Montreal anti-radicalization centre officially launches after months in service
City and province dedicated $2 million over 2 years for prevention services
Montreal's anti-radicalization centre was officially inaugurated on Sunday, eight months after it was first announced and with 93 interventions already under its belt.
Mayor Denis Coderre and Quebec Muncipal Affairs Minister and interim Public Security Minister Pierre Moreau heralded the Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence, calling it a key tool for prevention against terrorism.
"Prevention is key to our collective security and living in harmony," Coderre said at the launch.
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The city and the province each contributed $1 million for the centre over two years.
The centre helps families who are worried their children or relatives may be turning towards extremism. A 24-hour hotline is available for anyone with questions and concerns.
The centre will also send social workers to meet with families if needed. So far, it has met with 93.
It also refers some of its calls to the police, if the cases are deemed alarming enough. So far, of the 475 calls it has received, the centre alerted the police to eight cases.
A website for reporting suspected radicalization
The centre also unveiled its website on Sunday, where residents can find more information and report cases.
A feature of the site is a "behaviour barometer" which lists warning signs of radicalization, rated from 'insignificant" to "alarming."
According to the barometer, arguing fervently to defend a conviction and adopting religious symbols and beliefs are behaviours that are "insignificant" while cutting off ties with friends and families and consulting extremist websites is rated "worrisome."
The 24-hour helpline is at (514) 687-7141 in Montreal or 1-877-687-7141 in the rest of Quebec.