Preventing, countering, and prosecuting terrorism is a top priority for the federal government, says public safety minister Vic Toews.
”Terrorism and violent extremism pose real threats to Canada and as the threats evolve, we must improve our ability to better prevent and disrupt attacks,” said Toews during a press conference held at Carleton University Thursday.
More than $1.7 million funding for the third round of the Kanishka Project — a five-year, $10-million initiative focusing on terrorism-focused research — was announced by the minister.
Toews bristled when asked if it will look at the root causes of terrorism, as suggested by Liberal leader Justin Trudeau following last month’s Boston Marathon bombing.
The project is about “providing law enforcement and security agencies with the tools necessary to combat terrorism,” said Toews.
“It’s not about creating excuses for those who commit terrorist acts. As I’ve indicated, it’s a matter of personal choice that these individuals make and we will hold them accountable.”
The Kanishka Project was named after the Air India bombing on June 23, 1985.
Three hundred and twenty-nine people — including 268 Canadians — were killed.
Dr. Bal Gupta’s wife, Ramwati, was on flight 182.
“I go to bed, and in the morning I wake up as a single parent to two young children, so it was devastating, and I’m not alone. There were 29 families which were completely wiped out,” said Gupta.
Canada won’t tolerate terrorist activity, Toews added, “and we will not be used as a safe haven for terrorists or those who support terrorist activity.”