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Minister Blaney Engages with Somali Community on Public Safety Issues

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sep 20, 2013) - The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, issued the following statement following a roundtable with the Somali-Canadian community from the Greater Toronto Area:

"As the new Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, I wanted to take the time to reiterate the importance our Government places on engaging with communities. Our Government is focussed on keeping our streets and communities safe, and part of that work includes maintaining an ongoing dialogue across Canada to address public safety issues.

Alongside Member of Parliament Ted Opitz, this roundtable has provided me with an opportunity to have frank and honest discussions with the Somali-Canadian community from the Greater Toronto Area. I have heard their concerns about the key challenges they and their youth face, such as social isolation and integration, and in some instances the lure of gangs and gang violence, and preventing and countering violent extremism. I am resolved to work together on these issues.

Through our continued partnerships and open dialogue, we can truly advance our efforts to better secure our communities and build resilience to all types of public safety risks."

Mr. Farah Aw-Osman, Executive Director of Canadian Friends of Somalia, provided this statement following the roundtable with the Somali community: "The issues of youth crime including violent extremism are complex. Addressing it and building a resilient community requires working across sectors and disciplines. I welcome these opportunities to work with the Canadian Government and encourage it to continue supporting and promoting community-based and community driven efforts."

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