Reducing Barriers to Social Inclusion and Social Cohesion June 2013

Reducing Barriers to Social Inclusion and Social Cohesion June 2013
In from the Margins, Part II:
Reducing Barriers to Social Inclusion
and Social Cohesion
Report of the Standing
Senate Committee on
Social Affairs, Science
and Technology
June 2013
The Honourable Kelvin K. Ogilvie, Chair
The Honourable Art Eggleton, P.C., Deputy Chair
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Ce rapport est également offert en français
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ORDER OF REFERENCE ............................................................................................................ vi
MEMBERS ................................................................................................................................... vii
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ......................................................................................................... viii
INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................................... 1
An Urban Lens ........................................................................................................................ 1
Previous Studies and Reports .................................................................................................. 2
Methodology: The Committee’s Approach................................................................................. 3
Historical Perspective: Towards a More Inclusive, Cohesive Canada .................................... 4
CHAPTER ONE: DEFINING SOCIAL INCLUSION AND SOCIAL COHESION .................... 6
Introduction ................................................................................................................................. 6
Social Inclusion and Social Cohesion ..................................................................................... 7
Intersectionality ....................................................................................................................... 8
Measuring and Assessing Social Inclusion and Cohesion ...................................................... 9
CHAPTER TWO: GROUPS AT RISK OF SOCIAL EXCLUSION ........................................... 12
Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 12
Building an Inclusive Canada: A General Approach ................................................................ 12
Address Basic Needs First ..................................................................................................... 12
Ensure Consultation and Participation in Decision-making Bodies...................................... 13
Encourage Political Engagement ........................................................................................... 15
Governments Have a Role Providing Infrastructure that Facilitates Inclusion ..................... 15
Federal Government Can Provide Leadership ...................................................................... 16
Avoid One-Size-Fits-All Solutions ....................................................................................... 16
Facilitating Inclusion for Everyone ....................................................................................... 17
CHAPTER THREE: RECENT IMMIGRANTS .......................................................................... 18
Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 18
Immigrant Settlement Patterns .................................................................................................. 19
Recent Immigrants and Social Inclusion ................................................................................... 21
Social Integration of Immigrants: The Views of Immigrants ............................................... 22
Immigrant Selection .................................................................................................................. 23
Settlement .................................................................................................................................. 24
Pre-arrival Services Provided in Countries of Origin............................................................ 24
Language Challenges and Programs ..................................................................................... 27
Immigrant Women................................................................................................................. 30
The Role of Cities ..................................................................................................................... 33
Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement and Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPS) ....... 34
Enclaves ................................................................................................................................. 35
New Canadians and Civic Engagement .................................................................................... 38
Economic Integration of Recent Immigrants ............................................................................ 39
Credentials and Credentialism ............................................................................................... 41
The Federal Government and Immigrant Labour Market Integration ................................... 41
The Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO), Citizenship and Immigration Canada .... 42
Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Program – Human Resources and Skills
Development Canada............................................................................................................. 43
The Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign
Qualifications ........................................................................................................................ 44
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Beyond the First Generation: The Children of Immigrants ...................................................... 44
Generational Differences ....................................................................................................... 46
CHAPTER FOUR: VISIBLE MINORITIES ............................................................................... 49
Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 49
Economic Inclusion ................................................................................................................... 52
Social Inclusion ......................................................................................................................... 53
CHAPTER FIVE: RELIGIOUS MINORITIES ........................................................................... 58
Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 58
The Charter and Religious Minorities ................................................................................... 59
Victimization and Discrimination ......................................................................................... 59
Secularism: Open and Closed ................................................................................................ 60
The Role of the Federal Government ........................................................................................ 61
CHAPTER SIX: URBAN ABORIGINAL CANADIANS .......................................................... 63
Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 63
Aboriginal Canadians: A Profile ........................................................................................... 63
A Diverse Population ............................................................................................................ 64
Jurisdictional Issues ............................................................................................................... 65
Aboriginal Canadians in Urban Centres.................................................................................... 68
Urban Aboriginal Women ..................................................................................................... 69
Urban Aboriginal Youth ........................................................................................................ 69
Educational Attainment ......................................................................................................... 70
Aboriginal Youth Gangs........................................................................................................ 72
The Youth Gang Prevention Fund ......................................................................................... 74
Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth (CCAY) Program ............................................ 74
The Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS).................................................................................. 75
Making the Transition to Urban Life..................................................................................... 79
Economic inclusion ................................................................................................................... 80
Challenging Trends ............................................................................................................... 81
Private Sector Involvement ................................................................................................... 83
Barriers to Aboriginal Economic Inclusion ........................................................................... 84
Racism and Prejudice ............................................................................................................ 85
Initiatives to Increase Aboriginal Economic and Business Development............................. 86
The Aboriginal Affairs Working Group (AAWG) ................................................................ 89
Service Providers: Federal Government Involvement .......................................................... 90
Aboriginal Friendship Centres .............................................................................................. 91
CHAPTER SEVEN: CANADIANS WITH DISABILITIES ....................................................... 94
Introduction ............................................................................................................................... 94
Social and economic inclusion .................................................................................................. 95
Federal Government Involvement ............................................................................................. 96
Bilateral Labour Market Agreements .................................................................................... 96
Disability Tax Credit ............................................................................................................. 97
Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities ................................................................. 98
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities .................................................. 99
Employment Opportunities for Canadians with Disabilities..................................................... 99
The Federal Government ....................................................................................................... 99
Private Sector Employers .................................................................................................... 100
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CHAPTER EIGHT: YOUTH AND SENIORS .......................................................................... 101
Youth ....................................................................................................................................... 101
Youth and Social Inclusion ................................................................................................. 101
Recommendations ................................................................................................................... 102
Seniors ..................................................................................................................................... 103
Seniors and Poverty ............................................................................................................. 104
Seniors in Urban Centres ..................................................................................................... 105
Elder Abuse Awareness ....................................................................................................... 106
The New Horizons for Seniors Program ............................................................................. 106
CHAPTER NINE: SEXUAL MINORITIES .............................................................................. 108
Introduction ............................................................................................................................. 108
Victimization and Discrimination ....................................................................................... 109
Legal Rights and Protections for LGBT People .................................................................. 109
Social Inclusion for Sexual Minorities: What Needs to be done......................................... 110
CHAPTER TEN: BUILDING SAFER COMMUNITIES ......................................................... 112
Introduction ............................................................................................................................. 112
Crime Levels in Canada .......................................................................................................... 112
Perceptions of Crime ........................................................................................................... 114
Crime and Canadians Vulnerable To Exclusion ..................................................................... 115
Urban Aboriginal People ..................................................................................................... 116
Women ................................................................................................................................ 118
Immigrants and Visible Minorities ...................................................................................... 121
Canadians with Disabilities ................................................................................................. 122
Crime and its Victims.............................................................................................................. 124
Government Support for Victims ........................................................................................ 124
Canadian Police Services: Recruitment and Retention of Groups at Risk of Exclusion..... 125
Federal Government Crime Prevention Initiatives .............................................................. 127
Smart Policing: Prevention and Intervention, Enforcement and Incarceration ................... 128
Collaboration ....................................................................................................................... 129
Early Intervention ................................................................................................................ 130
The Cost of Building Safer Communities ............................................................................... 130
Federal Government Coordination and Other Roles ........................................................... 131
Returning to the Community ................................................................................................... 132
Public Transit: Enhancing Safety and Mobility in Canadian Cities .................................... 133
CHAPTER ELEVEN: THE INCOME GAP AND MOVING UP THE INCOME LADDER .. 136
Introduction ............................................................................................................................. 136
Measuring Income Inequality.................................................................................................. 137
Income Inequality in Canada ............................................................................................... 137
The Impact of Taxes and Transfers on Income Inequality .................................................. 140
The Potential Consequences of Income Inequality ............................................................. 141
Middle-Income Canadians................................................................................................... 142
Impact on Canadian Cities................................................................................................... 143
Economic Mobility .............................................................................................................. 143
Recommendations ................................................................................................................... 146
APPENDIX A – LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS................................................................. 150
APPENDIX B – RECOMMENDATIONS FROM PREVIOUS REPORTS ............................. 156
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APPENDIX C – WITNESSES ................................................................................................... 169
APPENDIX D – PROMISING PRACTICES ........................................................................... 172
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ORDER OF REFERENCE
Extract from the Journals of the Senate, Tuesday, November 22, 2011:
The Honourable Senator Ogilvie, pursuant to notice of November 17, 2011, moved:
That the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology be
authorized to examine and report on social inclusion and cohesion in Canada;
That the study be national in scope, and include a focus on solutions, with an emphasis on
collaborative strategies involving federal, provincial and municipal governments;
That the papers and evidence received and taken and work accomplished by the committee
on this subject since the beginning of the First Session of the Thirty-Ninth Parliament be
referred to the committee; and
That the committee submits its final report no later than June 30, 2012, and that the
committee retains all powers necessary to publicize its findings until 180 days after the
tabling of the final report.
The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.
Extract from the Journals of the Senate, Thursday, June 21, 2012:
The Honourable Senator Ogilvie moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Frum:
That notwithstanding the Order of the Senate adopted on November 22, 2011, the date for the
presentation of the final report by the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science
and Technology on social inclusion and cohesion in Canada, be extended from June 30, 2012
to December 31, 2012.
The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.
Extract from the Journals of the Senate, Wednesday, December 5, 2012:
The Honourable Senator Ogilvie moved, seconded by the Honourable Senator Rivard:
That notwithstanding the Order of the Senate adopted on June 21, 2012, the date for the
presentation of the final report by the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science
and Technology on social inclusion and cohesion in Canada be extended from December 31,
2012 to June 30, 2013.
After debate,
The question being put on the motion, it was adopted.
Gary W. O’Brien
Clerk of the Senate
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MEMBERS
The Honourable Kelvin Kenneth Ogilvie, Chair
The Honourable Art Eggleton, P.C., Deputy Chair
The Honourable Senators:
Jane Cordy
Lillian Eva Dyck
Nicole Eaton
Tobias Enverga
Yonah Martin
Pana Merchant
Jim Munson
Judith Seidman
Asha Seth
Josée Verner, P.C.
Ex Officio Members:
The Honourable Senators Marjory LeBreton, P.C. (or Claude Carignan) and James Cowan (or
Claudette Tardif).
Other Senators who have participated from time to time in the study:
The Honourable Senators Braley, Callbeck, Champagne, P.C., Demers, Housakos, Meredith
Nancy and Wallace.
Parliamentary Information and Research Services, Library of Parliament:
Brian O’Neal, Brian Hermon and James Gauthier, Analysts.
Clerk of the Committee:
Jessica Richardson.
Senate Committees Directorate:
Diane McMartin, administrative assistant.
vii
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
INTRODUCTION
In November 2011, the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and
Technology received an order of reference from the Senate “to examine and report on social
inclusion and cohesion in Canada.” Continuing from its earlier study on social conditions in
Canadian cities, the committee built upon the testimony from more than 170 witnesses, who
contributed to the earlier report, In from the Margins: A Call to Action on Poverty, Housing and
Homelessness, tabled in December 2009. With testimony from more than 65 witnesses over two
Parliaments, the committee has now completed its second report, entitled In from the Margins,
Part II: Reducing Barriers to Social Inclusion and Social Cohesion.
As in its earlier study, and the committee’s report on access to post-secondary education,
statistical evidence, testimony during hearings and written submissions identified particular
groups that are vulnerable to economic and social marginalization. These groups include recent
immigrants, visible minorities, religious minorities, sexual minorities, urban Aboriginal peoples,
and individuals with disabilities. In addition, the committee heard that youth and seniors also
face barriers to social inclusion in their communities. For each of these groups, the committee
learned about particular barriers, current initiatives intended to reduce and eliminate these
barriers, and persistent challenges that remain. The committee has made recommendations to
support these groups in overcoming remaining hurdles to their inclusion, with a particular focus
on income mobility as a route to greater equality and inclusion.
The committee also recognizes that urban safety and upward income mobility are
prerequisites to social inclusion, and has included these themes in this study.
In this Executive Summary, recommendations are abbreviated, but are understood to be
directed to the Government of Canada and to be cognizant of existing programs and operational
constraints.
RECENT IMMIGRANTS
Canada welcomes approximately 250,000 newcomers to Canada as permanent residents,
many of whom become citizens over time. While historically Canada’s immigration came
primarily from western European countries, increasingly these newcomers also join racial
minorities within Canada, and may be less skilled in either of Canada’s official languages. The
committee heard that highly educated recent immigrants face barriers to working in their fields
of expertise, and, in contrast to historical trends, immigrants in general are not achieving the
same levels of economic returns as Canadian-born citizens.
The committee heard that selection processes are being modified to place greater emphasis
on official language proficiency, that efforts are continuing to expedite the recognition of the
foreign-earned credentials of skilled immigrants and that pre-departure services are being
expanded and have shown greater promise in facilitating the social and economic integration of
viii
recent immigrants. The committee recommends enhancement of these initiatives to support
greater social inclusion.
For recent immigrants who need support to develop official language proficiency, the
committee recommends that access to these services, especially for parents with young children,
be expanded.
The committee learned that some recent immigrants are settling in communities that are at
greater risk of exclusion because of poverty and the absence of links to employment and social
engagement. To overcome these challenges, the committee recommends partnerships with
municipal and provincial governments to expand the existing Local Immigration Partnership
model, in order to support newcomers and their neighbourhoods that are at heightened risk of
exclusion. The committee also recommends that such partnerships be used to promote both civic
awareness and civic participation among recent immigrants.
VISIBLE MINORITIES
As noted above, an increasing proportion of newcomers to Canada are visible minorities;
however, the presence of visible minorities pre-dates Confederation. Yet, the committee learned
that visible minorities continue to face challenges to full participation in Canadian society,
particularly with respect to employment opportunities. As the visible minority population
increased by more than a million people from 2001 to 2005, the projections are that by 2031,
almost one-quarter of the Canadian population will be non-Caucasian.
Labour force participation rates for visible minorities are lower than for non-visible
minorities. Similarly, among visible minorities seeking work, the unemployment rate is higher
than for their Caucasian counterparts. Low incomes, precarious employment and higher rates of
unemployment among visible minorities, most of whom live in Canada’s cities, result in higher
levels of poverty relative to non-visible minorities.
Witnesses told the committee that higher levels of participation by visible minorities in
organizations that contribute to the development of public policy at all levels was an important
step in increasing social inclusion for this population. The committee agrees and calls for federal
government support initiatives to achieve this goal. Witnesses also told the committee that
persistent racism plays a role in the social exclusion of this population; the committee
recommends a continuation of federal efforts to combat racism and encourage provincial and
territorial governments to develop a national comprehensive education policy to challenge and
address racism, other forms of intolerance, and the bullying that can result.
Although the Public Service Employment Act requires the representation of visible
minorities in the federal public service hiring and retention practices to achieve participation that
reflect their labour force availability, the committee learned that this group continues to be
under-represented in the public service. The committee recommends an acceleration of hiring
and staffing process for visible minorities and other groups identified in the Act, and that
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federally regulated industries be invited to hire and retain members of these groups in proportion
to their workforce availability.
RELIGIOUS MINORITIES
In recent years, the percentage of Canadians who identify themselves as Protestant or
Catholic has remained high, but the composition of those identifying themselves as adhering to a
minority denomination increased substantially from 1991 to 2001. Most notably, there was an
increase of approximately 90% or more among Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs. Despite Canada’s
history of religious tolerance, the committee learned that almost 400 hate crimes reported to
police in 2010 were motivated by religious intolerance.
The committee noted the protections offered by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and
the establishment of a permanent federal program to provide financial support to groups at risk
of hate-motivated crime.
URBAN ABORIGINAL CANADIANS
The committee heard of the persistent barriers faced by Canada’s Aboriginal peoples living
in cities, including poorer health, education, social and economic outcomes relative to their nonAboriginal counterparts. The committee also learned that the demographic profile of Aboriginal
peoples continues to show a younger population than among Canadians in general, and an
increase in the proportion of older Aboriginal peoples as well.
The diversity among Aboriginal peoples – comprising First Nations, Inuit and Métis – was
highlighted in testimony before the committee. The committee also heard of a growing
proportion of Aboriginal peoples moving to cities, and the widely varying proportion of
Aboriginal peoples among Canadian cities. Although the legal interpretations of the definition of
“Aboriginal” under the Constitution have been the subject of litigation that continues, witnesses
told the committee that determining jurisdiction could not delay action to address the needs of
Aboriginal peoples in our cities.
The committee and its witnesses also focused on the participation of young Aboriginal
people in youth gangs in Canadian cities. Witnesses linked this participation to poverty and
exclusion, and told the committee that Aboriginal organizations and services were underresourced to respond fully. Although federal funding is available in the Youth Gang Prevention
Fund, the committee recommends that national Aboriginal organizations be consulted and
informed about how these funds could be accessible to and effective for activities among
Aboriginal youth.
A recurring theme in testimony was that existing federal programs would be more effective
if they were developed and implemented in closer co-operation with existing Aboriginal
organizations. The committee recommends that Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
work with the National Association of Friendship centres in delivering the Cultural Connections
for Aboriginal Youth Program and in supporting transition services for Aboriginal peoples
x
moving to cities. The committee calls for increased collaboration within the Urban Aboriginal
Strategy, both with respect to improving distributional fairness and coordination on the
community steering committees developed under the Strategy and with a view to working with
other governments to expand the Urban Aboriginal Strategy beyond its current reach in 13
communities. The committee also recommends a review of core funding under the Aboriginal
Friendship Centre Program and, where warranted, adjustments in funding to appropriate levels.
The urgency of improving educational outcomes for Aboriginal peoples was an echo of
testimony heard during earlier committee studies. Access to post-secondary education and
training was identified by witnesses and endorsed by committee members as one of the best
opportunities for social and economic inclusion of Aboriginal peoples.
Witnesses also identified the need to increase both employment opportunities and
entrepreneurial pursuits among young Aboriginal peoples. The Committee recommends
continued emphasis by the federal government on ensuring that Aboriginal youth access skills
training and employment opportunities, and co-operation with private sector partners to enhance
such opportunities in all sectors of the Canadian economy.
With respect to the encouragement of entrepreneurial opportunities for Aboriginal peoples,
the committee calls for co-operation with provincial and territorial governments to work with
national Aboriginal organizations to support new and existing Aboriginal businesses. The
committee also recommends that federal partnership with these organizations focus on skills
development appropriate to the needs of Aboriginal entrepreneurs and their businesses.
The committee recommends that the federal government explore its participation in the
Aboriginal Affairs Working Group currently bringing together ministers and officials from
provincial and territorial governments to discuss and address the broad range of needs and
interests of Aboriginal Canadians.
CANADIANS WITH DISABILITIES
Approximately one in seven Canadians reported a disability in 2006, a significant increase
over five years earlier. While the aging of the population was reported to have accounted for part
of the increase, Statistics Canada indicated that the changing perception of disability may have
contributed to more individuals being willing to report a disability.
The committee heard that one in five working-age persons with disabilities had a low
income in 2006, about twice the rate for persons without disabilities. Human Resources
Development Canada (HRSDC) reported in 2010 that the average income of working-age
persons with disabilities was 20% lower than their non-disabled counterparts. This differential,
combined with the impairments associated with disabilities, make inclusion of persons with
disabilities a challenge in Canada’s cities.
xi
Federal initiatives have included the introduction of the Registered Disability Savings Plan,
bilateral Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities, the non-refundable Disability
Tax Credit, the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities and ratification of the United
Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
To improve the reach and effectiveness of these initiatives, the committee recommends
reporting on allocations to and achievements of the Opportunities Fund for Persons with
Disabilities in the HRSDC Departmental Performance Report, monitoring of the implementation
of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with provincial and territorial
partners and continued collaboration with provincial and territorial governments to identify and
implement measures to encourage and support persons with disabilities to enter the labour
market.
YOUTH AND SENIORS
The committee heard that Canadians at both ends of the age spectrum experience
challenges to inclusion.
Younger Canadians are a declining portion of the population and an increasingly diverse
group. The committee heard about an innovative program to engage youth in problem-solving by
including them in local decision-making bodies. Recognizing a wide range of federal programs
that are intended to support youth who may be unemployed, Aboriginal, disabled or newcomers,
the committee recommends that information about these programs be communicated in youthfriendly language and through social media.
Based on this and past studies, the committee is aware of the challenges facing youth in
their transition to employment particularly following the recession, and recommends federal
collaboration with provincial and territorial governments to support this transition with programs
that increase opportunities with respect to training, apprenticeship and other programs that
increase labour mobility. The committee also recommends that the government consider tax
incentives for companies that hire and invest in young Canadians.
The proportion of Canadians over the age of 65 is increasing, and this population is
increasingly diverse. The population is also increasingly urban, making the World Health
Organization’s Age-Friendly Cities initiative particularly relevant.
Their social inclusion is affected by their income and health status. Statistics Canada
reported in 2006 that the financial situation of older Canadians had been improving for 25 years.
The committee also heard that the proportion of seniors in low income had risen from the 1990s
to the mid-200os.
Federal initiatives with respect to seniors have included support for that initiative, along
with the New Horizons for Seniors Program and an awareness campaign with respect to elder
abuse. The committee recommends that the government’s efforts to raise public awareness about
xii
elder abuse devote particular attention to reaching seniors who are living independently or in
isolation.
SEXUAL MINORITIES
While lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are also a diverse group with
respect to age, ethno-racial background, gender and socio-economic status, the committee
learned that specific demographic data with respect to sexual minorities is limited. However,
police data indicate an increase in hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation, which accounted
for approximately one in six hate crimes in 2008. Other studies report that more than half of
LGBT youth have been verbally harassed about their sexual orientation and that these youth are
more likely to have experienced physical and sexual abuse, harassment in school, and
discrimination in their communities than their heterosexual counterparts.
The committee heard that the “invisibility” of sexual minorities has contributed to a dearth
of federal and other programs intended to overcome these challenges to inclusion. The
committee recommends that the federal government recognize sexual minorities as a distinct
minority, like other cultural, linguistic and ethnic communities, to support their inclusion in all
federal programs policies designed to support minorities. The committee also recommends that
identity and gender expression be included in the hate crime provisions of the Criminal Code of
Canada as aggravating circumstances to be taken into consideration in sentencing.
COMMUNITY SAFETY
The committee recognizes that safe cities and community spaces within them are necessary
elements to social inclusion and that many of those vulnerable to exclusion are also vulnerable to
crime, e.g., seniors and persons with disabilities. Aggregated crime data indicate that the level of
crimes reported to police is dropping in Canada, yet self-reported victimization surveys show
that most incidents of victimization are not reported to police and not included in the declining
rates of police-reported crimes.
While most Canadians report feeling safe in their communities, with more than 90% of all
Canadians over the age of 15 satisfied with their personal safety from crime, just over half felt
safe using public transit. The committee heard that women are over-represented among victims
of certain types of crime, notably criminal harassment, and recommends support for awareness
and education programs to combat sexual assault and harassment, including cyber-bullying.
Aboriginal peoples, people with a disability and sexual minorities are also over-represented
among victims of crime.
Some of these groups, along with visible minorities, have also reported less satisfaction
than the rest of the population with police services and the criminal justice system. Recognizing
the increasing diversity of some police forces, the committee recommends federal government
support for the diversification efforts being made by these forces.
xiii
Testimony from police and academic witnesses highlighted the importance of crime
prevention to reduce victimization and costs, and to increase both the safety and the perception
of safety in Canadian communities. The committee recommends that an increased proportion of
the federal criminal justice budget be devoted to crime prevention.
