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CA — Applications for Ministerial Review, Miscarriages of Justice – Annual Report

October 17, 2014 Comments off

Applications for Ministerial Review, Miscarriages of Justice – Annual Report
Source: Justice Canada

Under Canadian law, the Minister of Justice has the authority to review a criminal conviction to determine whether there has been a miscarriage of justice. This report outlines the history of this power, describes the role of the Department of Justice in such reviews, and outlines how the criminal conviction review process works. It provides statistical information, examines various emerging issues, and describes developments expected in the coming year.

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Report debunks Canadians’ misconceptions about agriculture

October 10, 2014 Comments off

Report debunks Canadians’ misconceptions about agriculture
Source: Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Farming in Canada isn’t what many Canadians think. CFIB’s report, Realities of Agriculture in Canada – A sector of innovation and growth, debunks Canadians’ misconceptions about agriculture.

According to a recent study commissioned by the federal government, Canadians have many misconceptions about the agriculture industry, including that it’s not innovative, is shrinking, it potentially harms the environment, and that family farms are becoming extinct. Our new report, which debunks these misconceptions, is based on data collected from CFIB farm members who participated in our The State of Canadian Agriculture Survey.

Results show that, in fact, the majority of farmers – 51% – plan to adopt new, innovative technologies over the next three years, and 44% are planning to expand their business.

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation releases its first-ever, multi-year examination of reported industrial pollution in North America

October 6, 2014 Comments off

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation releases its first-ever, multi-year examination of reported industrial pollution in North America
Source: Commission for Environmental Cooperation

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) has released a comprehensive report on the changing face of industrial pollution in North America, covering the years 2005 through 2010. This is the first time an edition of the CEC’s Taking Stock series, which gathers data from pollutant release and transfer registers (PRTRs) in Canada, Mexico and the United States, has analyzed North American pollutant information over an extended timeframe.

This volume of Taking Stock documents pollutant releases and transfers reported over the six-year period by approximately 35,000 industrial facilities across the region. Key findings include:

  • Total reported amounts of pollutants increased by 14 percent (from over 4.83 billion kilograms in 2005 to more than 5.53 billion kilograms in 2010), driven by releases to land (108-percent increase) and off-site disposal (42-percent increase). These increases reflect the introduction of Canada’s more comprehensive reporting requirements on tailings and waste rock, as well as on total reduced sulfur (TRS), resulting in more complete reporting by the metal ore mining and oil and gas extraction sectors in Canada.
  • Most other types of releases and transfers declined over this period—including releases to air from electric utilities, mainly in the United States, which declined by 36 percent. Changes in regulations for fossil fuel–based power plants, along with facility closures, were the drivers of these decreases.
  • There was also a 38-percent decrease in releases to air of substances in four categories that have significant potential to cause harm to human health or the environment: known or suspected carcinogens, developmental or reproductive toxicants, persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) substances, and metals.

Police-reported cybercrime in Canada, 2012

October 1, 2014 Comments off

Police-reported cybercrime in Canada, 2012
Source: Statistics Canada

The Internet is an increasingly integral part of the daily lives of Canadians. According to results from the Canadian Internet Use Survey, 83% of Canadians aged 16 and over accessed the Internet for personal use in 2012. A majority of Internet users in Canada did their banking online (72%), visited social networking sites (67%), and ordered goods and services online (56%). The total dollar value of orders placed online by Canadians reached $18.9 billion in 2012 (Statistics Canada 2013).

The rapid growth in Internet use has allowed for the emergence of new criminal opportunities (Nuth 2008). Criminal offences involving a computer or the Internet as either the target of a crime or as an instrument used to commit a crime are collectively known as cybercrime (see Text box 1). Frauds, identity theft, extortion, criminal harassment, certain sexual offences, and offences related to child pornography are among the criminal violations that can be committed over the Internet using a computer, tablet, or smart phone.

Using data from the 2012 Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey (UCR2.2), this Juristat article examines police-reported cybercrime in Canada. Analysis is presented on the number of cybercrimes reported by police services covering 80% of the population of Canada, as well as the characteristics of incidents, victims, and persons accused of cyber-related violations. These findings are supplemented with self-reported data on cyber-bullying, based on results from the 2009 General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization.

CA — A Three Year Review of Federal Inmate Suicides (2011 – 2014)

September 25, 2014 Comments off

A Three Year Review of Federal Inmate Suicides (2011 – 2014) (PDF)
Source: Office of the Correctional Investigator

Sadly, we have come to expect about ten suicide deaths each year in federal penitentiaries. Though the number of prison suicides fluctuates annually and has generally been declining, the rate has remained relatively stable in recent years and is still approximately seven times higher than in the general population. In the 20-year period from 1994-95 to 2013-14, a total of 211 federal inmates have taken their own life. Suicide is the leading cause of un-natural death among federal inmates, accounting for about 20% of all deaths in custody in any given year.

While there is no fail-safe method to predict suicide in a prison setting, there is an obligation on the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) to preserve life in custody. A comprehensive suicide awareness and prevention program increases the likelihood of identifying and safely managing suicidal inmates.

This report, part of the Office’s continuing focus on prevention of deaths in custody, consists of a comprehensive review of all completed acts of suicide (n=30) that occurred in federal penitentiaries in the three year period between April 2011 and March 2014.

Canada Pension Plan costs triple as investment board spending skyrockets

September 5, 2014 Comments off

Canada Pension Plan costs triple as investment board spending skyrockets
Source: Fraser Institute

The cost of running the Canada Pension Plan has more than tripled, the result of transaction fees and external management fees, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

The study, Accounting for the True Cost of the Canada Pension Plan, spotlights the costs of administering the CPP, which includes spending by the CPP Investment Board, a Crown corporation that manages and invests CPP assets, as well as costs incurred by the federal government to run the plan.

Between fiscal years 2006-07 and 2012-13, the total cost of running the CPP jumped to $2 billion from $600 million, despite an investment board report that claimed its operating expenses in 2012-13 were only $490 million.

Why the discrepancy? The CPP Investment Board excludes from its operating budget a) management fees it pays to external consultants, b) transaction fees associated with acquiring assets and c) costs incurred by four federal government departments.

Canadians rank highly when it comes to public science knowledge, attitudes, and engagement, finds Expert Panel

September 2, 2014 Comments off

Canadians rank highly when it comes to public science knowledge, attitudes, and engagement, finds Expert Panel
Source: Council of Canadian Academies

A new expert panel report, Science Culture: Where Canada Stands, released today by the Council of Canadian Academies, helps to paint the clearest picture of Canada’s science culture and science culture support system in 25 years. The expert panel who conducted the assessment found Canadians excel in public science knowledge, attitudes, and engagement; however they also determined there is room for improvement in some areas, including skills development.

The Expert Panel based their findings from a review of relevant literature, a new public survey of 2,000 Canadians. The report does not provide policy recommendations but rather provides evidence and insights for policy-makers and others looking to strengthen science culture, and for Canadians to better understand what science culture is, and what it means for our country.

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