Nearly three months after Canada declared the Proud Boys a terrorist entity, the Canadian chapter of the militant far-right group claims it has “officially dissolved.” They cited the financial difficulties of mounting a legal challenge to overturn the government’s terrorist entity designation.
In Canada it was not illegal to belong to the group, however, under the terrorist designation authorities can add members to the no-fly list. Banks can freeze their assets and police can seize their assets. It’s a crime to knowingly provide assistance to the group, including by purchasing merchandise.
Canada is believed to be the first country to have declared the group a terrorist entity.
Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said in February that the group posed the “most significant threat” to domestic security. He said that intelligence officials, who had monitored the group since 2018, noticed an “escalation toward violence” and that the Capitol attack produced a “trove” of evidence that helped inform the decision.
The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, an Ottawa-based nonprofit organization is concerned that designating groups like the Proud Boys as terrorists could lead to misuse by politicians who may add groups with whom their political ideas differ versus just violent organizations like the Proud Boys.
Some analysts asked why groups with ideological similarities to the Proud Boys that have been active in Canada weren’t also listed. Blair denied that the listing was influenced by politics.