The committee also heard testimony about the need to ensure public safety when offenders
have completed their sentences and are seeking integration into communities. With a view to
rehabilitation of offenders, the committee recommends offering small incentives to offenders to
receive further education and training while incarcerated to increase employment options on
release; making addiction treatment mandatory for inmates with addictions in federal institutions.
The committee recommends and facilitating and increasing access to mental health services for
offenders to increase integration into the community.
Safe and efficient urban transit systems promote and enhance community safety. This is
particularly important to those individuals who cannot afford private transportation options,
many of whom are in groups at high risk of social exclusion. Recognizing existing federal
support for municipal transit systems, the committee recommends federal encouragement of
provincial and territorial governments to identify and develop urban transit strategies; the
introduction of a tax-exempt status for employer-provided transit benefits; and consideration of
additional allocations from the Gas Tax Fund specifically to transit capital investment.
THE INCOME GAP AND MOVING UP THE INCOME LADDER
Relatively high rates of low income are common among groups at risk of social exclusion
and may reflect limited resources needed for full participation in community life. Although there
is some debate as to the mechanics of measurement of income inequality, witnesses described
increased income inequality and its correlation to a lower share of income for less-skilled
workers and a larger share for higher skilled workers. Tax systems and income support for lower
income people has reduced the gap, but not as much in recent years.
With this polarization, mobility up the income ladder becomes more important. The
evidence before the committee suggested that while upward income mobility was somewhat
limited within one lifetime, it is still relatively high from one generation to the next. To support
income mobility, the committee recommends consideration of an increase in the value of and
specific expansion of eligibility for the Working Income Tax Benefit.
Recognizing that public policy has been credited with supporting intergenerational income
mobility, the committee also recommends a review of the Income Tax Act and its application to
ensure progressivity and fairness and that this review pay particular attention to the role of the
tax system in reducing income inequality, improving the circumstances of low-income
Canadians and stimulating job creation.
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CONCLUSION
Over the life of this study, the committee fulfilled the requirements of the Order of
Reference from the Senate: to examine social inclusion in Canada. With national, provincial,
regional and local witnesses and data, the committee has focused on solutions and collaboration
among governments, has taken into account the body of work of the committee prior to this
study and submits this report of the committee’s findings and recommendations.
xv
FROM MARGINS TO MAINSTREAM:
TOWARDS A MORE INCLUSIVE AND COHESIVE CANADA
INTRODUCTION
In November 2011, the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and
Technology (the committee) received an Order of Reference from the Senate requesting that it
examine and report on social inclusion and cohesion in Canada. The Order of Reference
represented a continuance of a previous Reference under which the committee conducted a
comprehensive and detailed examination of poverty, housing and homelessness in major urban
centres; that study began in May 2007.
During its poverty, housing and homelessness study, the committee heard from over 170
witnesses and conducted several site visits in communities across Canada. In 2008, the
committee tabled an interim report1 in which it set forth the challenges facing low-income
Canadians along with possible ways of meeting those challenges. In December 2009, the
committee concluded its study with the tabling of a report entitled In from the Margins: A Call to
Action on Poverty, Housing and Homelessness.2
In the report that follows, the committee presents its findings and recommendations derived
from its study in which it examined social inclusion and social cohesion in Canada.
An Urban Lens
The majority of Canadians live in cities. What began as an overwhelmingly rural society in
the 18th century is now an overwhelmingly urban one in the 21st. As a 2011 report indicated, 15.3
million Canadians 18 years of age and older currently live in this country’s major urban areas.
Ninety per cent of immigrants reside in these cities as do 96% of Canada’s visible minorities.
Furthermore, $17.5 billion in personal income, $910 billion in GDP, and over 74% of 2009
employment growth were generated in Canada’s cities.3 Results of the 2011 Census show that
the trend towards increasing population concentration in Canadian cities is continuing, with more
than 23.1 million people – nearly seven Canadians in 10 (69.1%) – living in one of Canada’s 33
census metropolitan areas (CMAs), an increase from the previous 2006 Census when 68.1% of
the population lived in urban centres.4 Therefore, to the extent that Canada is now an urban
1
Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, Poverty, Housing and Homelessness:
Issues and Options, 17th Report, 39th Parliament, 2nd Session, 26 June 2008,
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/392/soci/rep/rep17jun08-e.htm
2
Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, In From the Margins: A Call to Action on
Poverty, Housing and Homelessness, 13th Report, 40th Parliament, 2nd Session, , 9 December 2009.
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/402/citi/rep/rep02dec09-e.pdf
3
The Martin Prosperity Institute, Who Cares About 15 Million Urban Voters? Toronto, 13 April 2011, p. 3,
http://martinprosperity.org/2011/04/13/who-cares-about-15-million-urban-voters/
4
Statistics Canada, The Canadian Population in 2011: Population Counts and Growth, Catalogue no. 98-310X2011001, February 2012, p.3, http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/as-sa/98-310-x/98-310x2011001-eng.cfm. Statistics Canada defines a Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) as an area consisting of one or
1
country, the social and economic challenges this country faces are – and will continue to be –
shaped by events occurring in its urban centres. Accordingly, the committee decided to view
social inclusion and social cohesion in Canada through an urban lens.
At the same time, the committee recognizes that rural Canada is intimately affected by the
conditions that exist within cities. Urban economies have an enormous impact on surrounding
rural communities. Cities are markets for rural goods and each working day, thousands of
Canadians commute from rural homes to earn their living in urban centres. While there, they rely
on municipal services such as police and fire services to keep them safe, and city infrastructure
for transportation and recreation. They also interact with city dwellers socially as well as
professionally. Others have taken up residence in cities which offer easier access to services. In
summary, what happens in Canadian cities is of direct importance to all Canadians.
Previous Studies and Reports
In a subsequent section of this report, the committee will explain what it means by “social
inclusion” and “social cohesion.” Prior to that, however, it wishes to point out that its intention is
to highlight successful efforts by all sectors of Canadian society to engage more fully those
Canadians who, for a variety of reasons, find themselves on the margins and lacking in influence
over the major decisions affecting their lives. Furthermore, through evidence garnered from
research and testimony by witnesses, and by building on examples of success, the committee will
offer recommendations designed to try to make Canada more inclusive and cohesive.
The current study fits within a pattern of previous studies and reports related to social
inclusion and cohesion. In May 2006, the committee tabled its landmark report Out of the
Shadows at Last: Transforming Mental Health, Mental Illness and Addiction Services in Canada
(Kirby Report) in which it drew attention to the needs of Canadians particularly vulnerable to
social exclusion; those who suffer from mental illness and addictions.5 In 2006 and 2007, the
committee examined the challenges confronting autistic children and their parents. In March
2007, the committee tabled its report containing its findings and recommendations designed to
provide better support and bring the needs of these Canadians to public attention.6 In 2008-09, in
recognition that Canada’s future depends upon its children, the committee studied the state of
early childhood education and called for changes to ensure that young Canadians get the best
more neighbouring municipalities situated around a core. The CMA must have a total population of at least
100,000 of which 50,000 live in the core.
5
Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, Out of the Shadows at Last: Transforming
Mental Health, Mental Illness and Addiction Services in Canada, 2nd Report, 39th Parliament, 1st Session, May
2006, http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/391/soci/rep/pdf/rep02may06part1-e.pdf;
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/391/soci/rep/pdf/rep02may06part2-e.pdf
6
Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, Pay Now or Pay Later: Autism Families in
Crisis, 12th Report, 39th Parliament, 1st Session, March 2007.
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/391/soci/rep/repfinmar07-e.pdf
2
possible start on the pathway to lifelong learning.7 In 2010-2011 the committee explored and
reported on access to post-secondary education in Canada, acknowledging its importance to
Canada and recognizing that educational attainment is critical to facilitating entry into the labour
market and thus greater inclusion, particularly for those on the margins.8 More recently, the
committee examined the 2004 10-Year Plan to Strengthen Health Care and the Communiqué on
Improving Aboriginal Health. Cognizant of the important role of health care in supporting social
inclusion and cohesion, the committee proposed measures to improve access to, and the
efficiency of, Canada’s health care system.9 Collectively, these studies and reports, along with
the recommendations they contain, point towards a Canada that is more inclusive and cohesive.
The committee will thus highlight select recommendations from its previous studies in the report
that follows.
METHODOLOGY: THE COMMITTEE’S APPROACH
The committee conducted its study of social inclusion and social cohesion in two phases.
During the first phase, which took place prior to the general election of May 2011, the committee
held six meetings during which it heard from 27 witnesses, including academics and
representatives from policy institutes, professional organizations, municipal governments,
federal departments and agencies, and organizations representing those most vulnerable to
exclusion. When Parliament reconvened following the 2011 general election, the committee
held an additional six meetings at which it heard from 28 witnesses. A list of these witnesses, the
organizations they represent, and the date they appeared before the committee is included in
Appendix C of this report. In addition to oral testimony, the committee received a total of
approximately 29 written submissions.10
It should be noted that in the report that follows, the committee makes a number of
recommendations that address areas in which the constitutional authority to act is either shared
between the federal and provincial/territorial governments, or is under the exclusive authority of
the latter. The committee wishes to stress that in those instances, its recommendations are not
intended to infringe upon provincial/territorial constitutional authority.
7
Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, Early Childhood Education and Care:
Next Steps, 5th Report, 39th Parliament, 2nd Session, April 2009,
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/402/soci/rep/rep05apr09-e.pdf
8
Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, Opening the Door: Reducing Barriers to
Post-Secondary Education in Canada, 6th Report, 41st Parliament, 1st Session, December 2011,
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/411/SOCI/DPK_PSE/home-e.htm
9
Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, Time for Transformative Change: A
Review of the 2004 Health Accord, 7th Report, 41st Parliament, 1st Session, March 2012,
http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/411/soci/rep/rep07mar12-e.pdf
10
Note that many of these submissions consisted of the texts of opening statements made by witnesses before the
committee.
3
Historical Perspective: Towards a More Inclusive, Cohesive Canada
[A] lot of Canadians do not know much about the past. Because of that, they do
not know where we are today.11
In presenting this report, the committee recognizes that regardless of regrettable instances
and practices in the past and continuing challenges today, Canada and Canadians have made and
continue to make significant progress toward a more inclusive and cohesive society.
The right, for example, to cast a ballot in free and fair elections is a defining characteristic
of citizenship in a modern democracy. What began as a restrictive franchise that denied the vote
to women, Aboriginal Canadians, certain religious and ethnic groups, and others, has been
expanded. Canadian citizens 18 years of age and older now can cast a ballot for representatives
at the federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal levels.12
Legal guarantees of basic rights have also been adopted. On 10 August 1962, Canada’s first
Bill of Rights was enacted by the Government of Canada. The Canadian Bill of Rights gave
Canadians, for the first time, certain rights in relation to federal statutes. Twenty years later, the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guaranteeing political and civil rights was entrenched
in the Canadian Constitution and signed into law by Queen Elizabeth II.
Canada has also accepted accountability for previous acts of marginalization. On 22
September 1982, the Prime Minister apologized to Canadians of Japanese ancestry for their
treatment during the Second World War and provided compensation for some of their losses.13 In
June 2006, the Prime Minister issued an apology to Canadians of Chinese ancestry for the
imposition of a head tax on Chinese immigrants between 1923 and 1947.14 More recently, in
2009, Aboriginal Canadians received a formal apology from the Prime Minister on behalf of the
federal government and all Canadians for the abuses that occurred in the residential school
system.15 As these, and other examples mentioned in the report that follows show, Canada and
Canadians are moving toward a society in which economic and social inclusion are increasingly
open to all.
Yet while Canada has become more inclusive over time, it would not be accurate to state
that marginalization and exclusion have been eradicated. Individual chapters in this report will
11
Evidence, 7 March 2012, Avvy Go.
