Archive for the ‘Gov – CA’ Category

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 — Science Advisory Report 2011/071: Binational ecological risk assessment of the bigheaded carps (Hypophthalmichthys spp.) for the Great Lakes basin

July 13, 2012 Comments off

Science Advisory Report 2011/071: Binational ecological risk assessment of the bigheaded carps (Hypophthalmichthys spp.) for the Great Lakes basin

Source: Fisheries and Oceans Canada


  • The most likely entry point into the Great Lakes basin is the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS) into Lake Michigan. The effectiveness of the electrical barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal (CSSC) was not evaluated. Nevertheless, the complex nature of the CAWS and proximity of bigheaded carp populations led to the conclusion this is the most likely entry point.
  • Once bigheaded carps have gained entry into the basin, they are expected to spread to other lakes within 20 years. The spread will be more rapid for lakes Michigan, Huron, and Erie, and potentially Lake Superior; longer for Lake Ontario.
  • Bigheaded carps would find suitable food, and thermal and spawning habitats in the Great Lakes basin that would allow them to survive and become established. The areas that would be attractive and favorable are Lake Erie, including Lake St. Clair, and high productivity embayments of lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron and Ontario.
  • There is a greater than 50% probability of successful mating each year with very few (< 10) adult females (and a similar number of adult males) within the basin of a Great Lake.
  • Population growth is most sensitive to the survivorship of juveniles.
  • The consequences of an established bigheaded carp population are expected to include changes in planktonic communities, reduction in planktivore biomass, reduced recruitment of fishes with early pelagic life stages, and reduced stocks of piscivores.
  • To reduce the probability of introduction (either at the arrival, survival, establishment or spread stage), and delay or reduce subsequent ecological consequences, immediate prevention activities would be most effective, especially in conjunction with population management activities at the invasion front.

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.

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 — 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.

Victimization of older Canadians, 2009

March 16, 2012 Comments off

Victimization of older Canadians, 2009
Source: Statistics Canada

Canadians aged 55 and older constitute one of the fastest growing populations in the country. In the coming decades, it is projected that Canada’s population will continue to age considerably, with the proportion of Canadians aged 55 and older rising from 27% in 2011 to 35% in 2031 (Statistics Canada 2010a). This is due to a variety of factors, including aging baby boomers, decreasing fertility rates and an increase in life expectancy (Schellenberg and Turcotte 2007).

This shift in Canada’s age structure has numerous implications for Canadian society, including impacts on the economy, the healthcare system, and social services (Certified General Accountants Association of Canada 2005). The aging population is also expected to impact Canada’s justice system in a variety of sectors, including policing, corrections and victim services (Payne 2005; CSC 2010).

Historically, older Canadians have reported some of the lowest victimization rates (Ogrodnik 2007); however, some studies have suggested that victimization against seniors will increase as the population expands (Sev’er 2009). Conversely, other research suggests that rates of victimization will decrease, as younger groups most at risk for victimization age (Boe 2010; Carrington 2001). In recent years, the Canadian government has developed initiatives aimed at meeting the needs of older victims and helping to inform policy decisions related to victimization and abuse (National Seniors Council 2007).

Using data from the 2009 General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization, this Juristat article examines trends in the victimization of older Canadians, namely those aged 55 and older living in the 10 provinces.1,2 In addition to examining the nature and prevalence of both violent victimization and household victimization against older Canadians, this Juristat article explores older Canadians’ experiences of emotional and financial abuse and their experiences of Internet victimization. Finally, this study examines reporting of victimization incidents to police, the emotional and financial consequences of victimization, as well as older Canadians’ perceptions of personal safety, their sense of community belonging, and their use of crime prevention methods among both victims and non-victims.

Canada — Governing by Wiki: Fast, Flat, and Furious Social Media Foresight Study

January 25, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Policy Horizons Canada
Through extensive consultation and engagement with private and public sector social media experts, Horizons conducted a foresight scenario exercise to consider these plausible futures for these technologies and potential implications for Canada. This report outlines this process and findings.

Canadians’ perceptions of personal safety and crime, 2009

December 6, 2011 Comments off

Canadians’ perceptions of personal safety and crime, 2009
Source: Statistics Canada

The effects of crime are vast and varied, and may result in many physical, financial, and emotional consequences for those directly involved. Moreover, the effects of crime can extend beyond victims (Jackson 2006, Gardner 2008). Previous research has shown that indirect exposure to crime can impact feelings of security within entire communities, and may create a fear of crime. Fear of crime refers to the fear, rather than the probability, of being a victim of crime, and may not be reflective of the actual prevalence of crime (Fitzgerald 2008).

