What will it take to stop the next Aaron Driver?

More than we’re doing. We can start by talking to the families of radicalized youth.

“There’s nobody there to support (the families). There’s nobody there to give them strength or any counselling support in any way, shape or form. And the loss of life impacts everybody in the end.”

That’s Christianne Boudreau commenting on the case of Aaron Driver, the 24-year-old Ontario man who died recently in a confrontation with police after authorities were told by the FBI he was plotting to carry out a terrorist attack.

Boudreau can relate: Her son Damian died in 2014 fighting for ISIS in Syria. Damian converted to Islam as a teenager and became progressively more obsessed with fighting President Bashir al-Assad. He was under CSIS surveillance for two years before he left Canada, and was executed by the Syrian army. After his death, Boudreau founded two organizations to combat youth radicalization and reach out to parents whose children had joined radical groups such as ISIS.

Boudreau spoke to Toronto’s AM640 radio from France about her son’s case in the wake of Driver’s death, and following a federal announcement to the effect that Canada would be stepping up its anti-radicalization efforts.

Early news reports suggested that Public Security Minister Ralph Goodale would be announcing details of the plan today. Turned out Goodale was not announcing anything, but meeting and holding a photo-op with a Montreal organization that conducts de-radicalization initiatives.

That didn’t impress Boudreau. “It’s a camera, election, posturing thing,” she told me. “They really need to start putting action behind their words.”

That action will start soon, according to Goodale’s office — with the opening of the federal Office of the Community Outreach and Counter-radicalization Coordinator. The Liberals promised to create this office during the last election and Goodale’s press secretary Scott Bardsley told iPolitics that it will be established within “the next month or near future.”

Read the full article on iPolitics.

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