Quebec says results justify $500K boost to anti-radicalization centre
Published Thursday, March 3, 2016 8:24PM EST
Last Updated Friday, March 4, 2016 10:34AM EST
Montreal's anti-radicalization centre is getting a $500,000 boost from the province.
Public Security Minister Martin announced the new money Thursday, saying it's needed because the centre is getting results – in the past year, it has received 647 calls and intervened in 147 cases, nine of which were referred to the police.
“We’re stepping up the efforts with extra money. Why? Because it works. We see from the number of called they’ve received, the number of interventions they’ve been doing, that there is a need,” said Coiteux.
The government announced a $1-million investment over two years in November, but decided to pledge more money to the centre specifically for education programs for the school system, including how to communicate with young people to counter propaganda messages.
“There is a need for us to develop tools that are multimedia, that are addressed to a younger audience, there is a need for us to have a counter message out there,” said spokesperson and researcher Meriem Rebbani-Gosselin.
The centre is Mayor Denis Coderre's initiative. It came about following word that several young Quebecers had fled the country to join jihadi forces.
Coderre and Coiteux both believe that the centre is leading efforts to stop radicalization.
“It sends a strong message that the way to fight radicalization is through prevention,” Coderre said. The centre will receive $1 million total from the city by 2017.
Coiteux said he’s invited his federal counterpart to visit the centre, which was launched last June.