A former Calgary police chief says society has been fighting terrorism the wrong way.
Rick Hanson advised about 150 business leaders on how to protect themselves against a terrorist attack, but rather than designing disaster plans or heightening security he says the best protection is to address the root causes.
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Hanson says the risk of a terrorist attack in Calgary is real because the city is not immune to the factors that can push a young person toward an ideology that breeds terrorism such as poverty, a lack of family supports, or mental illness.
"The magic will be, as articulated by experts all over the world, identifying those high-risk young people and doing something at the right time," Hanson told a chamber of commerce audience Thursday.
That's why he's urging businesses to support community organizations including Calgary police who work with at-risk kids to put them on the right track.
He says businesses not only have a responsibility to give back but it's in their best interests to help prevent future attacks.
A small business owner agrees.
James Boettcher, the owner of Fiasco Gelato, provides breakfasts for low-income kids and volunteers with the United Way.
"And when you are really being inclusive with those people and give them a place to belong and part of a community and not an outcast or a problem, that's where you see some results," Boettcher said.
"And continually we see that with the work that we do."