For a comprehensive history of Canada’s expanding franchise, please see Elections Canada, A History of the Vote
in Canada, http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=res&dir=his&document=index&lang=e
13
See an account of this apology in Internment and Redress: The Japanese Canadian Experience: A Resource Guide
for Social Studies 11 Teachers, p. 23.
http://www.japanesecanadianhistory.net/GuideExcerptsForSocialStudies11.pdf
14
Prime Minister of Canada, “Prime Minister Harper offers full apology for the Chinese Head Tax,” 22 June 2006,
http://www.pm.gc.ca/eng/media.asp?id=1219
15
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, “Prime Minister Harper offers full apology on behalf of
Canadians for the Indian Residential School system,” 11 June 2008, http://www.aadncaandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100015644
12
4
point to areas in which more work needs to be done; contemporary examples show that social
exclusion remains a challenge to overcome. As this report will show, Canadians among those
groups most vulnerable to exclusion still encounter significant obstacles to becoming fully
included in the communities and country in which they live.
5
CHAPTER ONE: DEFINING SOCIAL INCLUSION AND SOCIAL COHESION
It is about inclusion, opportunity, participation, shared values and shared prosperity,
building on the successes and innovation in local communities. These are the things that
tie us together. It can be as simple as having a library to walk to in your community or as
complex as ensuring that all buildings in it are accessible to people living with
disabilities, having programs that support new Canadians, creating good quality jobs and
meaningful opportunities that lift people out of poverty. It is about ensuring the best start
for kids and creating meaningful opportunities 1for the full participation of every
Canadian, regardless of postal code, privilege or circumstance.
Peggy Taillon, President and CEO,
Canadian Council on Social Development,
Evidence, 15 February 2012
INTRODUCTION
In North America, social inclusion is a relatively new concept while in the European
Union and other jurisdictions such as Australia, it has been in common use for some time.16 In
Canada, the term is still in evolution.
The concept of social inclusion is closely linked to that of social exclusion. The concept of
social exclusion emerged in Europe in the 1970s to describe the growing economic gap between
certain groups in society.17 At first, social exclusion had primarily an economic dimension and
was associated with poverty. Over time, however, the concept was expanded to encompass other
dimensions (social, cultural and political), and has come to include the various barriers that
prevent individuals from participating fully in society. Social inclusion, on the other hand, could
be defined as “the situation in which individuals or communities (both physical and
demographic) are fully involved in the society in which they reside, including the economic,
social, cultural and political dimensions of that society.”18
Professor Fran Klodawsky of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at
Carleton University emphasized that social inclusion is not solely about having sufficient
financial resources, but about having ties and engagement with one’s community, about
contributing to the life of the community and having that contribution acknowledged. As she
16
Evidence, 15 February 2012, Alain Mercier.
Anver Saloojee, Social Inclusion, Anti-Racism and Democratic Citizenship, Perspectives on Social Inclusion,
Laidlaw Foundation, 2003, p. viii,
http://www.laidlawfdn.org/sites/default/files/laidlaw_publications/working_papers_social_inclusion/wpsosi_2003
_jan_social-inclusion-anti-racism.pdf.; Ilene Hyman, Rubin Mercado, Grace-Edward Galabuzi and Dianne
Patychuk, “A Critical Review of Social Exclusion and Inclusion Indicators: Implications for the Development of a
Canadian Framework,” in Social Statistics, Poverty and Social Exclusion: Perspectives from Quebec, Canada and
Abroad, Paul Bernard et al (eds). Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal , 2011.
18
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Urban Form and Social Inclusion, 2007, p. 2, http://www.cmhcschl.gc.ca/odpub/pdf/65429.pdf?fr=1296000944296.
17
6
stated, “inclusion is about feeling part of things, and feeling part of things means that you are
connected to others; you are not isolated.”19 Other witnesses added that social inclusion also
involves choice and access to opportunity.
Importantly, social inclusion involves more than entitlement or the rights of citizens to
belong and be recognized. Social inclusion also encompasses social obligation. As Natasha
Blanchet-Cohen, Assistant Professor, International Institute for Child Rights and Development
indicated with reference to youth:
....being inclusive is not just about creating opportunities for young
people to participate in the local community as it currently exists;
it is about belonging and contribution, about being fully a citizen
with rights and obligations. 20
Lastly, Ratna Omidvar, President of the Maytree Foundation,21 emphasized that the
promotion of social inclusion is about more than some in society delivering while others receive.
Inclusion, she stated, is “a two-way street” that involves all members of the community.
All actors are inclusion actors, such as the postman, the businessman, the librarian, the
school teacher and the neighbor. I am always concerned when this conversation about
inclusion seems to put the inclusion types into one corner and everyone else throughout the
rest of the room. No; this is about all of us.
Ratna Omidvar, President, Maytree Foundation,
Evidence, 2 February 2011
In summary, social inclusion relates to the ability, of an individual or group of individuals,
to participate in the social and economic lives of their communities and to have their
contributions acknowledged. It also involves access to tools – such as education –that enable
participation and a set of shared rights, values and responsibilities that bind people together in a
cohesive society.
Social Inclusion and Social Cohesion
Social cohesion has been defined as “the ongoing process of developing a community of
shared values, shared challenges and equal opportunity within Canada, based on a sense of trust,
hope and reciprocity among all Canadians.”22 In his testimony, Zheng Wu, of the University of
Victoria, explained that social cohesion refers to:
19
Evidence, 2 February 2011, Fran Klodawsky.
Evidence, 7 March 2012, Natasha Blanchet-Cohen.
21
The Maytree Foundation helps communities cope with poverty and reduce inequalities. It provides programs and
conducts research on issues related to immigration, integration, and diversity. The Foundation is centred in
Toronto. http://maytree.com/
22
Jane Jenson, Mapping Social Cohesion: The State of Canadian Research, Canadian Policy Research Networks,
Study F/03, p. 4, http://www.cprn.org/documents/15723_en.pdf
20
7
the material and social conditions that connect people and
encourage solidarity between them. In plural societies, social
cohesion is a barometer of intergroup or race relations that implies
a level of acceptance of ethnic diversity. In other words, it
represents the capacity of communities to integrate their members
and avoid social isolation and marginalization of minorities.23
In brief, social cohesion is characteristic of communities that promote the principles of
inclusion, belonging, participation, recognition and legitimacy. Poverty reduction, investment in
social infrastructure, crime prevention and suppression, and promotion of equality are all factors
that contribute to greater social cohesion.
Intersectionality
Another term employed by the committee’s witnesses and found in the literature on social
inclusion and cohesion is “intersectionality.” The challenge confronting excluded individuals is
compounded when they possess the attributes of more than one group that exists on society’s
margins; this is referred to as “intersectionality.” This perspective takes into account the
possibility that an individual may experience multiple dimensions of difference that could
reinforce his or her social exclusion and as a result intensify the challenge of facilitating her or
his inclusion. As one witness explained “...one person may embody a number of different
sources of vulnerabilities or identities.”24 According to another witness, Caroline Andrew,
Director of the Centre on Governance at the University of Ottawa , “[t]he importance of
intersectionality is that we are not just talking about gender; we are talking about people who are
handicapped [...], [w]e are talking about age, gender, race, class.”25
Kristopher Wells of the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University
of Alberta alluded to intersectionality, testifying that “sexual minorities exist within all faithbased, ethnic, linguistic, cultural and racialized communities in the world.”26 On occasion, these
individuals may be excluded from one identity group as a consequence of their membership in
another. As Mr. Wells stated, “some ethnic, cultural or faith-based communities may be openly
hostile to sexual minorities. As a result, individuals within that community may remain hidden,
and often isolated or disconnected. ”27 Mr. Wells offered a concrete example:
If they are Aboriginal and gay, which is often referred to as “twospirited,” they may not be accepted by the dominant society
23
Evidence, 9 February 2011, Zheng Wu.
Evidence, 7 March 2012, Avvy Go.
25
Evidence, 15 February 2012, Caroline Andrew.
26
Evidence, 17 February 2012, Kristopher Wells.
27
Ibid.
24
8
because of systemic racism and homophobia, and they also may
not be accepted by their Aboriginal community due to experiences
of colonization and prejudices against sexual minorities.28
Measuring and Assessing Social Inclusion and Cohesion
How do public policy makers and governments determine the extent of social exclusion
within a society, whether a policy response is required and if so, what are the best policy
instruments to deploy? Unless careful analysis, thought, and precision are brought to bear, a
poorly conceived response brings with it the risk of expending scarce resources without any
tangible outcome or, far worse, exacerbating a given situation.
Efforts to address social exclusion are hindered by the absence of consensus about what the
goal of such efforts – social inclusion – constitutes. Furthermore, once defined, how are we to
determine when society has achieved a desirable degree of social inclusion? As one of the
committee’s witnesses indicated, to his knowledge “there are currently no widely accepted
standards to determine adequate levels of social inclusion.”29
Avvy Go, Director of the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, told
the committee that an appropriate conceptual framework for understanding social
exclusion/inclusion is needed. “Such a conceptual framework,” she testified,
must be guided by a vision for equality which acknowledges the
existence of the multi-faceted and intersecting inequities in the
Canadian society as experienced by various marginalized
communities, including racialized communities. It also must be
equipped with appropriate indicators and outcome measures that
will not only evaluate the process for building social inclusion but
the impact of any policy measures towards this goal.30
To measure and assess the extent to which social inclusion and cohesion are present in
Canada, the federal government could develop a comprehensive set of indicators. Such
indicators, in turn, could be applied to the design and evaluation of government programs and
policies, and used to report progress. Examples exist with regard to other aspects of federal
government activity, principal among them the application of a gender lens in the development
and assessment of government programs.31 It is notable that other countries are measuring social
inclusion through the use of specific indicators. In Australia, for example, the Commonwealth
[federal] Government has developed a Social Inclusion Measurement and Reporting Strategy,
28
Ibid.
Evidence, 15 February 2012, Alain Mercier.
30
Evidence, 7 March 2012, Avvy Go.
31
Status of Women Canada, Gender Based Analysis Plus, http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/pol/gba-acs/index-eng.html
29
9
that it uses to strengthen reporting and accountability arrangements that monitor progress in
addressing social exclusion.32
Just as it has done with gender-based analysis, the federal government should create an
analytic tool to assess levels of social inclusion in Canadian society and report to Canadians on
the progress that is being made. Therefore, the committee recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 1
That the Government of Canada initiate research that will lead to the development
of a set of indicators to measure levels of social inclusion and social cohesion in
Canada:
a) That the Government of Canada, using these indicators, establish goals for
social inclusion and social cohesion in those areas which fall within its
responsibilities as set forth under the Canadian Constitution;
b) That the Government of Canada use these indicators, when appropriate, in the
design and evaluation of its policies, programs and activities; and
c) That the Government of Canada measure, at regular intervals, the extent to
which its policies, programs, and activities are achieving the social inclusion
and social cohesion goals it has established, and report the results to the
Parliament of Canada.
Social inclusion is not a task just for government. It is a task for all Canadians, in all
sectors and walks of life. A witness raised the concern that most Canadians are not aware of the
importance of social inclusion. Heidi Illingworth, Executive Director of the Canadian Resource
Centre for the Victims of Crime, asserted that this lack of awareness should be addressed at an
early age by including an emphasis on social inclusion in the materials that young Canadians are
exposed to in school. She elaborated that such an approach would include elements such as:
32
Commonwealth of Australia, Social Inclusion in Australia: How Australia is faring, 2nd Edition, 2012, p.14,
http://www.socialinclusion.gov.au/sites/www.socialinclusion.gov.au/files/publications/pdf/HAIF_report_final.pdf
The Measurement and Reporting Strategy and selection of indicators is the responsibility of a Social Inclusion
Board created in 2008 to advise the government (and its Minister for Social Inclusion). The Strategy uses
indicators that fall under 3 main categories: Resources (individual skills, assets, social and economic capital);
participation in work, training, and connecting with others, and multiple disadvantages. The indicators are
subdivided into ‘headline’ and ‘supplementary’ indicators, and include:
 Material/economic;
 Health and disability;
 Education and skills;
 Social resources;
 Community and institutional resources; and
 Housing and personal safety.
