APTN National News
Five members of the Canadian Armed Forces – and the so-called “Proud Boys” – will not be charged following a military police investigation into the disruption of an Mi’kmaq ceremony in Halifax last month.
Four members are cleared to return to regular duty, while one has left the armed forces.
Gen. Jonathan Vance, chief of the defence staff, said he expects more from members.
“I expect every CAF member to learn from this situation and demonstrate professionalism and proper conduct, both in and out of uniform. We are the nation’s protectors, and need to act as such,” said Vance.
Five armed forces members disrupted a Mi’kmaw ceremony at a statue of controversial Nova Scotia governor Edward Cornwallis on July 1.
A video of the incident shows five men interacting with spectators at the ceremony.
“This is a British colony,” one of the men say in the video. “You’re recognizing the heritage and so are we.”
In the video, one of the spectators appears to hold an upside-down Canadian flag, which someone implies has been marked with the word “decolonize.”
A voice is heard on the video saying that “this was Mi’kmaq territory – it is now Canada.”
Asked if the group is associated with an organization, one of the men in the video say, “The Proud Boys, Maritime chapter.”
The members were relieved of their duties and re-assigned to other jobs, pending the results of a military police investigation.
Rear-Admiral John Newton, Commander Joint Task Force Atlantic and Maritime Forces, released a statement Thursday calling the members behaviour inconsistent with what is expected.
“Any further inappropriate behaviour could result in their termination from the Canadian Armed Forces,” said Newton.
Cornwallis, as governor of Nova Scotia, founded Halifax in 1749 and soon after issued a bounty on Mi’kmaq scalps in response to an attack on colonists.
Some members of the Mi’kmaq community have called for the removal of tributes to Cornwallis, calling his actions a form of genocide.