PARIS, FRANCE – April 5, 2019 – Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, issued the following statement on the conclusion of the G7 Interior Ministers’ Meeting:
This 2019 meeting of G7 Ministers responsible for public safety and national security had a full and productive agenda.
I would comment on two dimensions of the meeting in particular:
First, obviously impacted by the horrific recent attacks on vulnerable people at prayer in Mosques in New Zealand, the G7 are very alert, collectively and individually, to the threats posed by ultra right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist violent extremism. Whatever its source or orientation, extremism and hate leading to violence threatens our safety and security, and we must take it all seriously.
Surely that is the painful message from Christchurch - and earlier from Pittsburgh, and in Canada from Yonge Street in Toronto and Ste Foy, Quebec, and from Moncton, Mayerthorpe, Dawson College and Ecole Polytechnique. In each of these tragedies, depraved extremism and hate snuffed out innocent lives.
Whether it's reflected in antisemitism, Islamophobia, misogyny, racism or hate, such extremism is deadly, and G7 allies will work together to acknowledge it, confront it, stop it and keep people safe.
Secondly, digital platform companies need to redouble their efforts to combat the social harms which their various platforms can convey.
Whether it is terrorism or right-wing extremism, or the sexual exploitation of children or human trafficking, or fake news or foreign interference with democracies, G7 countries have high expectations for how quickly and how well technology companies will help combat dangerous content.
They need to enhance their technical capabilities to move faster, more comprehensively and more precisely. The big companies need to assist and support the smaller ones. They need to be transparent and accountable. And they should expect public regulation—as Facebook has noted—if they fail to protect the public interest.
It was noted that the ultimate discipline may be found in the companies assuming legal and financial responsibility for the social harms that result from the dangerous materials on their platforms from which they make their profits.
Building on the G7 security ministers’ meeting Canada hosted in Toronto a year ago, ministers also underlined the borderless nature of terrorism and how international collaboration is essential to combatting it.
The G7 are also alert to the shared challenge of those who travelled to associate themselves with Daesh in Syria and Iraq, and the risk that they may now seek to sow conflict elsewhere or back in our countries. We resolved to strengthen our collective intelligence gathering and evidence collection; enhance detection of terrorist travel; and work to lay charges to hold them accountable for their outrageous behaviour.
Discussions also took place on shared priority issues such as human trafficking and migrant smuggling, foreign interference in our democracies and environmental crimes such as wildlife trafficking.
I am encouraged by conversations with our G7 partners today. Canada will continue to work with its allies to ensure our safety and protect our rights.