Canadian terrorism threat level unchanged despite global unrest
Security must be proactive because vehicles a 'difficult risk to defend against': Goodale
On Friday, politicians addressed local security concerns in the wake of recent occurrences of violent extremism around the globe.
The latest incident happened Thursday, when a van was driven into a crowded tourist street in Barcelona, leaving more than a dozen dead and many more wounded.
Ralph Goodale, Canada's Minister of Public Safety and MP for Regina-Wascana, said the nature of a terrorist threat is constantly evolving.
"The use of different types of tools or weapons to wreak carnage and cause damage and to kill people: vehicles now seem to be the weapon of choice," he said.
Intelligence agencies work in advance to try and prevent attacks like that from occurring, rather than react to one, he said.
"It's a very difficult risk to defend against, that's why what is particularly important is the advance security and intelligence work."
Goodale said they are always working to protect Canadians, regardless of the choice of weapon used.
- Barcelona van driver reportedly among 5 suspects killed by police in Cambrils
- Truck rams into Berlin Christmas market, killing 12
- Van plows into crowd near London mosque, driver arrested on terrorism charges
In spite of what's happening around the globe, the threat level for Canada remains stable.
"There's nothing new in circumstance of the last several days that would cause a change in our security posture in this country, but we are always alert," Goodale said.
Threat level medium
Canada's national terrorism threat level is considered to be medium, where it's been since the fall of 2014. That means a violent act of terrorism could occur and that additional security measures are already in place to keep Canadians safe.
Regina Mayor Michael Fougere said local police forces, the RCMP and other agencies are in constant communication.
"We don't live in a bubble. We understand events can happen any time," Fougere said.
"We really abhor the incredible viciousness of the attack in Spain yesterday."
He said the city remains safe because of vigilant police and security services that operate locally, provincially and federally.
Saskatoon's mayor issued a statement by email, calling the events in Barcelona tragic.
"They remind us of the need to be aware of what our own cities can be doing to address the sorts of sentiments that fuel this action," Charlie Clark said in the email.
"As events like this become more and more common, it is important that we actively work towards the safety of citizens and the ability for communities to come together to combat the conditions that allow for such extreme actions to develop."