The Government of Canada's response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11
On September 11, 2001, terrorist acts in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania claimed thousands of lives, including those of 24 Canadians. These events have profoundly impacted Canadians, and remind us that we are not immune from terrorism. The memory of the victims of terrorism and the pain of their families strengthen our resolve to fight criminals and terrorists at home and abroad and to stand up proudly for the principles that bind us: freedom, democracy, rule of law and human rights. Our goal is to continue to build the resilience of our society and all communities to all forms of violent coercion.
Since 2001, the Government of Canada has taken decisive action to address the evolving threat of terrorism, both within and beyond Canadian borders -- through legislative changes, targeted programming, criminal investigations and other initiatives. For example, we:
- Created the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, the federal Crown Corporation responsible for screening passengers and baggage. We also strengthened aviation, marine and rail security in Canada, including through more rigorous screening for port and airport employees, enhancements to technology, and improved security procedures.
- Broadened the level of information sharing among the agencies involved in detecting terrorist financing. For example, we increased the ability of Canada Revenue Agency to provide designated charity information to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian Security Intelligence Service and Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada to facilitate the investigation of terrorism and to prevent organizations with ties to terrorism from operating as registered charities.
- Created the Canada Border Services Agency to provide integrated border services that support national security and public safety priorities and facilitate the free flow of persons and goods. The Agency increased the use of advance information on goods and travellers heading to Canada and enhanced information sharing and co-operation with national and international partners, automated risk assessment tools, trusted travellers' and trader programs, and initiated the gradual arming of 5,685 front-line CBSA officers.
- Created Canada Command, an operational headquarters that has improved the coordination of military resources available for domestic safety, security and defence both in Canada and on the continent.
- Introduced and brought into law the Anti-terrorism Act which takes aim at terrorist and terrorist groups and protects the safety, security, and fundamental rights of Canadians. As a result of a number of successful national security criminal investigations, twenty-six people have been charged under the Anti-terrorism Act and fourteen have been convicted, including members of the Toronto 18.
- Created a mechanism to publicly identify groups or individuals who are associated with terrorism, and listed 44 such groups as terrorist entities under the Criminal Code. The listing process is an important means to protect national security and counter the financing of terrorist groups and their activities worldwide.
Countering terrorism and securing Canada is a shared responsibility that involves many organizations from all levels of government, law enforcement, border services, and private sector and international partners. While terrorism remains a threat, it is one that we are better able to deal with as a result of greater collaboration and partnerships. Given the global reach of terrorism today, addressing the threat requires universal cooperation. We stand firm with our allies against the threat of terrorism. By combining resources and aligning our focus on a common set of priorities with our international partners, we are in a better position to target the threats to our safety and security.
- Date modified: