Archive for the ‘Canada’ Category

Ensuring Canadian Access to Oil Markets in the Asia-Pacific Region

August 10, 2012 Comments off

Ensuring Canadian Access to Oil Markets in the Asia-Pacific Region
Source: Fraser Institute

This report provides a comprehensive overview of the outlook for Alberta crude oil and bitumen production and an assessment of the economic attractiveness and feasibility of exporting oil to countries in the Asia-Pacific region instead of solely to markets in the United States. It also describes the extent of the new oil pipeline infrastructure that would be needed to allow oil exports to Asia-Pacific region under two scenarios: 1. no increase in oil sands bitumen production capacity from a base-case forecast; and 2. bitumen production capacity increased from that in the base case to supply Asian markets after 2026. The likely gross employment and overall economic (GDP) benefits from construction and operation of the required facilities are also discussed.

The report also examines unnecessary regulatory and other barriers that are inhibiting the development of the pipelines and port facilities required to ship crude oil, raw bitumen and synthetic crude oil (i.e., upgraded bitumen) to the west coast and on to oil refineries in Japan, Korea, China, India and other countries in Asia that are increasingly becoming dependent on oil imports.

Understanding ‘Canadian Exceptionalism’ in Immigration and Pluralism Policy

August 6, 2012 Comments off

Understanding ‘Canadian Exceptionalism’ in Immigration and Pluralism Policy (PDF)

Source:  Migration Policy Institute

Canada is far more open to, and optimistic about, immigration than the United States and countries in Europe, despite having a greater proportion of immigrants in its population than other Western countries. A frequently cited reason for this Canadian exceptionalism is Canada’s selection of most immigrants through a points system that admits people based on skills thought to contribute to the economy. Economic selection and a geography that discourages illegal immigration are not the only factors explaining Canada’s unique experience, however. This report, part of a Transatlantic Council on Migration series on national identity, examines Canadian national identity, public opinion,  immigration and immigrant integration policy, and multiculturalism.

Comparisons of disparities and risks of HIV infection in black and other men who have sex with men in Canada, UK, and USA: a meta-analysis

August 1, 2012 Comments off

Comparisons of disparities and risks of HIV infection in black and other men who have sex with men in Canada, UK, and USA: a meta-analysis (PDF)

Source: The Lancet


We did a meta-analysis to assess factors associated with disparities in HIV infection in black men who have sex with men (MSM) in Canada, the UK, and the USA.


We searched Embase, Medline, Google Scholar, and online conference proceedings from Jan 1, 1981, to Dec 31, 2011, for racial comparative studies with quantitative outcomes associated with HIV risk or HIV infection. Key words and Medical Subject Headings (US National Library of Medicine) relevant to race were cross-referenced with citations pertinent to homosexuality in Canada, the UK, and the USA. Data were aggregated across studies for every outcome of interest to estimate overall effect sizes, which were converted into summary ORs for 106 148 black MSM relative to 581 577 other MSM.


We analysed seven studies from Canada, 13 from the UK, and 174 from the USA. In every country, black MSM were as likely to engage similarly in serodiscordant unprotected sex as other MSM. Black MSM in Canada and the USA were less likely than other MSM to have a history of substance use (odds ratio, OR, 0·53, 95% CI 0·38–0·75, for Canada and 0·67, 0·50–0·92, for the USA). Black MSM in the UK (1·86, 1·58–2·18) and the USA (3·00, 2·06–4·40) were more likely to be HIV positive than were other MSM, but HIV-positive black MSM in each country were less likely (22% in the UK and 60% in the USA) to initiate combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) than other HIV-positive MSM. US HIV-positive black MSM were also less likely to have health insurance, have a high CD4 count, adhere to cART, or be virally suppressed than were other US HIV-positive MSM. Notably, despite a two-fold greater odds of having any structural barrier that increases HIV risk (eg, unemployment, low income, previous incarceration, or less education) compared with other US MSM, US black MSM were more likely to report any preventive behaviour against HIV infection (1·39, 1·23–1·57). For outcomes associated with HIV infection, disparities were greatest for US black MSM versus other MSM for structural barriers, sex partner demographics (eg, age, race), and HIV care outcomes, whereas disparities were least for sexual risk outcomes.


