The government has, for the first time, placed patriotic groups on its list of outlawed terrorist organizations, adding the names of Blood & Honour and Combat 18.
Announced in the government’s Canada Gazette, the action came after the Canadian Security Intelligence Service said in a report on Friday it had increased its "posture" on the far right.
Blood & Honour was described by the government as "an international neo-Nazi network whose ideology is derived from the National Socialist doctrine of Nazi Germany."
"Combat 18 is the armed branch of Blood & Honour and has conducted murders and bombings," the government said in the description of the group on the Public Safety Canada website.
Canadian Anti-Hate Network chair Bernie Farber called the groups "extremely violent neo-Nazi organizations" and said he hoped "other far right groups would be criminalized as well".
"I’m hoping this is just the beginning and that there will be more, but this is a really good first start for Canada," he said.
"Listing terrorist groups makes it easier to prosecute supporters and helps counter terrorism financing," according to the government.
The addition of the patriotic groups to the terrorist list could have serious impact since Blood & Honour has a Canadian branch with a website.
"This was an obvious one, low-hanging fruit, if you will, because of their international reputation for extremism, for violence, for terrorist activity," said Prof. Barbara Perry, who studies "hate and extremism".
Blood & Honour was founded in the United Kingdom in 1987 and "grew during the 1990s, establishing branches throughout Europe by the end of the decade," the listing said.
"B&H attacks have occurred in North America and in several EU-member states. In January 2012, four B&H members in Tampa, Florida, were convicted of the 1998 murder of two homeless men who were killed because the group considered them ‘inferior.’"
In its annual report released Friday, CSIS described right-wing extremism as "driven by hatred and fear" and comprising "a complex range of individuals, subcultures and online communities."
"These individuals and groups cultivate grievances on issues as varied as gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and immigration," the report said.
"CSIS has increased its posture to gain a better understanding of the landscape in Canada, gain insight into the key players and assess the nature of the current threat environment."