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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Source: Health Canada
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
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.
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.
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