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Countering violent extremism in Canada needs better scrutiny

By Phil Gurski      

The reasons why terrorists are made are multiple and complicated and each person goes through an individualized transformation. This complexity requires individualized attention. Furthermore, how long do you monitor someone to conclude that he or she will not end up killing in the name of an ideology? Six months? A year? Two years? Who has the resources to do that kind of follow up?

In Canada, countering violent extremism is big business. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale's department has spent tens of millions on it since the early 2010s. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

OTTAWA—If there is one buzzword that has gained a lot of ground in Canada and elsewhere in the post 9/11 period it is CVE (which stands for countering violent extremism; sometimes it is also called PCVE—preventing and countering violent extremism). This field of work is the purview of those who claim to be able to prevent people from radicalizing to violence and eventually becoming terrorists or undermine the messages coming from groups such as al-Qaida and the Islamic State so that those exposed to the propaganda do not succumb to it.

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