Premier Doug Ford says he “condemns all individuals and groups that incite violence and hate including the Proud Boys.”
The statement on Thursday comes after Kitchener Centre MPP Laura Mae Lindo called on Ford to “step up and speak out” in denouncing the white supremacist group Proud Boys.
Lindo tweeted she wanted “a clear statement” from Ford a day after supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol building in an attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election. That sparked photos of Ford with members of the group to be circulated on social media. The group Proud Boys was started by a Canadian.
“We are calling on Premier Doug Ford to clearly and unequivocally denounce the Proud Boys,” a statement from Lindo and NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said.
Ford’s office responded Thursday afternoon with an emailed statement from the premier saying he condemns the group.
Enough is enough. <br><br>Time for <a href=”https://twitter.com/fordnation?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@fordnation</a> to step up & speak out. <br><br>Ontario deserves nothing less than a clear statement denouncing Proud Boys and calling for change. <br><br>Invest in BIPOC lives. Take real steps towards reconciliation. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/DoBetter?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#DoBetter</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/onpoli?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#onpoli</a> <a href=”https://t.co/dCuAjcmGZB”>https://t.co/dCuAjcmGZB</a>
Ford’s statement added, “we are disappointed in Andrea Horwath’s attempt to try and link hateful violent groups to her political opponents here in the province.”
Lindo said Ford’s statement is not enough. She wants him to now ask Ottawa to ensure Proud Boys be added to the list of terrorist entities in the country. That would include them in Canada’s counter-terrorism strategy, which would better empower police to deal with them, she said.
“Great that [Ford is] going to go there and he’s going to stand up and he’s going to say today I … do denounce them,” Lindo said. “Now, let’s show that, let’s follow through, get in touch with your pals in Ottawa, tell them to put the Proud Boys on this list.”
Lindo said if Ford doesn’t, she’s “more than prepared” to raise the issue with local Liberal MPs, including Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth Bardish Chagger, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
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