Debates of the Senate (Hansard)

1st Session, 41st Parliament,
Volume 148, Issue 110

Tuesday, October 23, 2012
The Honourable Pierre Claude Nolin, Acting Speaker

Public Safety

Kanishka Project

Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Honourable senators, my question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate.

On May 30, Minister Toews and Minister Kenney announced the first round of funding worth $1.1 million awarded under the Kanishka Project, a multi-year investment in terrorism-focused research. As the leader knows, the Kanishka Project is named after the Air India Flight 182 plane that was bombed on June 23, 1985, killing 329 people, most of them Canadians. The Government of Canada has committed a total of $10 million over five years to the project as a way to honour the memory of the victims. I want to commend the government for this progressive initiative and fitting memorial. From reviewing the abstracts of the successful proposals, I am encouraged by the knowledge and understanding that Canada is sure to gain from these projects.

Canada’s counterterrorism strategy was published in 2012. As Minister Toews has said, however, “Threats evolve, and we must strive to improve our knowledge and understanding to more effectively address these threats.”

In its next update of Canada’s counterterrorism strategy, how does the government plan to integrate and engage Kanishka Project research to ensure a truly holistic strategy that reflects the most updated research available?

Hon. Marjory LeBreton (Leader of the Government): I thank the honourable senator for the question. Senator Jaffer’s questions are always detailed and ask for specific information. The other day I was going through answers that I have provided to thoughtful, well-researched questions, and I must tell Senator Jaffer that she has by far the most. I have a thick file of answers provided to her because she has asked very well-targeted and important questions. This question is no different from the others, honourable senators. I will absolutely get an update and respond by written response.

Senator Jaffer: What specific processes does Public Safety Canada have in place to translate research and knowledge into policy and action?

A third call for Kanishka Project research proposals is scheduled to close on October 31. What criteria and process does the government use to assess these proposals, and will there be further opportunities for Canadian scholars and students to participate in this valuable government initiative?

Senator LeBreton: As I indicated a moment ago, I will take the question as notice and respond by written response. I appreciate the question.