Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif met Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Feb 2020) - Source: Abas Aslani on X

The Justin Trudeau government is still agonizing over whether to “responsibly list” Iran’s murderous Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, as countries including the U.S. did long ago.

The IRGC’s thousands of innocent victims include 63 Canadians killed when the IRGC shot down Ukraine International Airlines flight PS572 near Tehran’s airport. The Trudeau government is even less interested in going after Samidoun, a pro-Hamas terrorist-linked group that’s actually headquartered in Vancouver.

Yet it hesitated not at all in crushing a small group of Canadian oddballs who had broken no laws and disavowed violence and racism. These were the Canadian wing of the Proud Boys, a mainly U.S. organization some of whose members participated in the U.S. Capitol Building riot three years ago. The Canadian group was pronounced a “terrorist entity” a month later.

But new Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) research recently conducted by a fellow researcher and myself, and published for the first time here and in C2C Journal, reveals virtually the entire surrounding Liberal narrative as exaggerated if not false:

  • Neither the Proud Boys’ Canadian chapter nor any of its members are known to have broken any laws before or since the organization’s terror entity designation on February 3, 2021;
  • There’s no indication Canada’s Department of Justice prepared the dossier of evidence that, as Public Safety Canada’s anti-terrorism-related web pages explain, is required before any group can be designated a terrorist entity. It must show “reasonable grounds to believe that the entity has knowingly carried out, attempted to carry out, participated in or facilitated a terrorist activity….” There’s no evidence this was done afterwards, either. There’s no evidence any such dossier exists at all;
  • Trudeau’s ministers held no other apparent evidence to substantiate their heated public accusations that the Canadian Proud Boys had engaged in violence, were planning to do so and posed a substantial threat thereof;
  • The Trudeau government showed no interest in the Proud Boys until after the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot, for which the U.S. Proud Boys were soon accused of playing a central role and for which a number were charged and imprisoned;
  • Following Canada’s terrorist listing, Public Safety officials were unable to muster any compelling reasons or hard evidence in support despite persistent questioning from news media;
  • Substantially all of their “evidence” comprised U.S. news media reports pertaining to events and organizations in the U.S.; and,
  • The terrorist designation did not trigger any known law enforcement action against the Canadian chapters or their former members.

Canada’s Feb. 3, 2021 terror listing placed the Canadian Proud Boys officially on par with Al-Qaida, ISIS and Boko Haram. Legally at least, this meant Canada’s government considered the Proud Boys worse than the IRGC or Samidoun.

Ottawa urgently needed to act, insisted Public Safety Minister Bill Blair. Asked by one reporter whether the Proud Boys “pose a current, serious security threat to Canada”, Blair replied, “Absolutely yes”, and added, “There is a great deal of evidence to support that there has been a serious and concerning escalation of violence, not just rhetoric…” (Quote drawn from the ATIP documents.)

But the Liberals had nothing on the Proud Boys. No violent acts, no criminal records, no bomb-making plans, no law-breaking at all. Their most aggressive act came when five of them – five – expressed concern over the impending destruction of a statue of one of Canada’s most important historical figures in Halifax on Canada Day 2017, offending some Indigenous activists. For this – and for not hating Western civilization – the Proud Boys were routinely maligned as “white supremacist”, “misogynistic” or “far-rightist.”

Contrast them with any randomly selected name from Canada’s terror list – like Ansar al Islam, which “was responsible for a coordinated double suicide bombing…that killed more than 60 people and wounded over 200 others,” or Boko Haram, whose members hack the heads off people belonging to different religions.

Canada’s Proud Boys appear to have been designated terrorists mostly because incoming U.S. President Joe Biden needed help in building the Democratic narrative that the J6 riot was a “violent insurrection”. Canada’s move, indeed, was instant news in D.C. and, the ATIP documents show, was discussed in a cabinet-level meeting between the two governments.

ATIP-provided records also show Public Safety analysts tracking J6 media accounts involving the Proud Boys – after their bosses decided on the terror entity designation. If this was Ottawa’s sole “assessment”, it would make Canada’s terror listing illegal.

Further circumstantial evidence that it was a purely political act is the absence of subsequent law enforcement action against the Proud Boys. Normally, a terror designation unleashes the legal hounds of hell upon the target, everything from property and asset seizures to placing members on no-fly lists, to comprehensive surveillance and harassment, and onward to criminal charges.

But none of this happened. In response to over 30 emails and follow-ups, I received a mix of buck-passing, non-answers, refusals to respond, ghosting, and mischaracterizations of my inquiry. Normally the RCMP brags about the great things it does.

Nor is there any criminal or civil case law involving Canadian Proud Boys members indicated on Canada’s free case-search website. Very strange for a group of dudes officially considered as terrifying as Hamas’s rapists-mutilators-kidnappers-murderers.

Still, the Trudeau government crushed Canada’s Proud Boys (who announced their dissolution in May 2021, reiterating they were never a white-supremacist group). Based not on a carefully assembled dossier of hard evidence, but on ideological prejudice and media reports – many exaggerated, distorted or plain false – about a U.S. group whose Canadian affiliate had nothing to do with any of it. If that’s how things now work in Canada, one can only ask: who might be next?

The original, full-length version of this article was recently published in C2C Journal.

John Kline is a U.S.-based lawyer who has contributed to the Heterodox Academy, Areo Magazine, Gatestone Institute, American Spectator, Chronicles magazine (print edition), Western Journal, Russia Today, the Libertarian Institute, CNS News, and Law & Liberty.


  • John Kline

    John Kline is a U.S.-based lawyer who has contributed to the Heterodox Academy, Areo Magazine, Gatestone Institute, American Spectator, Chronicles magazine (print edition), Western Journal, Russia Today, the Libertarian Institute, CNS News, and Law & Liberty.