When extremists attacked a Quebec Mosque in 2017, senselessly killing six people, Canada's main spy agency, CSIS, decided to dig into the number of extremist and right-wing groups on Facebook. What they found is incredibly concerning.
As reported by the Toronto Star, the CSIS claims that the number of online groups dedicated right-wing, extremist positions have gone up significantly in the last few years. They also found that hate crimes are on the rise across the country.
In Canada, extremist violence and radicalized hate of a specific group of people isn't a new occurrence. The CSIS says that these have existed in Canada throughout history. Lately though, it's not only growing but the targets have shifted.
While right-wing Canadian groups have previously targeted Chinese and Japanese communities as well as Indigenous peoples, the extremist groups today are reportedly now threatening Jewish and Muslim populations, as well as any politicians or groups who support them.
So who are these extremists? According to CSIS, they are in some, but not all cases, White Supremacists who are obsessed with "preserving" a certain culture, religion, or white majority in Canada. They are also other extreme conservatives, who hold views on the farthest-right end of the political spectrum.
Far-right extremism would also be used to describe radical groups like the KKK or Neo-Nazi groups. In Canada, this has included in the past the Canadian Nazi Party, The Nationalist Party of Canada, and the Tri-City Skins, among others.
Canadian law enforcement is now struggling to decide how to approach far-right extremists in Canada, especially given the privacy issues surrounding whether or not police should monitor online groups.
But according to the Toronto Star, experts are now warning that this should be considered a huge threat to national security. They say that something must be done before more Canadians' lives are lost, or put at risk.
Source: Toronto Star