Similar racial disparities in HIV and sexually transmitted infections and cART initiation are seen in MSM in the UK and the USA. Elimination of disparities in HIV infection in black MSM cannot be accomplished without addressing structural barriers or differences in HIV clinical care access and outcomes.

CA — Police-reported crime statistics, 2011

July 26, 2012 Comments off

Police-reported crime statistics, 2011
Source: Statistics Canada

The police-reported crime rate, which measures the overall volume of crime, continued its long-term downward trend in 2011, declining 6% from 2010. The Crime Severity Index, which measures the severity of crime, also fell 6%.

CA — Report on Equality Rights of People with Disabilities

July 12, 2012 Comments off

Report on Equality Rights of People with Disabilities (PDF)
Source: Canadian Human Rights Commission
From press release:

Canadians have a better picture of how disability affects equality of opportunity, thanks to a new benchmarking study released by the Canadian Human Rights Commission today.

The Report on Equality Rights of People with Disabilities compares Canadians with disabilities to those without disabilities across a spectrum of indicators, such as education, employment, economic well-being, health, and housing. The report consolidates data from seven Statistics Canada surveys.

Too big to fail? Canadian banks are not immune from global crises

July 6, 2012 Comments off

Too big to fail? Canadian banks are not immune from global crises
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

A new report released by CCPA says that Canada is not immune to the banking problems we see abroad, and cautions that like all banks worldwide, Canadian banks are structurally vulnerable to instability.

The report, No More Swimming Naked: The Need for Modesty in Canadian Banking, examines how banks work, why they are inherently prone to instability, and how banking crises spread—even to banks and banking systems that appear to be stable.

According to the report, overconfidence is part of the problem. Complacency tends to encourage risk-taking among banks, while it deters Canadians from asking tough questions about banking. Yet this overconfidence ignores the fact that banking problems are often not apparent until systemic instability is growing.

The report cautions that current regulations have not eliminated these problems, and since governments have no alternative but to support large banks when systemic stability is threatened, this additional security creates a perverse incentive for banks to increase their appetite for risk.

Economic Survey of Canada 2012

July 2, 2012 Comments off

Economic Survey of Canada 2012
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
From press release:

Canada has weathered the global economic crisis comparatively well but will have to become more productive to sustain its high standard of living, according to OECD’s latest Economic Survey of Canada.

The report, presented today in Ottawa, notes that a timely fiscal stimulus, low interest rates, a solid banking sector and revenues from natural resources helped Canada return to a stable growth path after the global economic crisis of 2008-09. With rising real estate prices and high household indebtedness now posing new risks, the OECD projects that Canada’s economy will grow by around 2¼ per cent in 2012, and by around 2½ per cent in 2013.

The report identifies sluggish productivity growth as the main long-term challenge facing Canada’s economy. Per capita income has increased in recent years, as more people entered the labour force and oil and other commodity prices soared, pushing up the value of the Canadian dollar. However, the amount of labour, capital and natural resources needed to produce a unit of GDP has remained largely the same over the past few decades.

Canada’s overall productivity has actually fallen since 2002, while it has grown by about 30% over the past 20 years in the United States. At the same time, income has shifted towards the resource-rich western provinces, while the regional economies of Ontario and Quebec are still adapting to increased external competition resulting from the high exchange rate.

Report overview and data available for free download. Full report available for purchase.

