The Proud Boys have shamed Canada’s military.
At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, rear admiral John Newton
“I’ll stand here in front of you and
Four of the men are members of the Royal Canadian Navy. One is a member of the Army. All of the men are now facing administrative and military police disciplinary action because of this past weekend’s incident.
The self-described “Proud Boys” showed up to Cornwallis Park on Canada Day, Red Ensign flag in hand, to disrupt an Indigenous ceremony that was being held to commemorate the genocide of First Nations peoples.
Newton says he was made aware of the incident by those who contacted him directly over social media, as well as from the outcry of his Indigenous friends and fellow Armed Forces members.
The head of the Navy on the east coast says he had a “one-way conversation” with the men, during which he told them the Armed Forces was taking the matter very seriously.
“I looked each and every one of them in the eye...and I told them what would happen to them.”
Although Newton says the men have a right to their beliefs, those ideologies have to get “parked” when you join a bigger
“I just told the young people that they had crossed a line, where their personal beliefs...got into the public domain,” he said. “For that, they will have to face the consequences.”
The Armed Forces members could be looking at a military police investigation to determine if their affiliation with the far-right extremist group poses a security risk to operations.
The Proud Boys were founded by VICE Magazine co-founder Gavin McInnes as a masturbation-abstaining, militant right-wing fraternity that praises "Western
“Their attempts at humour and freshmen understanding of intellectual history are childish and boring and they’re more of an annoyance than truly offensive...[but] the danger lies in formations like the Proud Boys using irony to
Whatever the Proud Boys represent, Newton says their values run counter to those of the Canadian Armed Forces.
“We all should not be
Tuesday marks the second apology Newton has had to make in recent weeks due to Navy members disrespecting First Nations peoples. In late May, Newton
Newton says he hasn’t spoken directly with local Indigenous leaders about the Proud
“To members of Halifax’s Mi’kmaq community and to Chief Grizzly Mamma, I am sorry for the pain this incident has caused,” Sajjan writes. “These disrespectful actions do not represent the Canadian Armed Forces members I serve as Minister of National Defence.”