Much of the data is drawn from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) General Social Survey and is
supplemented by other data depending on availability. Where possible, international comparisons are provided to
show were Australia sits internationally.
10
national anti-bullying, antiviolence, anti-substance abuse messages
and campaigns; encouragement of unisex sporting activities, so
limiting male and female stereotypes and biases; and educating
young children and new immigrant adults about how to recognize
the current gender barriers that exist within Canadian society and
how they can be deconstructed.33
One of the most effective ways in which the federal government can advance social
inclusion and social cohesion is through the support of efforts at the local level For example, in
relation to efforts to make cities safer for women, the committee heard that the federal
government can best help by “supporting community initiatives and strengthening them.”34 This
could well apply to all similar initiatives that are taking place at the local level.
When it comes to coordination and delivery, the focus needs to be on facilitating how
different levels and agencies work together to achieve certain goals. Here I encourage
committee members to consider the positive features of such tripartite initiatives as the
Homeless Partnering Strategies and their predecessors. The combination of dedicated
funding, flexibility in local application and the requirement for broad stakeholder
engagement in preparing a community plan might well be applicable with regard to
social issues other than homelessness.
Fran Klodawsky, Associate Professor, Carleton University,
Evidence, 2 February 2011
Thus, where appropriate and feasible, the Government of Canada should seek ways to
support and encourage these local efforts. Given that municipal governments and education are
under the jurisdiction of provincial and territorial governments, working in partnership with the
latter is essential. The committee therefore recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 2
That the Government of Canada work in partnership with other levels of
government to provide support over the long term for initiatives that have, as their
objective, enhanced social inclusion and social cohesion; and
That the Government of Canada support efforts by provincial and territorial
ministers of education to implement and integrate the importance of social inclusion
and acceptance into their educational systems.
33
34
Evidence, 7 March 2012, Heidi Illingworth.
Evidence, 15 February 2012, Caroline Andrew.
11
CHAPTER TWO: GROUPS AT RISK OF SOCIAL EXCLUSION
INTRODUCTION
Social exclusion affects some more than others and it is towards those groups and
individuals that governments and others must turn their attention. Consequently, in this study the
committee concentrated on those Canadians who are most at risk of exclusion.
In its study of social issues pertaining to Canada’s largest cities, the committee identified
groups that are most at risk of low income, inadequate housing, and homelessness. These same
groups – recent immigrants, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, Canadians with disabilities,
single parents (the majority of whom are women) and seniors – are also most at risk of social
exclusion.
Acting on the basis of its previous study on poverty, housing and homelessness, and on the
advice of witnesses, the committee decided to take a closer look at the circumstances of those
who are most challenged by social exclusion: recent immigrants; visible minorities; urban
Aboriginal peoples; Canadians with disabilities; religious minorities; sexual minorities; and
youth and seniors. Because gender brings particular challenges of its own, the committee
considered the special circumstances of women within each of these categories. The committee
also recognizes that no Canadian, regardless of identity, can possibly engage in her or his
community unless it is a safe one. It also recognizes that access to financial resources, although
not the sole factor in enabling full social inclusion, is an important one. Accordingly, the
committee determined that it would also look at the safety of Canada’s urban centres and the
extent to which income is distributed in order to facilitate the full participation of all Canadians
in their communities and control over decisions affecting their lives.
BUILDING AN INCLUSIVE CANADA: A GENERAL APPROACH
Throughout its hearings, the committees asked its witnesses to indicate which measures
they would recommend in order to build an inclusive society. In many instances, suggestions
dealt specifically with addressing the set of unique challenges encountered by one vulnerable
group or another. However, witnesses also advanced general suggestions aimed at bringing
excluded groups in from the margins of society and ways in which polices designed for that
purpose should be structured These overall suggestions are important ones that can and should be
taken into consideration whenever governments and other sectors of society set out to create a
more inclusive Canada.
Address Basic Needs First
The first step in ensuring inclusion is to facilitate access to basic necessities (such as
affordable housing and adequate nutrition). As Professor Klodawsky explained, “... until people
12
have decent housing and enough money for food they will not be able to begin to think about
other things that are also involved in feeling included and feeling part of the life of cities and part
of being a citizen.”35 Other witnesses also stressed that basic needs, particularly in the area of
adequate housing, have to be addressed in order to provide a sufficient foundation upon which
Canadians can engage in the labour market and contribute to their communities.
In addition, the committee wishes to draw attention to the assistance currently being
provided by Canadian governments, volunteer agencies, and the private sector, all of which are
intended to provide all Canadians with the basic necessities of life. Without doubt, many of these
forms of assistance could be enhanced and expanded and, in its previous report on poverty,
housing and homelessness, the committee highlighted ways in which such enhancements could
occur. The recommendations contained in In From the Margins can be found in Appendix B.I of
this report.
Ensure Consultation and Participation in Decision-making Bodies
I would stress the importance of consultation or community-driven engagement processes.
Canada has been a leader in this regard.
Fran Klodawsky, Associate Professor, Carleton University,
Evidence, 2 February 2011
Being included means being able to shape the decisions that have an influence over one’s
day-to-day life. Marginalized individuals need to play a more central role in making the
decisions that affect their lives. Members of groups subject to exclusion need to take an active
role in decision-making forums. Ratna Omidvar told the committee that:
[p]ossibly the most interesting work [the Maytree Foundation has]
done is around the boardrooms of our cities and institutions. [...]
our system of democracy involves citizens making decisions on the
public good, our hospitals, museums, NGOs [non-government
organizations], the Royal Ontario Museum, the university health
network, et cetera. These are all places where significant power
and privilege are exercised on behalf of the public.36
As the committee hearings into social inclusion proceeded, a view shared by organizations
representing Canadians at risk of social exclusion was the express desire to be represented in the
decision making process. Indeed, in many instances, in which socially excluded groups have
managed to move away from the margins, it has been in large measure as a result of their
35
36
Evidence, 2 February 2011, Fran Klodawsky.
Evidence, 2 February 2011, Ratna Omidvar. Since Ms. Omidvar gave her testimony, the Maytree Foundation has
released its third annual report on measuring diversity among leaders in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The
report can be found at : http://docs.maytree.com/diversecity/counts3/CountsReport3-full.pdf
13
insistence that they not be the passive recipients of programs and services handed down to them
from others.
It was not men standing up in Parliament saying, “Damn it, this is wrong; women should
have the right to vote. Women are persons too.” No, it was women who said, “No damn it,
we want the right to vote. We have the right to vote. We are people of this country too.”
Tony Dolan, Chairperson, Council of Canadians with Disabilities,
Evidence, 8 March 2012
Avvy Go, speaking of Toronto’s citizens of Chinese and Southeast Asian descent, noted
the progress that has been made so far by members of those communities, and reminded the
committee that inclusion and a seat at the table have been the result of “people fighting for them.
It is not something that was handed to us.”37 This refrain was echoed by Tony Dolan,
Chairperson of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities:
Unfortunately, as we know, change never happens that easily; it is
always the people who are affected, are most disenfranchised
speaking out and saying, “We want to speak for ourselves and our
own organizations represent ourselves.”38
A similar plea was made by the women and men who appeared before the committee to
speak on behalf of Aboriginal Canadians. It is clear that they do not wish to have others from
outside their communities making vital decisions on their behalf, a view that the committee
supports fully.
The advice that excluded groups be consulted and that they seek actively to participate in
decision making has been followed, not only by advocacy organizations, but by governments at
every level, including the federal government. In Appendix D of this report, the committee lists
examples of promising practices presented by its witnesses. A characteristic of many promising
practices is the extent to which governments have sought out the views of those who are on the
margins, not only through consultation, but more importantly, through collaborative engagement
and delivery. In the view of the committee, this approach is key to bringing about measures that
are truly effective in offsetting the harm that is done, not only by way of exclusion, but as a
result of poorly designed policies and programs that do not take into account the views of those
who are directly affected.
37
38
Evidence, 7 March 2012, Avvy Go.
Evidence, 7 March 2012, Tony Dolan.
14
Encourage Political Engagement
It is an educational process. The work we do is educating our colleagues in how to have a
better rapport with the Aboriginal community, but also educating our Aboriginal community
in how to have a better rapport with the city administration and politicians. [...] We now
have had one Aboriginal person run for council in the last municipal election.
Leona Carter, Director, Aboriginal Relations Office,
Community Services, City of Edmonton,
Evidence, 8 February 2012
Canada is a democratic society in which citizens are encouraged not only to exercise their
right to elect their governments, but also to engage in more demanding forms of political
participation including taking up membership in political parties and running for office. While
the committee did not focus on this particular aspect of inclusion and engagement, it recognizes
that active participation in the political life of one’s city, province, or country constitutes an
effective way of bringing one’s voice (and that of one’s community) into inclusion and
contributing towards a more cohesive society. The committee notes a healthy and growing
receptiveness on the part of Canadians and their political institutions towards this kind of
inclusion. Examples of initiatives underway at the local level are demonstrative of that fact.
The committee takes note of the work of Toronto’s Maytree Foundation in opening up the
possibility of active political involvement for new Canadians.
On the inclusion side, we are interested in ensuring that the political landscape in the
city is more reflective [of the people living in it]. We are not talking about quotas [...].
We are talking about what is more reflective of the people who live in urban centres.
Ratna Omidvar, President, Maytree Foundation,
Evidence, 2 February 2011
The Foundation has established a school for would-be politicians who need to “understand
the lay of the land, how to get nominated, and how to hire their campaign managers. We train
both campaign managers and candidates.”39
Governments Have a Role Providing Infrastructure that Facilitates Inclusion
While governments cannot act alone to bring about greater social inclusion and stronger
social cohesion, they do have a central role in helping establish the conditions in which such
outcomes can be achieved.
39
Evidence, 2 February 2011, Ratna Omidvar. Ms. Omidvar was referring to Toronto’s School4civics:
http://citiesofmigration.ca/school4civics/lang/en/
15
In particular, governments have an important role to play in ensuring the safety of the
communities in which Canadians live and work, as well in providing the physical infrastructure –
schools, parks and playgrounds, libraries, and public transit – which operate as forums within
and through which social inclusion takes place.
Federal Government Can Provide Leadership
Under the terms of the Constitution Act, 1867, the powers of the federal government are
limited with respect to many of the elements relating to social inclusion. In particular, Section 92
of the Constitution assigns exclusive authority over health, primary education, and municipal
governments to the provinces. These limitations, however, do not exclude the federal
government from working with the other levels of government in ways that can facilitate social
inclusion and social cohesion. In particular, the federal government has important roles to play in
convening partners, supporting local initiatives, and disseminating information and best
practices.
In the next sections of this report, the committee will point to instances in which the federal
government is fulfilling a coordinating and convening role and working in close partnership, not
only with other levels of government, but with the private and voluntary sectors, to create
conditions favorable to social inclusion.
Avoid One-Size-Fits-All Solutions
Canada is diverse and becoming more so. While each marginalized group shares certain
characteristics with other excluded groups, each confronts a set of unique challenges. Each of
these challenges calls for a different set of approaches in order to be successful. Government
should thus move from standardized to personalized services that are built around the needs of
people who are using them.
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Fran Klodawsky, Associate Professor, Carleton University,
Evidence, 2 February 2011
Kristopher Wells told the committee that change will not “come from one program, one
policy or one intervention. Changing culture is like a thousand or more different kinds of
practice.”40 Efforts to involve excluded groups (whether on the part of governments or by those
40
Evidence, 17 February 2011, Kristopher Wells.
16
groups themselves, and preferably both) along with multi-partner involvement and a focus on
actions at the local, or city, level are the best guarantors of effective action toward social
inclusion and social cohesion.
