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‘No place’ for championing violence: Canada’s justice and public safety ministers

OTTAWA — The RCMP says it’s aware of social media posts threatening the Jewish community in Canada, calling it a time for “increased vigilance,” while public safety and justice ministers from across the country said no one should be pushing for violence or supporting terrorism.

“Canadians have the right to feel safe to practise their faith and express their beliefs,” said a joint statement issued Friday after a meeting in Bromont, Que., of federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for justice and public safety.

“There is no place for supporting terrorism or advocating for violence in Canada.”

The statement was framed as a response to “calls for global protest and unrest” from Hamas, which Canada lists as a terrorist organization. Hamas militants launched a deadly attack last weekend that killed hundreds of people in Israel, including at an outdoor music festival.

Israel has retaliated with airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, which has been controlled by Hamas since 2007, and by cutting access to water and power in the territory.

The United Nations said it has received a warning from Israel to evacuate more than one million people living in northern Gaza within 24 hours.

The Associated Press reports the war has killed at least 2,800 on both sides so far.

The statement from the ministers says governments across Canada “unanimously condemn” what Hamas has done.

“Our democracy is built on respect and tolerance, and we call on all Canadians to remain united during this difficult time,” it said. “Our law enforcement and security partners remain vigilant in the face of these potential disruptions and are monitoring the situation closely to ensure the safety of all Canadian citizens.”

The statement from the RCMP came as several Canadian polices forces, including in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver, say they have upped patrols in response to the Israel-Hamas war but have not identified any specific local threats. 

A spokesperson for the Mounties declined to answer further questions about the social media threats, including whether the force was investigating.

The statement says any threats are taken seriously and investigated as warranted.

The Ontario Provincial Police issued a statement Friday morning saying it was aware of “global online threats of violence regarding the situation in the Middle East.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2023.

— With files from The Associated Press.

The Canadian Press


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