Wednesday, March 25, 2009

POLICY: Statistics Canada Ready to Improve Reporting Following Long-Standing Request by The Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver Board of Trade's Rezac & Park testifying before House of Commons Justice Committee in Ottawa on urgent need for: Crime reduction measures and improvements gathering statistics. 25 Mar 09

OTTAWA/24 March 2009: STATISTICS CANANDA TELLS THE VANCOUVER BOARD OF TRADE THE AGENCY IS READY TO IMPROVE GATHERING CRIME VICTIM STATISTICS.  Statistics Canada is prepared to undertake  more frequent criminal victimization surveys, subject to funding, says Chief Statistician of Canada, Dr Munir A. Sheikh. Sheikh told Vancouver Board of Trade managing director Darcy Rezac and economist emeritus, Dave Park, that his agency has heard from the user community that the current Criminal Victimization Survey provides very useful information but would better serve users if it were more frequent. The Board’s position is that it is only conducted every five years, and should be done every year or biennially as is done in other OECD countries. The agency agreed the current survey does not provide detailed coverage of major metropolitan areas separately and could be expanded in scope, resources permitting.

"This is good news," said Park, who worked on the 2006 Kids ‘n’ Crime Report during his term at The Board. "The 2009 victims’ survey is underway right now, so we will finally have current data soon. The challenge now is for us and other users to press Treasury Board and the Justice Department to fund the estimated $4 million per year required to improve the reporting and conduct the survey annually."

The Vancouver Board of Trade has expressed the view for a number of years that better measures of crime are required for the justice system to adequately respond to the needs and expectations of the public. Victims of violent crime numbered 2.7 million Canadians in the last Statistics Canada victims’ survey in 2004, and 650,000 were injured. One Canadian in four reported being a victim of crime.

The Board's meeting with StatsCan was covered in the Globe and Mail Online 25 March 09. Also see the Board of Trade editorial, 21 July 08,  published in the Vancouver Sun and National Post, that gave rise to this meeting with StatsCan. 
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Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the Vancouver Board of Trade. This is really a landmark change to address crime. The Board has spent the last decade in the policy arena re: crime and they have hung in there thru the ebbs and flows of public support for the issue. Time will show that this clearer way of reporting crime will be one of the Board's lasting legacies, along with the Debt Clock and devolution of airports in Canada.

DarcyRezac said...