Income Inequality

Civilized people pay for civilization

Maclean’s produced a ranking of the most dangerous places in Canada by examining communities with populations as small as 10,000. They explain the methodology:

The report ranks communities according to the Crime Severity Index, which is a Statistics Canada measure of all police-reported crime collected through the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey that takes into consideration both the volume and the seriousness of the crime. The index uses 2006 as its benchmark. The 2016 data is the most current available and was released July 24, 2017. Maclean’s collects the annual crime data for police services categorized as municipal by StatsCan and having populations of at least 10,000 people. Some police forces may cover larger areas then their name suggests, and populations for each police force were provided on request by StatsCan. Locations without a crime severity index were not included. Nor were communities with no provided population numbers included.

The data suggests serious problems in western Canada, with British Columbia worst by a wide margin.

crime 480

Crime2 480

Questions are raised about the reasons behind these results and a lengthy examination by sociologists probably would not produce a clear and certain explanation. But, we can ponder possibilities:

British Columbia is more reliant than any other province on the RCMP for local policing. Communities might be better served by provincial and municipal police forces where staffing continuity and commuity attachment would be superior.

For years, western provinces have been in the grip of conservative politicians leading governments that limited expenditures for social services and, particularly in British Columbia, spending on general education and special education services.

Post secondary schooling became too expensive for many to pursue.

Entry level wages lagged behind the rising cost of living. Employment protections were substantially reduced and vulnerable workers were most affected.

In BC, youth activities and family recreation became less affordable, social assistance rates were frozen for years, transportation costs and medical costs increased dramatically and mental illness and addiction services were woefully inadequate.

Gambling facilities expanded rapidly and widely, allowing organized crime to enjoy money laundering facilities untroubled by law enforcement. Illegal behaviour was encouraged because it was profitable for the BC Liberal Government, its contributors and friends.

Court services and legal aid have been drastically underfunded in BC. Ian Mulgrew reported, “The B.C. Liberal Party’s stewardship of the provincial justice system for nearly 16 years has left it teetering on the brink of crisis, says the Canadian Bar Association, B.C. Branch.”

Social spending in this province was reduced to enable reduction of taxes and revenues from natural resources. It is worthwhile considering a statement issued in 1852 by a committee appointed by the governor of Vermont. It included the following:

Taxation is the price which we pay for civilization, for our social, civil and political institutions, for the security of life and property …


8 replies »

  1. Firstly I will state that I have absolutely no fondness whatsoever for my hometown. Secondly, it made the top 20 of the list!! I am quite amused, and happy I no longer live in that fetid hell hole.


  2. That’s an interesting study. As with the F.I.’s annual reports on BC schools, readers must add their own salt, to suit their taste.

    For example, you can take the overall crime score as the main indicator. If it’s the lowest in the country, you can feel at ease.

    If your community is middle or high, though, it’s interesting to see where the crime is coming from. You can toggle through the crime groups and see where the worst crime is coming from. In Chilliwack, for example, break-and-enter is a big factor (and I wouldn’t contest those stats)… though sexual assault and general assault are way down the list, compared to Canada-wide. Impaired driving is also way down in Chilliwack, compared to national stats.

    Getting your house or business broken into (when you’re away) is no treat… but it doesn’t attack your feeling of safety as much as being hit by a drunk driver or physically or sexually assaulted.

    On the east-west comparison, I’m sure there are many factors. I wonder if (in BC at least) backlogs in our court system have kept many criminals on the street and out of jail?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right. It is a multi-factorial problem and statistics are not always gathered reliably, partly because police services have reasons for shaping reports in particular ways.

      I suspect that ineffectiveness of the judicial system in British Columbia, including probation and correctional services, accounts partly for this province’s ratings. Our provincial courts are clogged with people charged with breaching bail conditions and this suggests inadequate resources are employed to manage offenders outside the courthouse.

      A Senate study reported, “…valuable time of judges and other court workers is inefficiently used in dealing with administration of justice offences. This category of offences includes: failure to appear in court, breach of a probation order, being unlawfully at large, and failure to comply with an order. Twenty-three percent of all completed adult criminal court cases in Canada dealt with administration of justice offences.”

      In BC, government reduced legal aid, closed courthouses, starved probation services, privatized imprisonment and took other acts that brought us to where we are today.
      “Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law”, Oliver Goldsmith 1764, The Traveler


  3. “Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law”, Oliver Goldsmith 1764, The Traveler

    Quotes cut like a knife and the passage of time only magnifies their focus. Thanks once again Norm.


  4. part of the problem has always been, B.C. is the end of the line. People with problems frequently head west, so I’d suggest we have a higher crime because we have more criminal types.

    The RCMP are another contribution to crime. They have loyalty to their organization which is headquartered in Ottawa. From there comes their pay cheques and promotions. They are not committed to the areas they police as are local police forces. Then there is the dysfunctionality in the RCMP. How can a police force police a population when they themselves are in turmoil. 1100 women have come forward and claimed harassment, sexual harassment, sexual assault, etc. When you look at it, the RCMP itself operates like a criminal enterprise. With the majority of RCMP officers being in B.C. we have the most problems. How can they provide decent policing, hence the higher rate of crime.

    Old el gordo certainly helped the crime rate along by closing court houses and making it more difficult to hold trials. Christy Clark was no better. The current and former mayors of Surrey didn’t do much to deal with crime in their communities and Vernon had their own special problems What did the RCMP do in Vernon? Not much because the major gang had a grip there for years.

    However the biggest contributors to crime in B.C. are the so called law bidding citizens who continued to vote for politicians who did nothing much to deal with crime in our province and didn’t do much to hold criminals accountable. Citizens got a good deal on “hot” goods, but didn’t ever stop to think they were stolen. Turned the other way when crime was being committed, protected their sons and daughters while the engaged in criminal activities In other words its our own dammed fault we have the highest crime rate in the country.


  5. Norm.
    Your assessment of the RCMP in this Province is interesting.
    One might recall the Provincial ‘contract” for the RCMP was up for renewal several years ago….at the exact same time that the BC Rail Trial and other Liberal conflict “investigations” were on going…..
    I do remember being surprised at ( former Gambling and Lottery minister)Rich Coleman’s somewhat veiled threat to the RCMP during contract “negotiations’ that BC might go back to a Provincial police force…….
    A 20 YEAR Contract renewed. Everything else forgotten.
    Time for the NDP to take a look at that contract…..after they deal with Site C?


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