Kamloops Mounties are aware of posters in town promoting the hate group Proud Boys Canada and have distributed copies to officers so they are aware, but the local detachment has had no interactions with anyone claiming to be with the group.
RCMP staff Sgt. Martin Van Laer said police received a report on July 12 from someone using the detachment’s online reporting tool. The person said they came across the poster along a walking trail near 366 Waddington Cres. in Sahali and removed it.
“We don’t have anything else than this one report so far,” Van Laer said.
Kyle Mardon was headed into the Royal Bank of Canada branch in the Columbia Place Shopping Centre on July 11 at about 7:30 a.m. when he noticed a copy of the 8.5-inch-by-11-inch sign on the outside of that building.
The promotional flyer for the Proud Boys asks people to contact them via email and lists their tenets, which include “minimal government, maximum freedom, closed border, anti-racial guilt, anti-political correctness, glorifying the entrepreneur and venerating the housewife.”
Founded in 2016 by Canadian right-wing activist and Vice Media co-founder Gavin McInnes, the Proud Boys is an all-male, far right group with a history of street violence. Members are to swear off masturbation and declare themselves Western chauvinists who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube have all banned the group from their platforms.
Mardon said he was surprised and disgusted to see the group’s poster, adding he didn’t think such organizations existed in Kamloops.
Upon seeing it, he took a picture of the sign and ripped it down, but didn't report it to police.
“The group may seem innocuous, but their leaders and a large percentage of their members are considered white supremacists” he said, noting his wife is of Indian descent and he doesn’t want their children to have to face discrimination.
Mardon said he was aware of the group’s online presence, but noted this was the first time he had come across a posted flyer. He is concerned the group may be operating in Kamloops.
“I do not want to see such groups as the KKK, Antifa or Proud Boys getting a foothold here — they are not wanted,” Mardon told KTW, noting Canada is a multicultural society that accepts everyone regardless of where they are from or what they believe.
“The last thing I want to see is any group becoming violent or racist towards any other group of people,” he said.
As he drove away from the bank, Mardon said he noticed another copy of the sign posted on a nearby dry cleaners’ store and assumes there are others.
Other copies have the signs have been spotted in Kamloops and reported on social media by people who note they, too, have removed the messages.