23 June 201
The National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism was proclaimed in 2005 and first observed on June 23, 2005, in memory of those who have lost their lives through acts of terror in Canada and around the world.
The day was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the Air India Flight 182 tragedy, which occurred on June 23, 1985. On that day, a bomb exploded on the flight while en route from Toronto to London, England, killing all 329 people aboard, 280 of them Canadians. A similar bomb intended for another Air India flight also killed two baggage handlers at Tokyo’s Narita airport.
This year marks the 26th anniversary of the Air India Flight 182 tragedy, and the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks in Washington, D.C. and New York City. The attacks in New York City claimed the lives of 24 Canadians.
The Prime Minister commemorated the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism by launching the Kanishka Project, which is a five year national research project that will aim to develop the knowledge and understanding Canada needs to effectively counter terrorism and keep Canadians safe.
A total of $10 million will be made available to fund a range of initiatives, including conferences, publications and major research projects.
The Prime Minister also participated in the unveiling of the fourth and final memorial in Montreal.
In 2007, the Government created the Air India Memorials Program in order to build three new memorials in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, and refurbish the original memorial in Ottawa.
These memorials stand as places of quiet contemplation, and reminders of this painful loss and the need to remain vigilant against threats to our personal safety and national security.
Progress made by the Government since 2006 to combat terrorism
- On December 7, 2010, the Government released the Air India Inquiry Action Plan, the Government's response to the Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182. The Commission examined Canada’s national security systems, policies and actions related to this tragedy. This Action Plan is a roadmap for the Government's ongoing action to ensure the safety and security of all Canadians, not just today, but well in to the future. It will build on the many important changes to national security that have already been made to counter terrorism in Canada.
- The Government has expedited passage of the Fair and Efficient Criminal Trials Act (mega-trials legislation) to reduce the delays that are common when court proceedings are complex and drawn-out. The amendments proposed in this bill, expected to be approved by Parliament shortly, will also contribute to implementing the December 7, 2010, Air India Inquiry Action Plan, the Government's response to the Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182.
- The Government has made major investments in Canada’s national security organizations to ensure they have the capabilities and capacity to effectively detect and respond to terrorism and other threats confronting Canada.
The Government has also:
- Implemented the National Strategy and Action Plan for Critical Infrastructure (2010) which strengthened Canada’s ability to protect assets and systems, such as electricity grids, transportation networks, financial systems and telecommunications.
- Implemented the Federal Emergency Response Plan (2009), which guides the federal response to emergencies, such as natural disasters or terrorism.
- Passed the Emergency Management Act (2008), which reinforces efforts to ensure that Canada is well prepared to mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from natural and human-induced risks to the safety and security of Canadians.
- Listed Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin (2006), Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (2006), World Tamil Movement (2008), Al Shabaab (2010), Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (2010) and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (2010) as terrorist entities under the Criminal Code.
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