Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada

December 06, 2010 09:30 ET

Minister Toews: All Canadians Play a Part in Combating Home-Grown Terrorism

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 6, 2010) - Today, Canada's Minister of Public Safety reinforced the need for all Canadians to remain engaged and vigilant in the fight against violent radicalization and home-grown terrorism in Canada. The Honourable Vic Toews spoke to the issue during a keynote address at the international conference "Promoting Peace and Preventing Youth Radicalization Worldwide." Topics of discussion included the current state of Somalia and the threat of extremist groups, the underlying causes of youth radicalization, and options for countering radicalization that leads to violence.

"We all have a part to play keeping Canadian communities safe and secure," said Minister Toews. "The worst terrorist attack in Canadian history was a direct result of home-grown terrorism and only when communities, governments and law-enforcement work together can we truly combat this threat to our families, communities and national security."

The Minister outlined how the Government of Canada continues to work closely with its partners and concerned Canadian communities, to address the threat posed by violent extremism through preventative programming, community outreach, criminal investigations and successful prosecutions. Examples include the RCMP's National Security Community Outreach program to promote interaction and relationship-building with communities, and the Cross-Cultural Roundtable on Security, which was created to foster a dialogue on national security issues between the Government and citizens who are leaders in their communities.

"Radicalization concerns us all because it can endanger Canadian lives and rip communities and families apart," said Minister Toews. "From the Air India bombing 25 years ago, to the recent successful prosecutions of the Toronto 18, Momin Khawaja and Said Namouh, Canadians have ongoing sobering reminders that Canada is not immune from the threat of terrorism. Despite ongoing action over the last few decades, the threat still exists and we must remain vigilant."

As part of the ongoing effort to combat terrorism, this week the Harper Government will announce the Air India Action Plan, a roadmap to help ensure that such a terrible and senseless atrocity does not happen again.

"Violent extremism is not limited to any specific ethnicity or religion. Nor is there a single profile for individuals, communities or countries that are vulnerable to radicalization leading to violence," said Minister Toews. "The Government commends the Canadian Friends of Somalia for initiating this important discussion today, and we welcome the opportunity to engage all Canadians in a serious dialogue on violent extremism and other national security issues."

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