Boogaloo Movement in Canada
Several media outlets have reported that the Boogaloo Movement, a pro-gun, anti-government movement started in the US, is gaining ground in Canada.
- Our Government is committed to countering the threat to public safety and Canada’s national security posed by Ideologically Motivated Violent Extremists.
- Our Government is also aware that certain Ideologically Motivated Violent Extremists are seeking to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic and broader social unrest to further their objectives. This includes the Boogaloo movement.
- Canada’s security and intelligence agencies have robust measures in place to disrupt threats from these individuals and keep Canadians safe.
- Further, our law enforcement agencies will continue to investigate criminal activities conducted by Ideologically Motivated Violent Extremists and, where applicable, lay criminal charges for terrorism offences.
Ideologically Motivated Violent Extremism
Certain Ideologically Motivated Violent Extremist (IMVE) groups and individuals are attempting to leverage the COVID-19 pandemic and recent social unrest to spread disinformation and conspiracy theories, expand recruiting efforts, and advocate violence.
The Boogaloo Movement is an anti-government, pro-gun movement that originated in the United States. The Movement made headlines when its heavily armed supporters attended anti-lockdown and Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstrations in several US cities. Although there are no reports of Boogaloo members attending Canadian BLM demonstrations, recent reports indicate that there is a growing social media/network presence of Boogaloo supporters in Canada. The growth in Canada is thought to be linked to tightened gun restrictions in Canada following the mass-shooting in Nova Scotia. Further, reports note that certain Canadian Boogaloo-linked social media posts have advocated violence against RCMP officers and BLM protestors.
The Government of Canada (GoC) has adopted the term “Ideologically Motivated Violent Extremism” (IMVE) to more accurately describe threat actors who are motivated by a range of grievances and ideas from across the political and ideological spectrums. This terminology replaces the traditional terminology of “left wing” and “right wing” extremism because IMVE is more accurate in describing the individualized grievances that have motivated IMVE attackers, including in the Canadian context. IMVE is further broken down into four categories:
- Xenophobic Violence: ethno-nationalist and racially motivated violence, often associated with and referred to as neo-Nazism or white supremacy (e.g. 2017 Quebec City mosque attack);
- Gender-driven Violence: hatred based on gender or sexual orientation and/or violent misogynist worldviews (e.g. 2018 Toronto van attack, 2020 Toronto massage parlour attack);
- Anti-authority Violence: opposition to and/or rejection of legitimate State authority, including law enforcement (e.g. 2014 Moncton shooting of RCMP officers); and
- Other Ideological Grievance-driven Violence: often no affiliation to a particular IMVE group, but radicalized to violence – often through online echo chambers – based on a range of grievances, both personal and ideological.
IMVE is a threat to public safety and constitutes a threat to Canada’s national security pursuant to s. 2 of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service Act. Under s. 6(1) of the Security Offences Act, the RCMP has a mandate to investigate and prevent IMVE-related criminal activity. Where applicable, the RCMP and its law enforcement partners can also lay charges for terrorism offences under the Criminal Code.
Prepared by: Sean McGillis, A/Executive Director Federal Policing Strategic Direction
Approved by: Mike Duheme, Deputy Commissioner Federal Policing
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