Self-reported victimization data have shown that, in Canada, rates of victimization have remained stable over the past decade (Perreault and Brennan 2010). In the same vein, police-reported data has shown decreases in both the amount and severity of crime, with the crime rate reaching its lowest point since 1973 (Brennan and Dauvergne 2011). Despite these findings, crime continues to remain an issue of concern for many Canadians.

Using data from the 2009 General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization, this Juristat article examines the perceptions of personal safety and crime of Canadians 15 years and older living in the 10 provinces. More specifically, it looks at their overall level of satisfaction with their personal safety from crime over time at the national, provincial and census metropolitan area levels. In addition, this article examines Canadians’ feelings of safety when performing various activities in their communities, and their use of crime prevention techniques in the previous 12 months. Finally, Canadians’ perceptions of the prevalence of crime and social disorder in their neighbourhoods are explored.

Canada — 2010-2011 Report of the Commissioner of Official Languages

November 14, 2011 Comments off

2010-2011 Report of the Commissioner of Official Languages (PDF)
Source: Office of the Commissioner of Languages
From speech (Graham Fraser – Commissioner of Official Languages):

Language issues can still be emotional and often divisive. We saw this with the Federal Court decision in Thibodeau v. Air Canada. There was also the outcry in the media following our call for tenders to make observations to evaluate the bilingualism situation in the capital.

I think this is a good thing. It is normal for linguistic duality to be at the heart of our social debates. It lets us define ourselves as a society and better serve the Canadian population. It is always useful to set the record straight on the application of the Official Languages Act.

With this new session of Parliament, one concern is front and centre in the public service: the strategic and operational review, also known as the Deficit Reduction Action Plan. Departments are being asked to find ways to reduce their expenditures by 5 or 10%, and some departments are making significant cuts outside of the strategic review.

The government’s financial restructuring could have repercussions on the ability of institutions to fulfill their official languages obligations. Organizations and volunteers whose work is to promote linguistic duality throughout Canada are also worried about possible repercussions. I share their concerns. I am not claiming that official languages are being targeted specifically—or that they should be exempted—but there is a risk that they will be unduly affected. The government must ensure the decisions that are made during each department’s budget review take into account potential consequences for official language communities. It must also limit the negative repercussions because, if each institution independently makes cuts to official languages programs, the cumulative effect will be much greater than 5 or 10%.

Homicide in Canada, 2010

November 10, 2011 Comments off

Homicide in Canada, 2010
Source: Statistics Canada

Homicide in Canada is a relatively rare event. In 2010, there were 554 homicides in Canada—representing less than 1% of violent incidents reported to police (Brennan and Dauvergne 2011). Information gathered from the Homicide Survey plays an important role in measuring crime in Canada, particularly in identifying trends over time. Homicide is more likely than other crimes to be reported to police, to be the subject of thorough investigation and, in turn, to be captured in official statistics (Nivette 2011; Van Dijk 2008; Gannon et al. 2005). For this reason, the rate of homicide has been viewed as a “social barometer” and as one indicator of the health of a nation (Marshall and Block 2004).

This Juristat article presents 2010 homicide data, marking the 50th consecutive year for which this information has been collected by Statistics Canada. Trends in gang-related homicide, homicides involving firearms, homicides by youth, and intimate partner homicide are highlighted. This report also presents a profile of homicides involving accused persons with a suspected mental or developmental disorder.

Canada — FINTRAC Annual Report 2011

November 7, 2011 Comments off

FINTRAC Annual Report 2011
Source: Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada

FINTRAC’s disclosures of cases of suspected money laundering and terrorist financing are the product of its unique capability to access and analyze a vast range of financial transaction data. These disclosures not only provide important information about cases of suspected money laundering and terrorist financing, but they can also reveal a great deal about the crimes that these activities either support or are supported by. They uncover links between seemingly unrelated criminal operations, often international in scope, and thus offer valuable new investigative leads to law enforcement officials. In addition, FINTRAC’s disclosures can assist investigative agencies in targeting their current investigations more effectively.

In 2010–11 FINTRAC made 777 disclosures of cases of suspected money laundering and terrorist financing, representing a tripling of output over the past three years. This remarkable achievement is largely due to the excellent work of our analytical team, coupled with more streamlined business processes and the continuous upgrading and enhancement of our technology.

