Montreal police say Concordia university 'secured' after earlier threat against Muslim students
Published Wednesday, March 1, 2017 12:29PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, March 1, 2017 3:54PM EST
Montreal police found nothing suspicious and said Wednesday afternoon that buildings at Concordia University are "secured," after threatening emails were sent to several media outlets targeting the school’s Muslim students earlier in the day.
There were evacuations and cancelled classes at the university as a result of the emails, which were reportedly sent by a group calling itself the “Council of Conservative Citizens of Canada.” In the U.S., the “Council of Conservative Citizens” is a white supremacist group.
Classes in the three buildings of Concordia are set to resume at 6 p.m.
Quebec’s Higher Education Minister, Helene David, told reporters at a press that McGill University, Montreal’s other English-language university, also received a threatening email, but with no precise location target or time.
According to a statement released by the university, students and teachers were ordered out of the downtown campus EV and Hall buildings at 11:30 a.m. local time. The school issued another evacuation order for the GM building half an hour later.
In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, the university said students and staff were being told to avoid the buildings due to a possible threat. The school said they were cooperating with police who were on site investigating the “potential threat in these buildings.”
Alan Shepard, the president of Concordia University, told a press conference on Wednesday that the school has an “inclusive” environment and they have an excellent relationship with the Muslim community on campus.
“I am shocked and surprised,” Shepard said. “We have students from 150 different countries and many faith communities. Everybody’s welcome. We have a great institution and it’s a shame to see this kind of threat against any of our groups of students.”
Shepard said the school has been in contact with the school’s Muslim student association since early in the morning.
David condemned the emails and called it a “sad day” for Quebec.
“We’re really thinking about the students and their safety,” David said. “We’re all working together to make sure that the safety is not compromised in Concordia University or any other university.”
The statement said that all afternoon classes at the school were cancelled but may resume at 6 p.m. that evening. Shepard said the police investigation is ongoing and the buildings were undergoing a sweep for potential dangers.
Subway service to the Guy-Concordia Station was also temporarily interrupted.
Concordia also appealed to the public for information in the release. They asked that if anyone saw something “suspicious or of concern” to contact the school’s security immediately at: 514-848-2424, ext. 3717.
Evacuate EV and Hall Buildings on SGW campus, immediately. Classes cancelled; may resume at 6 p.m. Avoid buildings. More info:concordia.ca— Concordia University (@Concordia) March 1, 2017
#Concordia has issued an evacuation order for the EV & the Hall Building, due to a bomb threat that we received. For more info, concordia.ca— Concordia University (@Concordia) March 1, 2017
The @stminfo has interrupted metro service to the Guy-Concordia Station until further notice. Visit concordia.ca for more information.— Concordia University (@Concordia) March 1, 2017
#Concordia is now evacuating the GM Building. All classes in the EV and Hall Buildings have been cancelled. Visit concordia.ca for more info— Concordia University (@Concordia) March 1, 2017