Ottawa says IRGC terrorist list isn’t up to politicians, but past list of proud boys suggests otherwise


Designating a group as a terrorist organization and adding it to the Criminal Code’s list of terrorist groups is serious business. Once a group is on that list, every aspect of that organization is criminalized in Canada, from fundraising to organizing efforts. The process of adding groups to the Criminal Code’s terrorist list should not be rushed, trivialized or politicized. Unfortunately, Canada already has a record of hastily listing groups, and the process is hopelessly politicized.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and opposition leader Pierre Polivre have held the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the House of Commons for weeks as protests erupt in Iran following the death of 22-year-old Mercer. ) has played political football for its position. Amini in police custody. The treatment of women and all citizens regarding their affairs under the Iranian regime and its “morality police” has attracted global attention, and countries have responded by imposing sanctions against Iran and some of its military branches. The IRGC has been designated as a terrorist organization by several countries, including the United States, but the Trudeau government has been hesitant to do so.

The federal government has taken steps to block some members of the IRGC from entering Canada, but claims it has not gone so far as to declare the IRGC a terrorist organization. It’s not that the government didn’t have time to think about it. A parliamentary motion declaring the IRGC a terrorist organization was passed in the House of Representatives in 2018, but the government has not acted on it.

Office of Minister of Public Security Marco Mendicino Said It is not up to politicians to add organizations to the list of terrorists. That statement is not true. Perhaps politicians shouldn’t designate groups on the terrorist list, but they have already done so in Canada recently, giving much less consideration to the IRGC issue than was given.

Epoch Times photo
In this file photo, members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) march at a military parade in Tehran. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

After five people died in a riot on Capitol Hill in the United States on January 6, 2021, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh called on the government to immediately declare the Proud Boys a terrorist organization. All parties, including the Conservative Party, supported the motion. Although the motion was not binding, the Proud Boys were added to the list of terrorist organizations in the Canadian Criminal Code shortly after.

The Proud Boys as a group were not harmless, but did they really warrant their status as a terrorist organization? In a world with thousands of groups and organizations with violent or questionable motives, Canada’s Only a few dozen groups and organizations have been found to be dangerous enough to add to the Criminal Code’s list of terrorists.

Richard Faden, the retired head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Agency (CSIS), expressed concern. global news interview When the Proud Boys were added to the list. He said most members of Congress do not have access to classified information collected by CSIS and other intelligence agencies regarding potential criminal and terrorist organizations.

Members of parliament are by nature politically motivated. They are reactive, often bombastic, and sometimes their partisanship blinds them to focus on public concern. It happened when we hurriedly put them on the list. The Proud Boys deserve no sympathy, but they are not evaluated in any reasonable way as Canada’s terrorist organization. A bad precedent was set when the minor group was successfully added to the terrorist list.

If Congress gets into the habit of adding groups to the terrorist list without proper oversight and consultation from intelligence agencies, that power can and will likely be abused.

Imagine if another trucker convoy-type protest erupted. The government may not want to use the Emergency Act in its next response. They may add an organized group or group to the terrorist list of the Criminal Code. They can then seize property and arrest the organizers, effectively as if using emergency laws, without even being bound by an investigation into their subsequent actions.

What if a future Conservative government added groups like Extinction Rebellion to their list and tracked donors to them?

Political games are played in Canada under the designation of a terrorist group, which is dangerous. Some groups are added too lightly to the list because of the political climate, while others are left off the list because of their political pride.

These games put people in serious danger both in Canada and abroad.

Cory Morgan


Cory Morgan is a Calgary-based columnist.