The Human Development Index in Canada: Estimates for the Canadian Provinces and Territories

June 8, 2012 Comments off

The Human Development Index in Canada: Estimates for the Canadian Provinces and Territories (PDF)
Source: Centre for the Study of Living Standards
From press release (PDF):

The Centre for the Study of Living Standards today released a major study entitled “The Human Development Index in Canada: Estimates for the Canadian Provinces and Territories.”

This is the first study that has developed estimates of the Human Development Index (HDI) for the provinces and territories that are consistent with the official HDI estimates for Canada produced by the United Nations. Key findings from the study are highlighted below.

  • In 2011, Alberta ranked as the jurisdiction with the highest HDI in Canada, closely followed by Ontario, the Northwest Territories, and British Columbia. Nunavut ranked last, and Prince Edward Island second last.
  • The HDI is based on life expectancy, average years of education attainment, expected years of education, and Gross National Income. For both life expectancy and average educational attainment, British Columbia ranked first among the 13 provinces and territories and Nunavut ranked last. For expected years of schooling, Quebec ranked at the top and Nunavut came in last, while for GNI per capita, Northwest Territories was in first place and Prince Edward Island was in last place.
  • In 2011, Canada ranked sixth out of 187 countries in the HDI, behind Norway, Australia, United States, the Netherlands and New Zealand. This ranking however hides considerable differences within Canada. The top four jurisdictions in Canada would rank third in the international rankings, between Australia and the United States and the Netherlands. Nunavut, with the lowest HDI among the 13 provinces and territories, would rank 38 th internationally and second lowest Prince Edward Island 24th.
  • An analysis of the growth rate of the HDI over the past decade gives a different story than the level of the HDI. Low ranked Nunavut fared best, with the HDI advancing at a 0.54 per cent average annual rate between 2000 and 2011. It was closely followed by Newfoundland and Labrador at 0.48 per cent. In contrast Ontario had the slowest growth in the HDI of any jurisdiction in Canada (0.25 per cent per year), closely followed by Alberta and British Columbia (both at 0.26 per cent).
  • The report provides a comprehensive picture of developments in life expectancy, average education attainment, expected years of schooling, and Gross National Income per capita for all provinces and territories over the 2000-2011 period.

The Big Banks’ Big Secret: Estimating government support for Canadian banks during the financial crisis

June 8, 2012 Comments off

The Big Banks’ Big Secret: Estimating government support for Canadian banks during the financial crisis
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
From press release:

A study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) estimates the previously secret extent of extraordinary support required by Canada’s banks during the financial crisis.

According to the study, by CCPA Senior Economist David Macdonald, support for Canadian banks reached $114 billion at its peak—that’s $3,400 for every man, woman, and child in Canada.

“At some point during the crisis, three of Canada’s banks—CIBC, BMO, and Scotiabank—were completely under water, with government support exceeding the market value of the company,” says Macdonald. “Without government supports to fall back on, Canadian banks would have been in serious trouble.”

Between October 2008 and July 2010, Canada’s largest banks relied heavily on financial aid programs provided by the Bank of Canada, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the U.S. Federal Reserve—all at the same time.

Over the entire aid period, Canada’s banks reported $27 billion in total profits between them and the CEOs of each of the big banks were among the highest paid Canadian CEOs. Between 2008 and 2009, each bank CEO received an average raise in total compensation of 19%.

Canada — Stealth Confiscation: How governments regulate, freeze, and devalue private property-without compensation

June 8, 2012 Comments off

Stealth Confiscation: How governments regulate, freeze, and devalue private property-without compensation
Source: Fraser Institute
From press release:

Canada is far behind Europe when it comes to compensating property owners for government restrictions on private property, concludes a new book published by the Fraser Institute, Canada’s leading public policy think-tank.

“Unlike Europe, where governments of all stripes compensate private property owners when regulation acts as de facto expropriation, governments in Canada can wholly or partly freeze your property through regulation and not offer a dime in compensation,” said Mark Milke, Fraser Institute director of Alberta policy research and author of Stealth Confiscation: How Governments Regulate, Freeze, and Devalue Private Property—Without Compensation.

