Countering Violent Extremism

November 2-3, 2013, Gatineau, Quebec

Participants: The Minister of Public Safety, the Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Justice, the Deputy Minister of Public Safety Canada and the Deputy Minister of Justice, the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Director of Canadian Security Intelligence Service, as well as senior officials from Public Safety Canada, Justice Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and the Ontario Provincial Police participated in the dialogue with the members.

Discussion: The meeting's theme focused on countering violent extremism. Members were provided with an overview of Canada's approach to countering violent extremism, and consulted on the Combating Terrorism Act, as well as on Canadians travelling for the purpose of fighting abroad or joining a terrorist organization. A community leader presented a model of a community-led public-private partnership for the intervention and prevention of violent extremism. Other topics of discussion included right-wing extremist groups in Canada; and the evolution of al Qaeda and other militant movements after the Arab Spring.

Members agreed that preventing and countering violent extremism, as well as Canadians travelling for the purposes of fighting abroad or joining a terrorist organization, are extremely important issues. They emphasized the value of engagement on these topics, and underscored the need to continue with outreach activities, including more in-depth discussion with youth on these and other issues. Members advised that in order to build trust, communities need to understand that their rights are protected in Canada.

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