Ottawa puts $4M towards organizations preventing radicalization in Alberta
Published Friday, January 19, 2018 10:57AM MST Last Updated Friday, January 19, 2018 8:23PM MST
Two local organizations focusing on preventing radicalization in Alberta will receive a multi-million dollar funding boost from the federal government, but not everyone is on board with where the money is going.
Minister Amarjeet Sohi was in Edmonton Friday to announce a cash injection of $4 million.
Sohi made the funding announcement on behalf of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Ralph Goodale.
“Canadians will not be intimidated by a violent act of hate, nor will we allow our diverse and inclusive communities to be divided,” Sohi said in a statement. “Through collaboration between law enforcement, communities and frontline workers, we will implement solutions to provide services to those at-risk in our community so we can help prevent tragedies before they happen.”
The funding will go towards the Edmonton Police Service’s Resiliency Project and The Organization for the Prevention of Violence.
"I think we'll be able to provide prevention strategies, education and interventions that'll allow us to do our job better, work better with the community and prevent these issues from taking place" Said Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht.
Mahamad Accord, a member of the Coalition for Human Rights and Justice sees the funding as unwelcome surveillance rather than a preventitive measure.
"What we see with this money is that we're being treated that we are a security threat," said Accord. "Rather than addressing some of the things that cause some of the issues."
Accord also says that youth are looking to fit in, "they've been told again and again by actions and words, they're not Canadian." Accord adds that those issues coupled with the feeling of being systematically discriminated against can lead to social isolation, and loneliness.
Accord believes that the solution lies with supporting family structure, and that is where the money should be funneled.
The Organization for the Prevention of Violence received $1,293,763 over three years for their project called Countering Violent Extremism in Alberta. This project is expected to assess and map possible sources of violent extremism in Alberta.