“That’s a major policy failure and a black eye on Canada’s reputation for fairness.”

In the book, Milke points out that Canada’s record of non-compensation for a loss of use from regulation sets it apart from other Western countries. A survey of 13 nations found Canada and Australia to be the most restrictive about compensating for regulatory takings. By contrast, Poland, Germany, Sweden, Israel, and the Netherlands provide the broadest compensation rights.

Canada — Fewer Young People Smoking, Drinking and Using Drugs – New survey reveals encouraging trend

June 8, 2012 Comments off

Fewer Young People Smoking, Drinking and Using Drugs – New survey reveals encouraging trend
Source: Health Canada

According to the latest results of the Youth Smoking Survey, only three per cent of Canadian students in grades 6-12 said they smoked daily in 2010-2011, down from 4% in 2008-2009.

The school-based survey also found that fewer students have even tried cigarettes once; a decline among those who had ever tried little cigars; and a drop in the percent of students reporting using alcohol, cannabis and other drugs.

“After seeing smoking rates hit historic lows in Canada recently, these new statistics are encouraging,” said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. “In particular, the drop in little cigar smoking suggests that the Cracking Down on Tobacco Marketing Aimed at Youth Act is having an impact on consumption of these products by youth.”

The Youth Smoking Survey, funded by Health Canada and conducted by the University of Waterloo’s Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, is a survey of Canadian youth in grades 6-12 that captures information related to tobacco, alcohol and drug use.

Adult criminal court statistics in Canada, 2010/2011

June 8, 2012 Comments off

Adult criminal court statistics in Canada, 2010/2011
Source: Statistics Canada
One of the key components of Canada’s criminal justice system is the courts. The criminal court system consists of multiple levels of court with responsibility shared between federal, provincial and territorial governments. Each court is responsible for making decisions regarding the culpability of those accused of a criminal offence. In addition, for those found guilty (or who plead guilty), courts are responsible for determining an appropriate sentence to be imposed (Department of Justice Canada 2005b).

Using data from the adult component of the 2010/2011 Integrated Criminal Court Survey (ICCS), this Juristat article presents information on the characteristics of criminal court cases involving adults (18 years and older).1 More specifically, it examines the number and types of cases completed in adult criminal courts, the decisions made in relation to these cases and the sentences imposed upon those found guilty. In addition, this article looks briefly at the length of time taken to complete adult criminal court cases and the factors that influence timeliness.

It is important to note that the data presented in this article represent approximately 95% of the caseload completed in Canadian adult criminal courts. In 2010/2011, information from superior courts in Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan as well as municipal courts in Quebec (which accounted for about one-quarter of all Criminal Code charges in that province) was unavailable.

Prostitution in Canada: International Obligations, Federal Law, and Provincial and Municipal Jurisdiction

June 8, 2012 Comments off

Prostitution in Canada: International Obligations, Federal Law, and Provincial and Municipal Jurisdiction
Source: Library of Parliament

Canada’s approach to dealing with prostitution beyond its borders and within them is a multifaceted one, involving a combination of criminal laws at the federal level, provincial/territorial laws and municipal solutions that highlight the various jurisdictional responsibilities at play. While prostitution (consensual sex between two adults for consideration1) is legal in Canada, most activities surrounding the act of prostitution – including public solicitation, pimping, operating a brothel, trafficking in persons and the commercial sexual exploitation of children – are prohibited.

This paper provides an overview of how jurisdictions across Canada handle the question of prostitution, from negotiating Canada’s international obligations in this regard, to implementing federal criminal laws and provincial/territorial and municipal measures to deal with specific issues at a practical level.

