Public Safety Canada Launches National Expert Committee on Countering Radicalization to ViolenceWritten by Public Safety Canada
The Government of Canada is constantly working to keep Canadian families and communities safe from terrorism and violent extremism. Engaging with communities is part of the Government’s approach to preventing radicalization to violence before tragedies occur. To assist these efforts, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, announced the launch of a National Expert Committee on Countering Radicalization to Violence on February 7, 2019.
The Expert Committee will contribute to the already robust measures the Government of Canada has in place to safeguard national security and keep Canadians safe from terrorism. Ten committee members from across the country with diverse backgrounds and expertise will advance the work of the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence (Canada Centre). The Expert Committee will help ensure the recently launched National Strategy on Countering Radicalization to Violence meet the Strategy’s three priorities: building, sharing and using knowledge; addressing radicalization to violence in the online space; and supporting interventions.
Dr. Ghayda Hassan and Peter Sloly have been named co-chairs of the Expert Committee and will lead its work. Dr. Hassan is a clinical psychologist and professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal and a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) co-chair for the Prevention of Radicalization and Violent Extremism. Mr. Sloly is a former Deputy Chief of Police for the Toronto Police Service, and advocate for community-based policing models that emphasize prevention.
“The most important job of a government is to keep its citizens safe. Canada’s new National Expert Committee on Countering Radicalization to Violence will help our country become a world leader in understanding how to prevent the types of radicalization that lead to violence – so we can continue to be an open, diverse, inclusive and generous society that is also safe and secure.”
The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
“The Expert Committee will make connections with all sectors of society and key stakeholders to promote more inclusive, effective and non-stigmatizing policy and programs to prevent violent radicalization in Canada.”
Dr. Ghayda Hassan, co-chair of the National Expert Committee on Countering Radicalization to Violence
“Over my three decades in policing, security and justice, I have found that the best way to counter violent radicalization is to build healthier, more inclusive and more resilient Canadian communities from coast to coast – promoting progressive policing, protecting marginalized communities and provisioning vulnerable individuals are the core elements of any sustainable effective public safety strategy.”
Mr. Peter Sloly, co-chair of the National Expert Committee on Countering Radicalization to Violence
- Research demonstrates that the best solutions for addressing radicalization to violence often come directly from the community members themselves.
- The Expert Committee will meet regularly both online and in-person to engage in discussions and provide their views to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
- The Canada Centre leads the Government of Canada’s efforts to counter radicalization to violence, and works with all levels of governments, not-for-profit organizations, communities, youth, frontline practitioners, academia, law enforcement, and international organizations.
- The National Strategy on Countering Radicalization to Violence outlines the Government of Canada’s approach to this issue by preventing and disengaging individuals from violent ideologies.
- Radicalization to violence happens when a person or group takes on extremist beliefs that lead to them advocating violence and, possibly, taking part in terrorist activity. Activities that contribute to preventing individuals from radicalizing to violence can range from supporting alternative narratives and positive messaging campaigns, to personalized interventions aiming to help individuals disengage from violent ideologies.