Feds give $4M to Edmonton police and violence prevention group to fight radicalization

Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi leaves an event in Ottawa, Tuesday April 5, 2016.
Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi leaves an event in Ottawa, Tuesday April 5, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The federal government announced Friday that two organizations will receive money to help address radicalization to violence in Alberta.

The Edmonton Police Service will receive $2.27 million over five years for The Resiliency Project.

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The Resiliency Project will work in the community to provide support to at-risk individuals, and offer training and awareness campaigns.

Police work with the city and the Organization for the Prevention of Violence to discourage people from radicalizing to violence by addressing the potential sources of violent extremism available online and off, federal officials said.

“The Resiliency Project will allow the community to play a role in preventing people from being influenced by ideologically motivated violence,” police chief Rod Knecht said.

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“We are grateful for this federal funding, which will allow us to see this project come to fruition.”

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Another $1.29 million will be given to the Organization for the Prevention of Violence over three years for its Countering Violent Extremism in Alberta project.

The project aims to map potential sources of violent extremism throughout Alberta and help establish partnerships to address radicalization.

It will bring together subject matter experts, front-line practitioners and community activists to assess potential sources and then work on counter-radicalization approaches. Activities will include workshops and educational materials.

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“Hate-motivated violence cannot be associated with any one cultural, ethnic or religious community — it is a societal problem,” executive director John McCoy said.

“No one organization or agency has the solution to this problem, since it is complex and requires collaborative solutions. Only through the collective efforts of community, law enforcement, human service professionals and academics can we seek effective prevention.”

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The money comes from the Community Resilience Fund. The fund has nearly $14 million earmarked for existing and new projects between 2017 and 2020.

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“Canadians will not be intimidated by a violent act of hate, nor will we allow our diverse and inclusive communities to be divided,” said Amarjeet Sohi, federal minister of Infrastructure and Communities.

“Through collaboration between law enforcement, communities and front-line workers, we will implement solutions to provide services to those at-risk in our community so we can help prevent tragedies before they happen.”

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