Canada — Health Indicators 2011

November 2, 2011 Comments off

Health Indicators 2011 (PDF)
Source: Statistics Canada (Canadian Institute for Health Information)

Health Indicators 2011, the 12th in a series of annual flagship reports, presents the most recent data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and Statistics Canada on a broad range of measures. This report seeks to answer two fundamental questions: “How healthy are Canadians?” and “How healthy is the Canadian health system?” The indicators were selected based on directions provided at three National Consensus Conferences on Health Indicators.

Each indicator falls into one of the five dimensions of the internationally recognized Health Indicator Framework:

  • Health status — provides insight into the health of Canadians, including well-being, human function and selected health conditions.
  • Non-medical determinants of health — reflects factors outside of the health system that affect health.
  • Health system performance — provides insight into the quality of health services, including accessibility, appropriateness, effectiveness and patient safety.
  • Community and health system characteristics — useful contextual information, rather than direct measures of health status or quality of care.
  • Equity – provides insight into health disparities.

In addition to presenting the latest indicator results, this year’s report introduces three new indicators that are focused on mental health. In Canada, as in many countries, mental illnesses are among the 20 leading causes of disability and are associated with death by suicide. Seventy percent of mental illnesses develop at a young age, they often persist over time and they affect people of all cultures and socio-economic status. They are also costly to the health system. In Canada, when taking into account costs associated with the reduction in health-related quality of life, loss of productivity in the workplace and direct costs of mental health services and supports, the economic impact of mental illnesses was estimated to be $52 billion in 2006 by the Institute of Health Economics.

Health Canada Offers Practical Advice on Safe Cell Phone Use

October 30, 2011 Comments off

Health Canada Offers Practical Advice on Safe Cell Phone Use
Source: Health Canada

The issue:
The number of cell phone users in Canada rose from 100,000 in 1987 to more than 24 million by the end of 2010. With their growing popularity, questions have been raised about their safety. Cell phones emit low-levels of radiofrequency (RF) energy. The RF electromagnetic energy given off by cell phones is a type of non-ionizing radiation. It is similar to the type of energy used in AM/FM radio and TV broadcast signals.

Cell phones in Canada must meet regulatory requirements that limit human exposure to RF energy. Health Canada has developed guidelines for safe human exposure to RF energy.

Who is affected:
There are a small number of epidemiology studies that have shown brain cancer rates might be elevated in long-term/heavy cell phone users. Other epidemiology studies on cell phone users, laboratory studies and animal cancer studies have not supported this association. The International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) recent classification of RF energy as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” is an acknowledgement that limited data exists that suggests RF energy might cause cancer. At present, the scientific evidence is far from conclusive and more research is required.

Health Canada reminds cell phone users that they can take practical measures to reduce RF exposure. The department also encourages parents to reduce their children’s RF exposure from cell phones since children are typically more sensitive to a variety of environmental agents. As well, there is currently a lack of scientific information regarding the potential health impacts of cell phones on children.

What consumers can do:

  • Limit the length of cell phone calls
  • Replace cell phone calls with text messages or use “hands-free” devices
  • Encourage children under the age of 18 to limit their cell phone usage

+ Health Canada’s Radiofrequency Exposure Guidelines

Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS) 2010

September 25, 2011 Comments off

Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS) 2010
Source: Health Canada
From press release:

According to new statistics released today, the smoking rate in Canada has dropped to 17% in 2010. This is the lowest level ever recorded, according to annual results of the 2010 Canadian Tobacco Use Monitoring Survey (CTUMS).

“The numbers announced today are encouraging, as they show more Canadians are making the healthy choice when it comes to smoking,” said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. “I am particularly encouraged by the numbers when it comes to youth.”

According to the 2010 survey, smoking rates have significantly declined for key age groups. For example, in 2010 smoking among teens aged 15 to 17 fell to 9% — the lowest recorded rate in an age group often seen as key in the fight against smoking.

CA — The Path to Justice: Preventing Wrongful Convictions

September 19, 2011 Comments off

The Path to Justice: Preventing Wrongful Convictions
Source: Public Prosecution Service of Canada
From press release:

A new report on wrongful convictions entitled “The Path to Justice: Preventing Wrongful Convictions” was released today by the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Heads of Prosecutions Committee (HOP).

