TTC ups security patrols in wake of Paris attacks
Ryerson professor warns Canada is a ‘target’ when it comes to ISIS-style attacks
The TTC is increasing security patrols in Toronto's transit system in the aftermath of the attacks on Paris.
Brad Ross, a spokesman for the TTC, said the transit agency is upping its security messaging to encourage riders to speak up if they see something suspicious. He said the TTC is also adding more security officers.
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"While there is no specific threat against Toronto, being vigilant is a message for everyone," Ross said in an email to CBC News.
"People can expect to see uniformed patrols by TTC security personnel over the coming days."
TTC Special Constables patrol many of the city's subway stations and streetcar routes.
Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders, who was on hand as thousands lined the lengthy Santa Claus parade route, downplayed security risks in the city.
"We have resources plugged in to see what our threat levels are," Saunders said.
"That's something we do 24/7, by all accounts we're good — we're very good."
Still, Ryerson professor Arne Kislenko, who specializes in international relations and national security, said Canada is at risk due to its bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria.
"Canadians need to understand we are a target of terror, we always have been," Kislenko said.
"ISIS very clearly sees Canada as an extension of the United States, Britain and other countries against whom they're fighting."
Kislenko also pointed out that there are plenty of "soft targets" in Toronto, similar to the ones that were hit in Paris.
Mayor John Tory, meanwhile, said Torontonians should "focus on our freedoms and values" — many shared with Parisians — in the wake of the attack and not let the prospect of terrorist attack change the city's culture.
"Toronto is a place where people accept one another with open arms. That will not change," Tory tweeted in the wake of the attack.