The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will invest approximately $10 million over the next five years to bolster its existing efforts to detect and suppress terrorist financing activities in the charitable sector, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced on Thursday.
As part of its fight against terrorist financing in the charitable sector, the CRA will also bolster its efforts to help legitimate charities better protect themselves against terrorist abuse and to ensure that the donations of well-meaning Canadians are not being redirected to terrorist organizations.
In announcing the funding for the CRA, the federal government pointed to a recent report from the Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) indicating that terrorists continue to plot against Canada; to conduct activities in Canada that support terrorism globally, including fundraising; and to employ social media to reach and radicalize individuals in Canada.
The prime minister made the announcement on Thursday as part of a broader package of new measures that the federal government released to target terrorist activities both in Canada and abroad, with the intention of boosting the security of Canadians. This included the increased collection of biometric data of foreigners entering Canada and increased resources being given to CSIS.
The announcements are part of a commitment made in the federal budget, tabled in April, proposing to give additional resources for counterterrorism efforts to domestic law enforcement and national security agencies “to allow them to keep pace with the evolving threat of terrorism and terrorist financing.”
Canada has also been active in the global fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, a priority at the Group of Seven (G7) nations level. In May, G7 finance ministers met in Germany to discuss the co-ordination of international efforts to fight the financing of terrorism, including the exchange of financial information and the freezing of assets, as part of wider talks.