The report is a follow-up to a 2005 report entitled “Prevention of Miscarriages of Justice” and was prepared by a committee of senior prosecutors and police officers.

Today’s report concludes that “There now exists a higher level of awareness than ever before among Canadian police and prosecutors about the causes of wrongful convictions and what can be done to prevent them.”

The report urges a continuing national commitment at a senior level to focus attention on the issue. “The human cost of one wrongful conviction cannot be tolerated. Our society cannot afford to let justice fail.”

The report notes there has been a “phenomenal level” of educational activity among police and prosecutors about the causes of wrongful convictions. New recruits and veterans alike now receive regular training on the factors that contribute to wrongful convictions.

It canvasses the latest information on the most important causes of wrongful convictions, as described in the 2005 Report, including tunnel vision, eyewitness misidentification, false confessions, use of in-custody informers, and inappropriate use of forensic evidence and expert testimony.

CA — Freedom of Religion and Religious Symbols in the Public Sphere

August 8, 2011 Comments off

Freedom of Religion and Religious Symbols in the Public Sphere
Source: Library of Parliament (Canada)

The issue of religious symbols in the public sphere has given rise to widespread debate on the scope of freedom of religion in various countries around the world. In our modern environment of globalization and unprecedented international migration flows, traditionally homogenous nations face the blurring of established spheres of cultural identity, and, in some cases, governments are changing laws, policies, and politics in an effort to manage these shifts. The various political, legislative, and judicial treatments of this issue have given rise to differing interpretations of freedom of religion as defined through domestic and international laws.

Among the most prominent of the religious symbols at stake in current debates is the Islamic headscarf, or hijab. The headscarf is worn by a female over her head, generally covering her hair, ears, and neck. Hijab also has the meaning of female modesty in dress and, for some Muslim women, may involve wearing a large loose garment that can cover the hands and face – a burqa; or a veil that leaves only a slit for the eyes – a niqab. Hijab is an integral part of Qur’anic teachings for a large part of the Muslim world, but there is little agreement on whether it is absolutely prescribed.

Within the Sikh faith, the turban and kirpan are among the five religious obligations of Orthodox Sikh males. Sikh men must keep their hair uncut and wrapped in a turban as a symbol of respect for God. The kirpan is a curved ceremonial dagger, usually about 20 centimetres long with a blunt tip, which is generally worn underneath clothing. The kirpan serves as a reminder of the constant struggle between good and evil.

In debates involving the Jewish faith, it is the kippa, or yarmulke, a small skullcap worn as a symbol of submission to God by some Jewish males, that is often at issue. In addition, some Orthodox Jews build succahs, structures made of wood and covered with cedar branches, to be used each year for nine days during the autumn festival of Sukkot to commemorate the difficult conditions Jews faced after fleeing Egypt.

An aspect of the more traditionally Western Christian faith, the crucifix is a representation of the Christian cross with a figure of Christ on it. Often hung on the wall, crucifixes may be found in churches, classrooms, courtrooms, and legislative buildings throughout the Western world. Crucifixes may also be worn as a pendant on a necklace.

The most prominent disputes over religious symbols in the public sphere have involved religious headcoverings – one of the most immediately obvious demonstrations of one’s faith that automatically distinguishes Muslims, Sikhs, and Jews from the larger, mostly Christian population in the Western world. The recent rise of immigrants in Europe has meant that headcoverings have become significant symbols of difference, provoking debate about their role in the public sphere.

Hat tip: Library Boy

CA – Trafficking in Persons

August 8, 2011 Comments off

Trafficking in Persons
Source: Library of Parliament (Canada)

Trafficking in persons has become one of the most pressing issues in global migration policy. The illegal transportation and harbouring of people for the purposes of forced service and other forms of exploitation is a violation of internationally and domestically recognized human rights. Organizations have arrived at different estimates concerning the extent of this global problem, partly because of differences in the interpretation of the term, but primarily because the clandestine nature of the crimes involved makes it difficult to produce accurate statistics. The United Nations (UN) has previously estimated that 700,000 people are trafficked annually worldwide, though it has most recently reported that any estimates made to date have been controversial due to the difficulty in determining “with any precision how many victims of human trafficking there are, where they come from or where they are going.”

This paper will discuss the concept of trafficking in general terms and provide an overview of the legislative framework surrounding the issue at the international level and within the Canadian context. It will conclude with a discussion of potential gaps in Canadian legislation and policy with respect to trafficking in persons.

Hat tip: Library Boy


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