February 9 2012 – Today, the Honourable Vic Toews, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety, released Building Resilience Against Terrorism: Canada’s Counter-terrorism Strategy.
The announcement was made at a Colloquium on Identifying Effective Programming to Prevent Terrorism, a meeting of international counter-terrorism experts and practitioners.
“Our government is committed to keeping our streets and communities safe. Canada’s Counter-terrorism Strategy sets out a clear approach for addressing terrorism, with a focus on building community resilience. I’m pleased to launch it today at an event where experts from around the world are exploring the matter of effective terrorism prevention,” said Minister Toews. “Our Government will take all reasonable measures to address real and persistent threats.”
The Counter-terrorism Strategy will help to prioritize the Government’s counter-terrorism efforts and promote an open discussion with Canadians on the threats we face. It also highlights the importance of cooperation with Canada’s international partners, all levels of government, security intelligence and law enforcement agencies, industry stakeholders and civil society.
The aim of the Strategy is to: counter domestic and international terrorism in order to protect Canada, Canadians and Canadian interests.
The Strategy is founded on six fundamental principles:
- Building resilience
- Terrorism is a crime and will be prosecuted
- Adherence to the rule of law
- Cooperation and partnerships
- Proportionate and measured response
- A flexible and forward-looking approach
The Strategy frames Canada’s counter-terrorism activities under four pillars: Prevent, Detect, Deny and Respond.
Activities in this area focus on the motivations of individuals who engage in, or have the potential to engage in, terrorist activity at home and abroad. The emphasis will be on addressing the factors that may motivate individuals to engage in terrorist activities.
This element focuses on identifying terrorists, terrorist organizations and their supporters, their capabilities and the nature of their plans. This is done through investigation, intelligence operations and analysis, which can also lead to criminal prosecutions. Strong intelligence capabilities and a solid understanding of the changing threat environment is key. This involves extensive collaboration and information sharing with domestic and international partners.
Intelligence and law enforcement actions can deny terrorists the means and opportunities to pursue terrorist activities. This involves mitigating vulnerabilities and aggressively intervening in terrorist planning, including prosecuting individuals involved in terrorist related criminal activities, and making Canada and Canadian interests a more difficult target for would-be terrorists.
Terrorist attacks can and do occur. Developing Canada’s capacities to respond proportionately, rapidly and in an organized manner to terrorist activities and to mitigate their effects is another aspect of the Strategy. This element also speaks to the importance of ensuring a rapid return to ordinary life and reducing the impact and severity of terrorist activity.
Implementing the Strategy
The Strategy will serve to guide the Government’s efforts in countering terrorism. Built into the Strategy are mechanisms for monitoring the Government’s efforts and for reporting to Canadians on the Strategy’s progress, including an annual report to Canadians on the evolving threat environment.
The Government protects Canadians by preventing individuals from engaging in terrorism, detecting the activities of individuals who may pose a terrorist threat, denying terrorists the means and opportunity to carry out their activities, and responding proportionately, rapidly and in an organized manner to terrorist activities to mitigate their effects.
Countering the complex problem of terrorism demands innovative approaches and a global effort.
The Government of Canada launched the Kanishka Project, named after the Air India Flight 182 aircraft, to fund research to better understand, prevent and counter terrorism. These research projects will help produce more effective policies and tools for people on the front lines, including community leaders, police, lawyers, and judges.
“Preventing another act of terrorism is the most fitting memorial to the victims of the bombing of Air India Flight 182,” said Minister Toews. “The Counter-terrorism Strategy and the Kanishka Project will help us to address the threat of terrorism in all its forms, and build stronger, more resilient communities.”
For further information:
Public Safety Canada
On June 23, 2011, the Government of Canada announced the Kanishka Project – a new 5 year $10M initiative which will invest in research on pressing questions for Canada on terrorism and counter-terrorism, such as preventing and countering violent extremism.
The Project is about better understanding what terrorism means in the Canadian context, how that is changing over time, and what we can do to support effective policies and programs to counter terrorism and violent extremism in Canada.
PM marks National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism
“On this day, we pause to remember those who have lost their lives due to acts of terrorism, both here in Canada and around the world,” said Prime Minister Harper. “On June 23, 1985, Canadians experienced the worst terrorist attack in our history when a bomb on Air India Flight 182 killed all 329 passengers and crew members aboard, most of them Canadian.”
The last of four memorials unveiled today for the victims of Air India Flight 182 honours the innocent lives that were lost and serves as a reminder of the need for continued vigilance. The Montreal memorial and three others in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver ensure that their deaths and the loss experienced by their loved ones will not be forgotten.
Through the Kanishka Project, funding will be provided for a range of initiatives – including conferences, publications and major research projects – that will help Canada build the knowledge base needed to effectively counter terrorism.
“Terrorism has not and will not undermine our way of life. Our society remains resilient because of the basic values that bind us and make us stronger – freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law,” added Prime Minister Harper. “The memory of the victims and the pain of their families strengthen our resolve to fight criminals and terrorists at home and abroad.”
The first priority of the Government of Canada is to protect Canada and the safety and security of Canadians at home and abroad.
Building Resilience Against Terrorism, Canada’s first Counter-terrorism Strategy, assesses the nature and scale of the threat, and sets out basic principles and elements that underpin the Government’s counter-terrorism activities.
Together, these principles and elements serve as a means of prioritizing and evaluating the Government’s efforts against terrorism.
The overarching goal of the Strategy is to counter domestic and international terrorism in order to protect Canada, Canadians and Canadian interests.
Canada is also an active participant in the work of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the international organization that sets standards with respect to combating money laundering and terrorist financing, and the Egmont Group, a forum for financial intelligence units around the world to facilitate and improve cooperation, especially in the area of information exchange, in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.