Goodale to announce anti terror program aimed at curbing radicalization

By on August 14, 2016

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale. (Photo:Ralph Goodale/Facebook)
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale. (Photo: Ralph Goodale/Facebook)

OTTAWA—The governing Liberals are to announce Monday they’re moving ahead with a program designed to reach out to those who are vulnerable to radicalization in order to nip in the bud suspected terrorist plots like the one in southern Ontario last week.

The Canadian Press has learned Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale will announce details of the program when he visits a centre in Montreal devoted to preventing radicalization that leads to violence.

Last week, he stressed the importance of identifying those who are open to radicalization and finding the right way to prevent situations such as the death of a man in Strathroy, Ont., who was suspected of planning a terrorist attack.

Goodale was also expected to announce the federal government will move ahead on building new immigration detention facilities. He was to visit a federal facility in Laval, near Montreal, on Monday.

A Red Cross investigation in 2014 found numerous shortcomings at facilities for immigrant detainees including overcrowding and inadequate mental health care. Newcomers are often held in provincial jails or police facilities alongside suspected gang members and violent offenders.

It also appeared the Liberal government was mindful about questions asked last week about why it was the FBI who detected the alleged terrorist plot that led to the death of Aaron Driver.

Ralph Goodale issued a statement Sunday explaining how Canadian authorities are constantly working with international allies to identify possible terrorist threats.

Last week, the RCMP fielded media questions about why it was the FBI and not the Mounties who discovered a video that led them Driver, who police said had threatened to detonate an explosive in an urban centre.

Driver died Wednesday night after a confrontation with police that saw a bomb detonated in a taxi cab. It’s not known whether he died from the blast or from a police bullet.

In his statement, Goodale suggested that a free flow of information between Canadian and U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies is the norm.

“Consistent with the robust security alliance that we have with the U.S., the Americans passed that material to the RCMP,” said Goodale’s statement, which prominently mentioned the context of the FBI contribution.

“It’s important for Canadians to know that our agencies and their global partners are monitoring potential risks and threats all the time—24-7, 365 days a year.”

Last week’s incident, as well as the attack on Parliament Hill in 2014, have led to an appetite among Canadians to examine current national security measures and look at how they can be improved to better protect Canadians while safeguarding civil liberties, Goodale said.

Some of that work has already started and will intensify in the fall, he said.