Canada — New report lifts fog on government job cuts

June 8, 2012 Comments off

New report lifts fog on government job cuts
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Due to the opaque reporting methods used by the federal government to detail its spending and employment projections, getting a clear picture of core public service job losses is unnecessarily complicated. However, CCPA Senior Economist David Macdonald has analyzed data from recently released 2012-13 Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPP) as well as the 2012 federal budget to assess the impact of several rounds of spending cuts on federal employment.

The report, Clearing Away the Fog: Government Estimates of Job Losses, finds that the total number of federal core public service job losses over the next three years will be 29,600—far more than the 19,200 estimate that is now commonly cited. The Departments of National Defence, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, and Public Works and Government Services Canada will be particularly hard hit.

The analysis also notes that a significant number of positions at Crown corporations, non-profit agencies, and private sector firms who do business with the government outside of the core public service will also be lost, although it is difficult to determine just how many.

DHS Northern Border Strategy

June 8, 2012 Comments off

Northern Border Strategy (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security
From press release:

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced the release of the DHS Northern Border Strategy (NBS). The NBS is the first unified DHS strategy to guide the Department’s policies and operations along the U.S.-Canada border – providing a framework for enhancing security and resiliency while expediting lawful travel and trade throughout the Northern border region.

The DHS NBS is the first Department-wide strategy to guide policy and operations at the Northern border. The NBS identifies three key goals for the Northern border:

  • Deterring and preventing terrorism and smuggling, trafficking, and illegal immigration;
  • Safeguarding and encouraging the efficient flow of lawful trade, travel, and immigration; and
  • Ensuring community resiliency before, during, and after terrorist attacks and other disasters.

DHS’s strategy for the Northern border is built on the premise that security and lawful trade and travel are mutually reinforcing. Separating higher-risk traffic from lower-risk traffic, utilizing advance information, and inspecting people and goods bound for our shared borders at the earliest opportunity enables officials on both sides to expedite the processing of lawful travel and trade while preventing illegal crossings and activities, as well as diseases and dangerous goods from entering either country.

To accomplish these goals, DHS will leverage resources to improve information sharing and analysis within DHS, as well as with key partners. The Department will also enhance coordination of U.S.-Canada joint interdictions and investigations, deploy technologies to aid joint security efforts along the border, and continue to update infrastructure to facilitate travel and trade.

Canada — Perspectives on Labour and Income: Youth neither enrolled nor employed

June 8, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Statistics Canada
+ The percentage of all Canadian youth age 15 to 29 that are neither in education nor employment (NEET) has ranged between 12% and 14% over the past decade, a rate that is relatively low among the G7 countries.
+ In 2011, 44% of all youth were students and 43% were employed. The remaining 13% were NEET— 5.7% unemployed and 7.5% not in the labour force (NILF).
+ About 55,000 youth had been looking for a job for more than six months in 2011, representing 1% of all youth and 14% of unemployed youth.
+ Lower levels of education were associated with higher rates of youth unemployment and long-term unemployment.
+ Of the 82% of NILF youth who did not want a job, 5% had future work arrangements, 6% were permanently unable to work, 7% were non-traditional students, 20% had no known activity but had young children at home, and 44% had no known activity and no children at home.