Facilitating Inclusion for Everyone
As previously noted, social inclusion is about everyone and to the extent that social
inclusion is facilitated for those at most risk of exclusion, it is facilitated for all Canadians. In
response to questioning, witnesses offered general suggestions about how Canada can be made
more inclusive for all of its citizens. Sandeep Kumar Agrawal, Graduate Program Director of
School of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University, indicated that:
Strengthening public education, increasing employment equity,
fostering an open society and promoting political participation are
the processes that promote social cohesion. Institutions where such
activities are enacted – such as schools, places of work,
governments, media, sports and arts – are the sites where social
cohesion can be fostered and where investments of political will
must be made.41
41
Evidence, 15 February 2012, Sandeep Kumar Agrawal.
17
CHAPTER THREE: RECENT IMMIGRANTS
Canada attracts people from every part of the world who want to come with their families
and talents to live, work, and enrich our communities. Social inclusion [...] is a promise of
common membership and equal opportunity.
Peter Clutterbuck and Marvyn Novick, Building Inclusive Communities: CrossCanada Perspectives and Strategies, prepared for the Federation of Canadian
Municipalities and The Laidlaw Foundation, April 2003, p.28
INTRODUCTION
Canada is a nation built by successive waves of immigration. In 1867, the year of Canada’s
birth, immigrant arrivals numbered approximately 10,666.42 One hundred and thirty three years
later, in 2010, Canada admitted 280,681 permanent residents, an increase of 11.3% over the
previous calendar year and the highest level in 50 years.43 In 2011, 248,748 permanent
residents44 were admitted to Canada.45 These levels are projected to remain in the neighbourhood
of a quarter of a million individuals annually. In 2013, for example, Canada plans to welcome
between 240,000 to 265,000 immigrants.46
Prior to the 1990s, Canada’s population growth came as the result of natural increase (the
difference between births and deaths), but in the mid-1990s, this trend was reversed and
immigrants became the main source of Canadian population growth, in large part due to lower
Canadian fertility rates and an aging population.47 Immigration is thus looked upon as a partial
solution to Canada’s future demographic and economic challenges.
Initially, Europe provided the largest source of immigration to Canada. Immigrants from
the United Kingdom made up a significant proportion of these immigrants, with a smaller
proportion coming from France and other European countries. In the 1960s, this trend began to
change and by 1979-1980, immigrants coming from Asia outnumbered those of European origin.
Long-range forecasts developed by Statistics Canada predict that by 2031 in Canada as a whole
42
Statistics Canada, Numbers of immigrant arrivals in Canada, calendar years 1852 to 1936,
http://www65.statcan.gc.ca/acyb02/1937/acyb02_19370194001-eng.htm
43
Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Departmental Performance Report, 2010-11, http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/dprrmr/2010-2011/inst/imc/imc02-eng.asp#section2a1 Total numbers of permanent residents admitted to Canada
exceeded the Department’s high end projections by 6% due to higher numbers of economic immigrants and the
admission of immediate family members.
44
Permanent residents are those who have acquired permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada but who
have not yet acquired Canadian citizenship.
45
Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Summary tables- Permanent and Temporary Residents, 2011,
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/statistics/facts2011-summary/01.asp
46
Citizenship and Immigration, Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, 2012,
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/pub/annual-report-2012.pdf
47
Statistics Canada, “Population Projections for Canada, Provinces, and Territories,” 26 May 2010,
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/100526/dq100526b-eng.htm
18
“[d]epending on the projections chosen, the proportion of persons who are foreign-born would
reach between 25% and 28% ...In 2006, the corresponding proportion was 20%.”48
Under sections 91 and 95 of the Constitution, the federal government and provincial
governments have shared responsibilities for immigration. The federal government fulfills its
constitutional authority through Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Citizenship and
Immigration Canada works in close partnership with provincial and territorial governments to
provide integration services to new Canadians. The Department has agreements with British
Columbia, Manitoba and Québec under which those provinces are responsible for the design,
provision and administration of settlement services in their jurisdictions. In Ontario and Alberta,
the Department has shared management of settlement services while in the remaining provinces
and in the territories, CIC has sole responsibility.
IMMIGRANT SETTLEMENT PATTERNS
In 2005, the author of a synthesis of trends and conditions in Canada’s urban centres,
published by Statistics Canada, wrote that “[i]f there is one major socio-economic development
in Canada that can be called ‘distinctly urban, it is immigration.”49 According to data cited by
this author, 1.8 million immigrants arrived in Canada between 1991 and 2001 and, of these, 94%
settled in one of Canada’s Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs). Of those who chose to live in
urban centres, 73% settled in Canada’s three largest cities, Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver.
This is in contrast with 1981, when 58% of immigrants chose to live in one of those three
cities.50 Data released by CIC show that for 2011, the bulk of new Canadians continued to settle
in these three cities.
48
Éric Caron Malenfant, André Lebel and Laurent Martel, Projections of the Diversity of the Canadian Population
2006 – 2031, Statistics Canada, catalogue no. 91-551-X, March 2010, p. 1. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/91-551x/91-551-x2010001-eng.pdf
49
Andrew Heisz, “Ten Things to Know About Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas: A synthesis of Statistics
Canada’s Trends and Conditions in Census Metropolitan Areas Series,” Analytical Paper, Statistics Canada,
September 2005, Catalogue no. 89-613-MIE, p. 13, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-613-m/89-613-m2005009eng.pdf
50
Heisz, 2005, p. 13.
19
Table 1: Immigrant and Refugee Settlement,
Selected Major Urban Centres, 2011
CITY
Toronto
Montréal
Vancouver
Calgary
Edmonton
Winnipeg
Total Major Cities
Total Canada
2011
77,759
44,863
28,966
15,060
10,457
13,398
190,503
248,748
Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Quarterly Administrative Data Release, CD-ROM, accessed 20
August 2012. Note: These data reflect first place of settlement. Recent immigrants will sometimes relocate to
different cities (known as “secondary migration”) a phenomenon not reflected in these data.
Chart 1: Share of recent immigrants who settled in the largest census
metropolitan areas, 1981, 1991, 2001 and 2006
Note: 'Recent immigrants' refers to landed immigrants who arrived in Canada within five years prior to a given
census.
Source: Statistics Canada, The Canadian Labour Market at a Glance, Catalogue no. 71-222-X, January 2009, p. 93,
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/71-222-x/71-222-x2008001-eng.pdf
20
RECENT IMMIGRANTS AND SOCIAL INCLUSION
Social inclusion involves basic notions of belonging, acceptance and recognition. For
immigrants and refugees, social inclusion would be represented by the realization of full
and equal participation in the economic, social, cultural and political dimensions of life in
their new country.
Ratna Omidvar and Ted Richmond, “Immigrant Settlement and
Social Inclusion in Canada”, in Ted Richmond and Anver Saloojee, editors,
Social Inclusion: Canadian Perspectives, Halifax, 2005, p. 155
Becoming engaged with Canadian society, becoming full members of the communities in
which they have settled, and finding an appropriate place in the labour market pose real and
often daunting challenges for recent immigrants. Sociologists Philippe Couton and Stéphanie
Gaudet report that ‘social engagement’ (which they define as activities such as volunteering,
community involvement, and support between individuals) “is one of the critical issues facing
immigrants in Canada,” as well as in other receiving countries.51
Witnesses observed that recent waves of immigrants have not fared as well economically as
previous waves, and that the changing composition of immigrant groups is producing new
challenges to their inclusion. In particular, and in contrast to earlier waves of immigration, many
recent immigrants are not fluent in either of Canada’s official languages, and the cultural norms
of their countries of origin are often quite different than those present in Canada. Attachment to
the labour market is made more difficult by the lack of familiarity on the part of Canadian
employers with the universities or colleges where non-European immigrants have received their
post-secondary education. Collectively, these factors raise the risks of social and economic
exclusion for recently arrived new Canadians.
Immigrants are particularly vulnerable, for a number of reasons. They are overrepresented in
the poverty statistics of this country. They are twice as likely to be unemployed as the
average Canadian, and they are twice as likely to earn half as much. Immigrants have
restricted access to Employment Insurance […]. They are also likely to have more years of
education and training. The votes of visible minorities count for less because of historical
electoral arrangements in our country. In many cases, racial minorities in large urban centres
experience multiple examples of exclusion, not just […] economic exclusion.
Ratna Omidvar, President, Maytree Foundation,
Evidence, 2 February 2011
51
Philippe Couton and Stéphanie Gaudet, “Rethinking Social Participation: The Case of Immigrants in Canada,”
Journal of International Migration and Integration / Revue de l'integration et de la migration internationale,
May 2008, p. 22.
21
Yet in spite of these vulnerabilities, Canada has been quite successful in integrating
immigrants:
We are known the world over for our success in immigration and for our
models of multiculturalism. I would suggest to you that our successes are
in the medium and long term. If you look at the rising numbers of
immigrants who own homes, who take out citizenship and who
intermarry, these are important indicators of inclusion.52
Social Integration of Immigrants: The Views of Immigrants53
In 2001, to study how newly arrived immigrants adjust over time to living in Canada,
Statistics Canada implemented the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada. The Survey
took place in three waves in 2001, 2002, and 2003.
Findings included the following:



55% of those who planned to settle in Canada permanently cited the “quality of
life” as their reason; 39% decided to stay because of the positive future for their
family in Canada;
23% cited Canada’s public institutions as a reason to stay, while 18% referenced
access to education and the social system (such as health care and other programs);
Asked what they liked most about Canada, 14% cited cultural aspects of life
(including social programs, and cultural diversity). Twenty-two per cent cited
safety and security, and 24% cited opportunity (educational opportunities and
ability to achieve desired quality of living respectively, employment opportunities
and economic conditions).
These findings show that immigrants are appreciative of the benefits that living in Canada
has to offer and are anxious to become integrated into Canada’s social and economic
mainstream. However, when asked to identify what they least liked about Canada, 17%
indicated that it was lack of employment. Of the 3% who planned to leave Canada, 32%
indicated that employment-related reasons were behind their decision. Reasons for leaving
included better job opportunities, pay, working conditions or the business climate elsewhere. A
2012 survey produced similar findings.54
52
Evidence, 2 February 2011, Ratna Omidvar.
Data taken from Grant Schellenberg and Hélène Maheux, “Immigrants’ perspectives on their first four years in
Canada: Highlights from three waves of the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada,” Canadian Social
Trends, Statistics Canada 2007, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-008-x/2007000/9627-eng.htm
54
HSBC, “HSBC Study Reveals Canada’s Warm Welcome: Immigrants to Canada share their arrival experiences,”
News Release, 1 November 2012,
53
22
The capacity of immigrants to integrate varies depending on their individual attributes and
economic conditions upon arrival. Such factors as proficiency in either or both of Canada’s
official languages, gender,55 the existence of established social networks within immigrant
communities,56 generational status, place of residence, and racial status,57 visible minority
status,58 and possession of education and skills needed and recognized by the Canadian labour
market, all affect the social integration of immigrants settling in Canada.
IMMIGRANT SELECTION
Successful social inclusion of immigrants relies, in part, on ensuring that newcomers
possess the appropriate combination of attributes that facilitate their becoming full members of
the communities in which they settle. As a consequence, immigrant selection is a crucial step in
the successful social and economic inclusion of newcomers.
There are three basic classes of permanent resident as defined under the Immigration and
Refugee Protection Act (IRPA): economic, family and protected persons.59 The economic class
includes people whose skills and attributes are assessed against a points system for their ability
to establish economically in Canada, people nominated by provincial governments to fulfil
regional economic goals, and investors and entrepreneurs. The family class is based on
sponsorship by Canadians and permanent residents, and the protected persons class (refugees)
fulfils Canada’s humanitarian tradition and international obligations.
