5 “Proud Boys” suspended from duties and face investigation says chief of defence

APTN National News

Canada’s military’s chief of defence staff says the five members of the “proud boys” group that interfered with a Mi’kmaq ceremony in Halifax have been suspended from their duties and face an internal investigation that could see their career in the military end.

“What happened in Halifax over the weekend is deplorable, and Canadians should rest assured my senior leadership is seized of the matter,” said General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff in a statement released Tuesday. “The members involved will be removed from training and duties while we conduct an investigation and review the circumstances.

“Their future in the military is certainly in doubt.”

On Canada Day, five members of the military, including members of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian army interrupted a Mi’kmaw ceremony at a statue of controversial Nova Scotia governor Edward Cornwallis.

A video of the incident shows five men interacting with spectators at the ceremony.

“This is a British colony,” one of the men says in the video. “You’re recognizing the heritage and so are we.”

In the video, one of the spectators appears to hold an upside-down Canadian flag, which someone implies has been marked with the word “decolonize.”

A voice is heard on the video saying that “this was Mi’kmaq territory – it is now Canada.”

Asked if the group is associated with an organization, one of the men in the video says, “The Proud Boys, Maritime chapter.”

The Proud Boys Canadian Chapters Facebook page says they are “a fraternal organization of Western Chauvinists who will no longer apologize for creating the modern world” and do not discriminate on the basis of race or sexuality.

A witness to the interaction says the men kept their voices down as the ceremony continued and left after about 10 minutes.

A person close to one of the individuals involved in the incident, who agreed to speak to The Canadian Press on the condition that their identity not be revealed, said the men were on a pub crawl on Saturday.

“I detest any action by a Canadian Armed Forces member that is intended to show disrespect towards the very people and cultures we value in Canada,” said Vance. “We are the nation’s protectors, and any member of the Canadian Armed Forces who is not prepared to be the defender we need them to be will face severe consequences, including release from the forces.”

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– with files from the Canadian Press

Online Producer / Ottawa

Before moving to become the APTN News social media producer, Mark was the executive producer for the news in eastern Canada. Before starting with APTN in 2009, Mark worked at CBC Radio and Television in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa.

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15 thoughts on “5 “Proud Boys” suspended from duties and face investigation says chief of defence

  1. The claim “they built the modern world” is laughable at best. This comes from a basic lack of historical knowledge, decades of austerity in the public school system, and religious fundamentalism in the private schools.

    This is where conservationism and neo-liberalism leads us. As members of the service they should be dishonourably discharge and blocked from all public sector and public safety jobs.

  2. As members of the Canadian Armed Forces these “men”, and I use that term loosely, are NOT permitted under the terms of service to publicly express a political opinion or act in a manner unbecoming a serviceman. Disciplinary action will be swift and harsh, it could (and should) include jail time in military prison then an immediate dishonourable discharge.

    They are a disgrace to the uniform and everything it stands for. There many proud and brave Canadian First Nations soldiers that have served and sacrificied their lives for this nation, these idiots need to be reminded of that.

    As a former member of the Royal Canadian Navy, I am disgusted with this lot and hope that the full crushing weight of military justice comes down hard on them.

  3. There are bad seeds throughout the world, and finding a new group is interesting. I wonder if they ever thought of going back to their first country of origin. Send them to Britian, and all their work would be done. As some tell us, “get over it,” they need to get over it, and try to reclaim their culture, where they are from. Then they can be called, “the go home boys.”

  4. What about freedom of speech? There was no violence, they just stated their opinion.
    So it is OK to hate white people but to protest hate against whites is a big no no, right?
    Most Canadians are brainwashed, unfortunately. The proof in case is the “leader”, Justin Trudeau.
    And is has nothing to do with anybody’s race you dumb people! CBC feeds you crap and you ask for more! Pathetic.

    1. In 1917, your position and attitude may have been “appropriate” to prevailing ideas, however most of Canadian society has matured in the past 100 years. Most Canadians see the falseness of your response, it is manipulative of truth (presents alternate facts that are not based in reality) and overlooks that these young men are responsible for the protection of all Canadians. If they are only expressing opinion, let them do it in private. As soon as they step into public, they represent something more than their own bias. Fire them.

    2. Freedom of speech essentially just says that the government will take no action against people speaking out against it. Servicemen, however, can technically have action taken against them for that.

    3. To put it simply, by joining the Canadian Forces they agreed to certain restrictions to freedom of speech.

  5. I can’t believe the ” Proud Boys ” are being condemned for questioning the natives. We don’t have the right to ask them why they think they are so entitled to everything.
    Unreal, we need more ” Proud Boys ” they have my vote

    1. Setting aside the fundamental flaws and bias that they espouse: As members of the armed forces, their sworn duty is to protect Canadians – our country, our citizens, our values. They are not political activists, nor are they to be confrontational nor limiting to citizens’ freedom to express their views in a lawful manner. They stepped beyond their mandate while identifying themselves as representative of our government and armed forces. They should be fired.

    2. So you condone the supporters of Cornwallis, who was an oppressive, genocidal maniac?

  6. I served for 22 years and I am appalled at their behavior, they should be ashamed not proud!!!!!!

  7. Idiots, there’s always that special bunch that poke their heads out from time to time just to remind us all how NOT TO BEHAVE ! One of which was a future military leader (junior officer) shameful!

  8. Excellent and swfit response from military leadership. This is how you deal with white supremacist BS – name them, shame them and shun them. See how proud they are then.

  9. These is a prime example of what corrected curriculum in subjects such as history and geography would combat. All schools in all regions of Canada need these updated to include the region’s FIRST INDIGINOUS NATION. Re education is the key…reverse the damage propaganda has caused by exposing each case such as this…nice to see APTN on the ball following up.

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