Newly elected mayor of the Brussels commune of Molenbeek, Catherine Moureaux, has condemned the so-called Canal Plan introduced by the federal government following terrorist attacks in Paris, Zaventem and Brussels whose organisers has close links with the commune. The Canal Plan was introduced by federal home affairs minister Jan Jambon, initially affecting only Molenbeek, but later extended to seven other neighbouring communes: Brussels-City, Koekelberg, Schaerbeek, Saint-Josse, Anderlecht, Saint-Gilles and Vilvoorde. Among its provisions, a reinforced police presence, training in the surveillance of radicalised people and a wide-ranging domicile check to find out just who was living where.
But Moureaux – the daughter of former Molenbeek mayor Philippe Moureaux – attacked the Plan. “We don’t need extra police,” she said. “We need more humanity, to prevent people becoming radicalised in the first place.”
On Twitter, she denied saying she was against the Canal Plan, but described it as “a bad contract”.
“The Canal Plan is not a good thing,” she commented. “We no longer have enough local police, and nobody is taking care of road safety. Molenbeek needs not a Canal Plan, but a socio-economic plan.”
Jambon, meanwhile, said he hoped Moureaux did not plan to wipe out the advances made under the Plan in recent times. “We hope the new mayor will not erase previous efforts and leave criminals to act in all impunity,” a spokesperson for the home affairs department said. “All of our services have worked hard for security and for information. The Canal Plan is not only about the police, but also the exchange of information.”