Witnesses commented on the processes used to select immigrants. James Bissett of the
Centre for Immigration Policy Reform, stated that “only a few immigrants coming here are seen
and are subject to any selection criteria,” in particular, those who are coming as relative,
sponsored by provinces and refugee groups.60 Garnett Picot of Statistics Canada indicated that
about 17 to 18% of immigrants are evaluated based on skills, education and ability in one of the
two official languages. Those who are evaluated are applicants under the economic class, which
http://www.hsbc.ca/1/PA_1_083Q9FJ08A002FBP5S00000000/content/canada2/assets/news_releases/2012/newto-canada-survey-1nov12.pdf
55
Couton and Gaudet, (2008), pp. 21-44.
56
Fernando Mata and Ravi Pendakur, “Social Capital Formation and Diversity in Canadian Cities: Impacts of
Individiual and Place-Related Characteristics,” Metropolis, August 2010,
http://mbc.metropolis.net/assets/uploads/files/wp/2010/WP10-02.pdf.
57
Zheng Wu, Christophe M. Schimmele, and Feng Wu, “Social Integration of Immigrants and their Children in
Canada’s Urban Neighbourhoods,” Metropolis British Columbia, September 2010,
http://mbc.metropolis.net/assets/uploads/files/wp/2010/WP10-10.pdf
58
Boris Palameta, “Low income among immigrants and visible minorities,” Perspectives on Labour and Income,
April 2004, vol. 5, No. 4, Statistics Canada, catalogue no. 75-001-XIE, p. 13.
http://ivt.crepuq.qc.ca/popactive/documentation2005_A/2004/2004-04-02.pdf
59
Permanent residents are people who have not become Canadian citizens, but who have been authorized to live and
work in Canada for an indefinite period, provided they meet residency requirements. Protected persons are
defined as refugees.
60
Evidence, 10 February, 2011, James Bissett.
23
includes entrepreneurs and investors. Those not evaluated include newcomers immigrating under
family reunification and the family members of those immigrating under the economic class.61
Citizenship and Immigration Canada is revising the selection points system for immigrants
coming to Canada as part of the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), the central program
under the economic class. The Government of Canada intends to give greater emphasis to
language proficiency, age at time of immigration, and offers of employment in Canada, as well
as to introduce a skilled trades program. The committee welcomes these efforts and notes that the
federal government has made changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to
facilitate easier entry into the labour market for new immigrants.
SETTLEMENT
Pre-arrival Services Provided in Countries of Origin
Deborah Tunis, Director General, Integration, with Citizenship and Immigration Canada
(CIC), told the committee that CIC is “hearing loudly and clearly that when [immigrants] come
to Canada, they would like to have been told more realistically about some of the challenges
surrounding credential recognition and others.”62 To some extent, opportunities to acquire this
information already exist. The federal government provides a range of programs and services to
immigrants prior to their departure for Canada. Two such programs are the Canadian Orientation
Abroad and the Welcome to Canada initiatives. The Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO)
in the Department of Citizenship and Immigration works with the Association of Canadian
Community Colleges to provide some services abroad as well.
The FCRO funds overseas services under the Canadian Immigration Integration Program
(CIIP). The CIIP provides federal skilled workers and provincial nominees, their spouses and
adult dependents in certain regions with voluntary and free orientation sessions prior to arrival in
Canada. Applicants may also, on a voluntary basis, attend individual planning sessions that
provide customized advice and assistance with credential assessment, skills and language
upgrading, and job searches. Once an individual applies to immigrate to Canada, he or she is
given an initial approval in the form of a letter from one of Canada’s overseas missions. The
letter asks for a final medical check and provides information on the CIIP. They are also offered
an opportunity to attend the free, two-day information sessions.
The FCRO provides these overseas services through offices in China, India, the Philippines
and the United Kingdom. These offices serve applicants from neighbouring countries, with the
potential to provide services in 25 countries. According to Corrine Prince-St-Amant, Director
General of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Foreign Credential Referral Office, this
program has the “opportunity to reach 44 per cent of all provincial nominees coming to Canada
61
62
Evidence, 3 February 2011, Garnett Picot
Evidence, 3 February 2011, Deborah Tunis.
24
and 70 per cent of federal skilled workers worldwide.”63 In 2011-12, the Department reports that
the number of potential immigrants receiving pre-departure services increased by 68%.64
Ms. Prince-St-Amant testified that the pre-arrival services offered by the FCRO have been
quite successful. She indicated that “93 per cent of those individuals who went through the twoday session found employment in Canada within six months of arrival,” and that “73 per cent of
that 93 per cent found work within the first three months.”65 However, not all of those who are
invited to participate do so.
The committee notes the success of pre-arrival services offered to immigrants prior to
departure. Such services are crucial in preparing immigrants for their settlement experience and
successful integration into Canadian society and labour market. However, such services are not
available to all immigrants. Because all immigrants should receive the benefits of these services,
the committee recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 3
That the Government of Canada enhance the availability of the full suite of prearrival services provided to immigrants prior to their departure for Canada.
Arrival and Settlement
Settlement refers to the short-term transitional issues faced by newcomers, while
integration is an ongoing process of mutual accommodation between and individual and
society.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada,
Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, 2010, p. 21
For newcomers to Canada, first impressions are crucial in terms of the ease with which
they integrate into Canadian society. Lori Wilkinson testified that the initial settlement
experience provides:
A foundation for healthy, long-term attachments, not only to the
economy but to other facets of Canadian community life, politics,
society, and health. Those who have positive settlement
experiences at arrival have higher satisfaction with their new
lives.66
63
Evidence, 10 February 2011, Corrine Prince-St-Amand.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Annual Report to Parliament 2012, p. 23.
65
Evidence, 10 February 2011, Corrine Prince-St-Amand.
66
Evidence, 10 February 2011, Lori Wilkinson.
64
25
In addition to its crucial role in identifying applicants for admission to Canada, Citizenship
and Immigration Canada offers programs and services to assist new Canadians to become part of
the Canadian community. As noted above, immigration is an area of shared jurisdiction between
the federal and provincial/territorial governments, and CIC works with the latter to provide
immigrant settlement services. The provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba and Québec have
been responsible for the design, delivery and management of these services within their
jurisdictions, with federal funding.67
CIC fulfils its settlement responsibilities through its Integration Program which has, as its
objective, the development of policies and programs that support the settlement, resettlement,
adaptation, and integration of newcomers into Canadian society by delivering orientation,
adaptation and settlement services as well as language programs for newcomers.68 Services
under the Settlement Program are designed to give immigrants:




information needed to understand life in Canada and make informed decisions;
language training that will allow them to function in Canada;
assistance in finding employment that matches their education and skills; and
help to establish networks and contacts “so they are engaged and feel welcomed
in their communities.”69
Citizenship and Immigration Canada has identified immigrant integration as one of its
strategic priorities. In 2006, the Government of Canada invested an additional $1.4 billion over
five years in settlement funding. In its Departmental Performance Report for fiscal year 20112012, the Department reported that it had spent a total of $966 million on its settlement and
integration programs.70
In 2008-2009, Citizenship and Immigration Canada adopted a “modernized” approach to
settlement programs. Under this approach, settlement programming moved from separate
programs to one single Settlement Program. The overall objective of this consolidation was to
improve settlement outcomes. As noted above, the Department has also established a Foreign
Credentials Referral Office (FCRO); Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
(HRSDC) has created a Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Program that is working with
provincial and territorial governments to develop a pan-Canadian framework on foreign
credential recognition. A number of these services will be discussed in further detail below.
67
After Budget 2012, the federal government indicated that it would be resuming management of the settlement
services it funds in Manitoba and British Columbia within the next two years.
68
Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Departmental Performance Report for the period ending March 31, 2011,
http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/dpr-rmr/2010-2011/inst/IMC/imc02-eng.asp
69
Ibid.
70
Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Departmental Performance Report for the period ending March 31, 2012,
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/pub/dpr-2012.pdf
26
Deborah Tunis told the committee that CIC sees settlement as the “first phase on the
pathway to integration,” and thus the federal government concentrates its programs for
immigrants on the years following arrival. Several groups are involved in supporting immigrants
during the initial settlement phase, including municipalities, faith and cultural groups, business
and community groups, and others. The federal government forms partnerships with some
immigrant-supporting entities, in particular with provinces and their municipalities, and nonprofit settlement service agencies. The federal government works with up to 400 settlement
service agencies across Canada under 900 contribution agreements. The settlement service
agencies provide the bulk of language training for immigrants, information and orientation
sessions and the Community Connections program. Other services offered by the agencies
include training in résumé writing, career mentorship, and how to enter the Canadian labour
force. Ms. Tunis explained that federal government investment in these agencies has gone from
approximately $25 million annually in the 1990s to about $850 million currently.71
To coordinate approaches to immigration, the federal government, provinces and territories
have formed the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers Responsible for Immigration. In recent
meetings, the Ministers agreed to work together to improve measuring and reporting outcomes,
and committed to developing a pan-Canadian framework that would establish a common set of
successful settlement indicators across jurisdictions, as well as an assessment of service delivery
models. Québec, which is responsible for its own settlement services under the terms of the
Canada-Québec Accord, indicated that it would share best practices with the other
governments.72
Recently, Federal-Provincial-Territorial Ministers Responsible for Immigration agreed to
develop a pan-Canadian framework for settlement outcomes and integration policies. The
committee expects that this framework, once finalized, will be used to evaluate settlement
outcomes and report the findings to Parliament.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada has consulted with the settlement sector and
developed a set of indicators that it will use to evaluate its own settlement programs that it
planned to implement in 2011-2012.73
Language Challenges and Programs
Patterns of immigration have shifted from traditional European to other sources, with a
resulting decline in an ability to speak either of Canada’s official languages. As Don Drummond
and Francis Fong noted in 2010, “...the share of immigrants whose mother tongue is neither
71
Evidence, 3 February 2011, Deborah Tunis.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada, “ News Release – Federal, provincial and territorial governments agree to
improve Canada’s immigration system,” News Releases - 2010, 15 June 2010,
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/releases/2010/2010-06-15.asp
73
Citizenship and Immigration, Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, 2011,
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/publications/annual-report-2011/section4.asp
72
27
French nor English has increased from 53 per cent in 1981 to 80 per cent in 2006.”74 By 2009,
the percentage of immigrants without English or French as a mother tongue had reached 86%.75
The absence of appropriate linguistic skills has become a more significant barrier to full
social inclusion. Lack of language skills is also a significant barrier to appropriate participation
in the labour market.
The evidence is overwhelming that functioning knowledge of English or French is critical
for an immigrant getting ahead and more so now than a generation ago. [..]
[M]anufacturing was [..] the traditional classic route for an immigrant who, perhaps did
not know much English or French, to start off, get a job and once having learned the job
[...] could do it quite well and get a very good paying dependable job, and not be that
fluent in English or French.
However, there has been an ongoing shift in Canada and elsewhere away from the
proportion of the workforce in manufacturing jobs into services. When you move to
services, there is much greater emphasis on or importance of the role of not just getting by
in English or French but actually being quite good at it.
Charles Beach, Professor of Economics, Queen’s University,
Evidence, 2 May 2012
In recognition that the barriers that result from the lack of adequate language skills are
significant, the federal government, through the Department of Citizenship and Immigration,
provides funding for language instruction delivered under settlement programs and services. The
federal language program is known as the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada, or
LINC, and is available for all classes of permanent residents until they become Canadian
citizens. LINC is provided in all provinces, with the exception of Manitoba, Québec and British
Columbia. In those provinces, the federal government provides funding for language
programming.
In addition to regular language instruction, the Department also funds a number of different
types of language programs including the Enhanced Language Training Program which offers
occupation-specific language training paired with a workplace component. Language training
also occurs within the context of the Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and
Recognition of Foreign Qualifications through action plans (See below under Credentials and
Credentialism).
