January 29, 2015 Aurora, Ontario Prime Minister’s Office
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today participated in a roundtable discussion on how best to protect Canadians from the evolving threats of terrorism and extremism. He was joined by Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence, Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development and Member of Parliament for Newmarket-Aurora, Roxanne James, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, as well as York, Durham, Peel and Hamilton Chiefs of Police.
During the roundtable, Prime Minister Harper heard from law enforcement officials on the tools that authorities need to prevent and investigate terrorist acts, deal with them when they occur, and ensure that laws are in place to punish the violent criminals who engage in such hateful crimes.
Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, Canada’s Anti-terrorism Act formed a key component of the Government's Anti-terrorism Plan, which had four objectives:
to prevent terrorists from getting into Canada and protect Canadians from terrorist acts;
to bring forward tools to identify, prosecute, convict and punish terrorists;
to keep the Canada-U.S. border secure and a contributor to economic security; and,
to work with the international community to bring terrorists to justice and address the root causes of violence.
Canada’s first counter-terrorism strategy, Building Resilience Against Terrorism, was released in 2012.
This comprehensive strategy guides more than 20 federal departments and agencies to better align them to prevent and detect terrorism, deny terrorists the means and opportunities to pursue terrorist activities, and respond to threats when they occur.
Over the years, the Government of Canada has passed additional legislation such as the Combating Terrorism Act and the Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act to better protect Canadians and secure institutions.
Nevertheless, last October’s attacks in Ottawa and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu demonstrated that Canada is not immune to the evolving and increasingly diffuse threat of terrorism, which is why the Government will continue to take necessary steps to keep Canadians safe.
“Our Government is serious about taking action to keep Canadians safe. The international jihadist movement has declared war on Canada, on our allies, and on our most sacred values and way of life. That’s why our Government committed the Canadian Armed Forces to the broad international coalition against the so-called Islamic State. Canada will not stand on the side-lines while our allies act to deny terrorists a safe haven – an international base – from which they would plot violence against us.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper
“I welcomed the opportunity today to participate in this important roundtable to discuss how we can prevent terrorism in Canada and neutralize terrorist cells, while ensuring that the rights and freedoms of law-abiding Canadians are respected. There is work to be done here at home as well. Tomorrow we will put legislation before Parliament that will help authorities stop planned attacks, get threats off our streets, criminalize the promotion of terrorism, and prevent terrorists from travelling abroad and recruiting others.” – Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Prime Minister Stephen Harper TAKES PART IN ROUNDTABLE ON NATIONAL SECURITY