Ottawa, Ontario – April 7, 2019 – Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, issued the following statement on how certain types of extremist ideologies are described in the 2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada:
Providing Canadians with a clear assessment of the terrorist threats to Canada is a core element of the Government’s commitment to transparency. The 2018 Public Report on the Terrorism Threat to Canada was based on a careful review of intelligence and information from the Canadian security and intelligence community. Unfortunately, the language used to describe some threats unintentionally maligned certain communities. This is contrary to the intended purpose of the report, and is not in line with the values of the Government of Canada.
Since the publication of the report, a review of the language used to describe extremism was undertaken and is ongoing. Officials from across the security and intelligence community examined, among others, past public reports and other countries’ approaches to communicating the threat posed by terrorism, and heard from other partners and stakeholders. I met with community members to ensure that there is a better understanding of how threats should be communicated without disrespecting any communities.
As this review continues, it is apparent that in outlining a threat, it must be clearly linked to an ideology rather than a community. The Government should always carefully select terminology that focuses on the intent or ideology.
For example, as a first step, the following language will be used as and when necessary and appropriate: Extremists who support violent means to establish an independent state within India. Public Safety Canada has posted an addendum to the report that acknowledges that this new language should be considered in lieu of the existing language in the report.
I want to thank the many community organizations and Members of Parliament who have provided useful feedback in this process. Going forward, the Government of Canada is committed to applying a bias-free approach to the terminology used to describe any threats inspired by ideology or groups.