(January 23, 2014) – Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, the Honorable Steven Blaney, met with Ottawa’s Somali and Muslim communities yesterday.
“I was pleased to meet with members of the Muslim and Somali-Canadian communities of Ottawa-Gatineau today, as part of our Government’s commitment to maintaining ongoing and productive dialogue with Canada’s diverse communities,” said Minister Blaney. “As Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, I look forward to every opportunity to discuss various issues related to countering crime and promoting the prosperity, safety and security of our communities.”
The meeting discussed issues of concern to the communities.
“Today, we discussed a number of issues that represent key concerns of these communities, including youth and crime, employment, education, profiling and funding opportunities for community programming,” he stated. “We also considered our shared concern over the threat posed by terrorism.”
“By openly communicating, and by building partnerships and trust with communities, we ensure that we are all informed about the public safety issues facing Canadian communities and that we can work together to build the resilience of our society to all forms of crime and violence,” the Minister added.
Community leaders welcomed the roundtable discussion.
“These issues facing our community and others are challenging and complex,” said Mr. Farah Aw-Osman, Executive Director of Canadian Friends of Somalia. “If we are to succeed in building the most resilient communities possible, this kind of dialogue with the Government of Canada is vital.”
“I look forward to continuing, and building on, this engagement going forward,” Aw-Osman, added.