Canada — A Descriptive Profile of Older Women Offenders

June 8, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Correctional Service of Canada
Aging prisoners represent a special population that require addressing specific needs, particularly elements concerning adjustment, rehabilitation, programming, and parole (Aday, 1994). Most of the existing literature examining the needs of the aging prison population originates in the United States, and typically limits its sample to male offenders. Consequently, there is a need to examine the different characteristics and needs of older women offenders in Canada, in both a correctional and community setting.
The purpose of this study was to: 1) to provide a comprehensive profile of older women offenders; 2) to compare the assessed levels of risk and need of older women and younger women offenders; and 3) to assess the relevance/use of a typology to classify older women offenders.
For the current study, the age criterion for older women offenders was 50 years or older. CSC’s Offender Management System (OMS) was used to retrieve data on the study group (older women) and the comparison group (younger women). Both groups were composed of 160 women, of which 54 were in custody and 106 were under community supervision.
Results suggest that, older women were rated as having lower overall needs, lower overall risk, and a higher reintegration potential when compared to women offenders under the age of 50. Compared to younger women, older women were found to have lower needs in the domains of employment, associates, substance abuse, and attitude.
Looking at institutional misconduct, results suggest that older women are less likely to be victims or perpetrators of minor or major institutional incidents than their younger counterparts. With regard to programming, it was found that older women were significantly less likely to enrol in, or complete educational programs. They were also less likely than younger women to enrol in substance abuse programs, or psychology programs. However, they were significantly more likely to enrol in and complete ‘other’ programs (e.g., chaplaincy, personal development) than their younger counterparts.
In order to examine a potential typology for older women offenders, criminal histories were examined. It was found that the majority of older women (80%) were serving time for their first federal sentence. Additionally, 50% of the older women offenders were serving a sentence for homicide. Ultimately, in attempts to delineate older women into a typology based on older male offenders, results revealed that older women did not fit flawlessly into the male typology. A more appropriate typology, specific to older women offenders may therefore exist.

Welcome to…Canada Friday

June 8, 2012 Comments off

Welcome to…Canada Friday

Categories: Canada

The burden of allergic rhinitis (AR) in Canada: perspectives of physicians and patients

June 4, 2012 Comments off

The burden of allergic rhinitis (AR) in Canada: perspectives of physicians and patients
Source: Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology

Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a common problem and we sought to examine the burden of disease and its management in Canada from the perspectives of patients and physicians.

Two parallel, Canadawide structured telephone interviews surveyed 1,001 AR patients and 160 physicians in July 2006.

44% of patients had experienced nasal symptoms unrelated to a cold and 20% had a physician diagnosis of AR. At screening 27% reported asthma, 15% chronic or recurrent sinusitis and 5% nasal polyps. With attacks nasal congestion and runny nose were the most bothersome symptoms. Other problems experienced were fatigue (46%), poor concentration (32%), and reduced productivity (23%). Most (77%) had not seen a physician in the past year. Physicians estimated they prescribed intranasal cortico steroids (INCS) to most AR patients (77%) consistent with guidelines but only 19% of patients had used one in the last month. Only 48% of patients were very satisfied with their current INCS. 41% of AR patients reported discontinuing their INCS with the most common reason being a perceived lack of long-lasting symptom relief (44%). 52% of patients felt that their current INCS lost effectiveness over 24 h. The most common INCS side effects included dripping down the throat, bad taste, and dryness. Most AR patients reported lifestyle limitations despite treatment (66%). 61% of patients felt that their symptoms were only somewhat controlled or poorly/not controlled during their worst month in the past year.

AR symptoms are common and many patients experience inadequate control. Physicians report they commonly prescribe intranasal corticosteroids, but patient’s perceived loss of efficacy and side effects lead to their discontinuation. Persistent relief of allergic rhinitis symptoms remains a major unmet need. Better treatments and education are required.

The Three Amigos: How Income Inequality in Mexico is different than Canada and the U.S.

May 31, 2012 Comments off

The Three Amigos: How Income Inequality in Mexico is different than Canada and the U.S.
Source: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

An examination of income inequality in North America reveals that Mexico is the only part of the continent where the middle class has been gaining from growth, according to a new study by internationally respected economist Lars Osberg, Dalhousie University professor and CCPA Research Associate.

Mexico’s middle class has benefited from urbanization, greater female employment, improved education and better social programs. Although similar trends in Canada and the U.S. maintained growth in middle class incomes until the 1970s, Osberg says, they have since run out of steam. Globalization, technological advances, a drop in unionized work, and a deregulated labour market have contributed to stagnant real incomes for most in Canada and the U.S. since the 1980s.

Meanwhile, income growth at the top has accelerated in both Canada and the U.S.


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