizations.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair’s spokeswoman Mary-Liz Power says the Proud Boys are one of several hate groups that officials are monitoring and collecting information about with an aim to adding them to the list.

The revelation follows last week’s Capitol Hill riot in Washington, D.C.,  which reportedly involved members of the Proud Boys, prompting calls for the organization to be added to the list.

Power did not say when authorities first started monitoring the Proud Boys group, which was founded by a Canadian and has been banned from various social-media platforms, or when a determination on whether it qualifies as a terror group will be made.

But she said such a determination is not a “political exercise,” and instead involves a legal process that requires evidence and intelligence gathering.

Two right-wing groups the government described as white supremacist organizations were added to the terror list in June 2019, joining such organizations as al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and the Islamic State as being banned within Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 10, 2021.

The Canadian Press