There's been a lot of reaction after the Canadian government designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terror entity, but what does it entail and how will it be implemented?

Canada is a favorite destination for Iranians who want to emigrate to free countries where they can build better lives. One reason is the relative ease of obtaining visas, while it is much tougher to enter the United States. But among tens of thousands who immigrate there are also former member of the IRGC and Iranian government officials with ties to the now terror-listed entity. The question is what will happen to people who still maintain ties to the regime in Iran, especially financial and political connections.

It may be months before Canada sees the impact of the designation in terms of any potential deportation, but one aspect that is immediate and far reaching is financial, according to policing and financial crime expert Gary Clement.

Clement, a former RCMP Superintendent, who spent 30 years with the Mounties, told Iran International the terror designation has teeth.

"It opens the door to look at going after any of the finances or freezing bank accounts and everything from the terrorist group. So I think that's going to be a tremendous benefit and enables the fact that any money cannot be collected for the benefit of this group in any way, " said Clement.

The listing process stems from the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001, and is set out in section 83.05 of the Criminal Code.

According to the law, entities can only be listed as terrorists, but an entity can be a person, group, partnership, fund or an unincorporated association or organization.

Canada's criminal code specifies that it’s a crime to provide property or financial services that could benefit a terrorist group.

That aspect of the criminal code is what leads to consequences, said Clement on why the designation has serious implications.

"Anyone that's deemed to be part of this or trying to get individuals on board, can lead to terrorist charges," said Clement.

Clement said it's now up to banks, brokerages, and other financial institutions to report if they hold terrorist property and freeze it.

Clement, who managed the national police force's financial crime program, said the terror listing allows various Canadian institutions to share more information with law enforcement.

"Anything that came in from FINTRAC [The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada] that relates to this group or may have related to this group, that information can now be shared with law enforcement because they're a terrorist group."

Jonathan Wilkinson, the Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for North Vancouver, BC, which is a predominately Iranian-Canadian riding, has been advocating for the IRGC terror listing for several years.

"I was very pleased. I think it's very important for us to be able to go after the financial, assets that may exist in this country. I think it's very important for us to be able to go after some of the folks that are tied to the IRGC that may be living in this country," Wilkinson said.

A Global News Investigation uncovered more than 700 regime-linked associates operating in Canada, threatening and intimidating Iranian-Canadian dissidents on Canadian soil. That investigation also revealed that Masih Alinejad, an American human rights activist was warned by the FBI not to travel to Canada because she would not be safe from the long arm of the Iranian regime.

Wilkinson said on a political level, Canada's Minister of Public Security, would be responsible for overseeing how they determine who is an IRGC agent, working in conjunction with intelligence and law enforcement like the RCMP and Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

If someone is a family member of the IRGC, Wilkinson said, they would only be impacted if they "knowingly" aided an IRGC agent, but that is something that is yet to be determined in the coming months. Just being related to an IRGC does not lead to any charges.

When it comes to the deportation of IRGC members, Wilkinson said it would a lot less complicated for those who are not full Canadian citizens, but "in the context of Canadian citizens, that is something that we are going to be working through the Immigration Department, it is more complicated," he said.

Independent Toronto area MP Kevin Vuong has been advocating for the Iranian-Canadian community, and the victims families of flight PS752 that was shot down by the IRGC over Tehran in 2020 killing 176 people onboard.

He's been fighting alongside the families for justice and to enlist the IRGC as a terrorist entity.

One of the those victims was a student Vuong taught at the University of Toronto who later became his friend, Mohammad Amin Jebelli.

While he welcomes the decision to enlist the IRGC, he questions why now?

"This is more than just symbolic. There is real teeth behind this, which kind of begs the question, why did the Trudeau government refuse to take this definitive, concrete action for so long?"

Vuong said instead of speculating 'why', he chooses to focus on ensuring that actions will be taken to carry out the proscription.

"What's key for me now is now that they are a listed a terror group, that actions will be taken to ensure that Iranian Canadians are safe, but also that all Canadians are safe. And that means prosecuting the IRGC and kicking out their operatives from from being able to operate on Canadian soil," he said.

With the designation, Vuong said, anyone supporting the terror group would be charged and prosecuted under Canada's judicial system.

Vuong believes the issue is one of national security for all Canadians - but especially for the Iranian and Jewish communities who have been most impacted.

"It was the IRGC that train and equip Hamas to be able to commit those unspeakable atrocities of October 7th. Unfortunately, all these terrorist groups are linked and they work with one another," said Vuong.

More News