Deborah Tunis acknowledged that language is “a key to economic outcomes” and “to
making connections” to the wider community.76 Garnett Picot told the committee that language
74
Don Drummond and Francis Fong, “An Economics Perspective on Canadian Immigration,” Policy Options
Politiques, July-August 2010, p. 28, http://www.irpp.org/po/archive/jul10/drummond.pdf
75
Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Evaluation of the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)
Program, March 2010, http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/evaluation/linc/2010/linc-eval.pdf
28
issues (along with the perceived value of foreign work experience) “accounted for probably one
third of the drop in [immigrant] earnings between 1980 and 2000.”77
Mr. Picot agreed with the observation made by the Centre for Immigration Policy Reform
that only a small percentage of permanent residents – between 17 and 18% – have their language
skills (along with their skills and level of education) evaluated under the immigrant selection
system. The federal government has made some significant adjustments in response to these
circumstances. Recent changes to the selection process, for example, have resulted in a greater
emphasis on pre-arrival language proficiency for economic class immigrants. In April 2012, the
Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism announced that as of 1 July 2012,
applicants under the Provincial Nominee Program seeking semi- and low-skilled employment
will undergo mandatory testing of their listening, speaking, writing and reading linguistic skills
and will have to meet standards in all four categories before they can be admitted to Canada.78
These changes, however, do not apply to spouses and dependents of the principal applicants
who, as a recent study by Tracey M. Derwing and Erin Waugh indicates, “may have greater
needs for language training on arrival.”79
Existing language programs are seen as insufficient by some, including John Reilly, of the
City of Edmonton, who has heard from “colleagues and counterparts in the community that are
delivering language programs ... that they are inadequate,” a complaint that he hears from
immigrant groups as well.80 At a subsequent meeting, Ms. Prince-St-Amand cited a study that
found that “only approximately 25% of newcomers who were eligible for language training and
assistance were actually taking advantage of [---] language programs.”81
Basic proficiency in one of Canada’s official languages is essential for successful social
and economic inclusion. Such skills are likely to become even more essential as the economy
shifts toward more service-sector jobs. As a consequence, most immigrants should be given
language assessments shortly after arrival to ensure that they can function in the economy and
places of settlement, and to determine what level of language instruction they and their families
should be assigned to. Furthermore, enrolment in the Language Instruction for Newcomers
(LINC) Program should be encouraged for those whose language levels fall below a
predetermined level. The committee recommends therefore:
76
Evidence, 3 February 2011, Deborah Tunis.
Evidence, 3 February 2011, Garnett Picot.
78
Citizenship and Immigration, “Minister Kenney strengthens economic value of provincial nominee programs,”
News Release, 11 April 2012, http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/media/releases/2012/2012-04-11.asp
79
Tracey M. Derwing and Erin Waugh, “Language Skills and the Social Integration of Canada’s Adult Immigrants,”
IRPP Study, Institute for Research in Public Policy, May 2012, p. 4,
http://www.irpp.org/pubs/IRPPstudy/IRPP_Study_no31.pdf
80
Evidence, 9 February 2011, John Reilly.
81
Evidence, 10 February 2011, Corrine Prince-St-Amand.
77
29
RECOMMENDATION 4
That permanent residents and their dependents between the ages of eighteen and
fifty-four, and members of the family class of permanent residents within the same
age range be assessed for their skills in one of the two official languages following
arrival in Canada;
a)
That based on this assessment, those tested be directed to an appropriate level
of language training under the Language Instruction for Newcomers to
Canada (LINC) Program;
b)
That enrolment in the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)
Program be strongly encouraged for all those falling below a predetermined
level of linguistic ability; and`
c)
That the Government of Canada continue to make improvements to the
Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Program. In
particular, such improvements should take into consideration those language
skills that are work-specific and that enhance the ability of newcomers to
interact with Canadians in ways that facilitate community involvement.
Immigrant Women
[I]t comes back to shared spaces. If new Canadian women are bringing their kids to school,
are there opportunities for them to engage at school? It is using different access points –
libraries, school community centres, health centres – as a place to find other opportunities
and connect to other communities.
Katherine Scott, Vice-President, Research,
Canadian Council on Social Development,
Evidence, 15 February 2012
Female immigrants face a set of unique challenges. Immigration disrupts family ties and
social networks these women had in their country of origins. Following arrival in Canada,
cultural norms in some cases result in their isolation from the wider community. Compounding
this isolation, many are obliged by circumstances to stay at home to raise children. Based on her
research into rates of social participation and volunteerism, Stéphanie Gaudet told the committee
that “in general, immigrant women with children are excluded from social participation,”82
defined as any exchange of time, formal or informal. She told the committee that this is in
contrast to immigrants in general, who show comparable levels of social participation to their
82
Evidence, 9 February 2011, Stéphanie Gaudet.
30
Canadian-born counterparts, She attributed these low levels to female immigrants’ involvement
in domestic tasks, raising children, and employment.83
Dependent children [...] are a major barrier. The resources offered to these women are not
necessarily adapted to their daily lives. For example, in the Ottawa neighbourhood of
Vanier, a lot of immigrants live in low-cost housing or crowd into small apartments.
These women have to take care of children in several age groups. It is one thing to have
two or three pre-school-aged children and another to have children between the ages of 2
and 18. The task is enormous. Canadian society is designed on the basis of two children
two and a half years apart. So it all has to be organized. However, the community is not
organized to meet these needs. Consider travel. It is not easy to travel by public transit
with a baby of two or three, with four children. Consequently, they stay at home in their
neighbourhood.
Stéphanie Gaudet, Associate Professor,
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Ottawa.
Evidence, 9 February 2012
Low levels of volunteerism among immigrant women are in marked contrast to those of
Canadian-born parents given that parenthood tends to increase volunteer activity that occurs as a
result of having children enrolled in school and involved in sporting and other activities.
Professor Gaudet noted that is essential to involve immigrant women with children in social
inclusion because these women “are the most important socialization agents for their children,
and if we exclude them, we exclude very important citizens.”84
A recent study by Statistics Canada has found that both male and female immigrants are
less likely than the Canadian-born to volunteer with charitable or non-profit organizations.85
Volunteering offers important opportunities to develop skills, build social capital, and establish
networks – all crucial in terms of inclusion for both women and men. Accordingly, volunteering
should be encouraged among recent immigrants as a means of engaging them in their
communities and helping them to build social networks and capital. The committee therefore
recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 5
That the Government of Canada employ campaigns explaining the importance of
community engagement and to promote volunteerism among immigrant communities.
83
Ibid..
Ibid.
85
Derrick Thomas, “Giving and volunteering among Canada’s Immigrants,” Canadian Social Trends, Statistics
Canada, 17 May 2012, catalogue no. 11-008-X, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-008-x/2012001/article/11669eng.pdf
84
31
Deborah Tunis testified that Citizenship and Immigration Canada has adjusted its program
delivery in settlement agencies to reflect the needs of women immigrants with children. She
indicated that over the last five years in Ontario, special programs with child minding services
had been introduced for women, including the Language Instruction for Newcomers (LINC)
Program. An evaluation of the LINC Program has found that approximately 80% of the
organizations providing language training services offered child care, but that many providers
offered such services in some locations only.86 The absence of child care services was cited by
focus group participants as the principal barrier to enrolling in LINC.87
Participation in LINC provides an avenue through which immigrant women can break their
isolation, build new social networks, engage in volunteer activities both within and outside their
own immediate communities and acquire the skills they need to overcome some of the
challenges they encounter in their adoptive country. However, there is a caveat: access to LINC
ends once citizenship is acquired, a process that can occur in Canada within three years after
arrival.
[T]here is much more accessibility to language classes in your first three years here.
What often happens is that women stayed home in the beginning years because they
were settling into a new country with small children. By the time they wanted to get into
language classes they were no longer eligible for free classes because they passed the
three-year point [and obtained Canadian citizenship]. If you took a more genderinclusive lens, you would be able to tweak some of those systems to ensure that women
have the access to language classes that sometime they did not take advantage of.
Caroline Andrew, Director,
Centre on Governance, University of Ottawa,
Evidence, 15 February 2012
Immigrant women with young children should not be denied an opportunity to attend
language instruction after they have been granted Canadian citizenship. Nor should immigrants
be dissuaded from becoming citizens because it would entail forfeiting access to needed
language instruction. The committee therefore recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 6
Where warranted, such as for immigrant women who stay at home to care for
young children, that immigrants be granted admission to the Language Instruction
86
Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Evaluation of the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)
Program, March 2010, p. 17, http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/evaluation/linc/2010/linc-eval.pdf It should
be noted that Québec, Manitoba and British Columbia provide their own language and settlement programs and
thus were not included in the evaluation.
87
Ibid., p. 23.
32
for Newcomers to Canada program up to five years following arrival regardless of
acquisition of Canadian citizenship.
Child care services have been added to a growing number of language training facilities,
enabling immigrant women with young families to participate in language instruction. These
services could be expanded further. The committee recommends therefore:
RECOMMENDATION 7
That Citizenship and Immigration Canada expand the number of Language
Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Program sites equipped with child
care facilities for pre-school children.
THE ROLE OF CITIES
As principal final destinations in the immigration process, cities provide much of the
infrastructure – schools, parks, libraries, recreational facilities, and community centres – through
which inclusion and integration take place. As such, cities play a central role in facilitating
immigrant social and economic inclusion.
Canadian cities are acutely aware of the necessity to attract and retain immigrants. As a
former President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Jean Perrault, has written,
immigration “[n]ot only created diversity that strengthens neighbourhoods and local economies,
but has also brought us highly skilled and knowledgeable workers to make our cities and
communities more competitive.”88
John Reilly testified that the growing municipal interest in how immigration is managed in
Canada is being driven by several factors. Cities are concerned about their social and economic
sustainability and recognize that immigrants make an important contribution to both. In
particular, immigrants possess needed skills and as a consequence municipalities are stepping up
efforts to attract and retain them. Cities also recognize that Canada’s current immigration
policies do not always address the differing regional labour and social needs and thus wish to
take a more active role in making those needs known.
Nevertheless, the arrival of immigrants has presented Canada’s major immigrant-receiving
centres with significant challenges. In the words of M. Perrault:
Recent immigrants are suffering from high rates of
underemployment and poverty. This has significant implications
88
Jean Perrault, “President’s Message,” Theme Report # 5- Immigration and Diversity in Canadian Cities and
Communities, Quality of Life in Canadian Communities, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, March 2009,
http://www.fcm.ca/Documents/reports/Immigration_and_Diversity_in_Canadian_Cities_and_Communities_EN.p
df
33
for municipal governments, as they struggle to provide adequate
affordable housing, emergency shelters, social assistance and
public health services to newcomers.89
In its report, In from the Margins, the committee recommended that the federal government
support the work of local and provincial non-profit housing developers by making housing
programs longer term to accommodate five-year development cycles and ten-year planning
cycles, and to permit more effective planning at the local and provincial levels. See Appendix
B.I, recommendation 40.
Faced with these challenges, many cities have initiated programs designed to integrate
recent arrivals. Frequently, these efforts have been developed in concert with stakeholders such
as other levels of government, private sector employers, non-profit organizations, immigrant
settlement organizations, and individual immigrants. Cities such as Vancouver, Edmonton,
Halifax, and Saskatoon have in place programs, strategies and projects to ensure that recent
immigrants remain and prosper in their communities.90
Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement and Local Immigration Partnerships (LIPS)
As a step toward greater success for new immigrants, municipalities are calling for
improved collaboration among all three orders of government when it comes to developing
immigrant settlement strategy. They are calling for alignment with federal housing and
transit initiatives with federal immigration policy to ensure better outcomes for
communities and newcomers...
Ben Henderson, Chair, Standing Committee on Social-Economic Development,
Federation of Canadian Municipalities,
Evidence, 3 February 2011
The governments of Canada and Ontario signed the first Canada-Ontario Immigration
Agreement (the Agreement) in 2005. Under the Agreement, the federal government and the
province of Ontario committed to work together in several important areas regarding
immigration, including settlement and training services and partnerships with municipalities.91
The Agreement contains a provision giving municipalities an opportunity to become involved in
planning and discussions on immigration and settlement – the first time that all three levels of
government in Canada have worked together to address the needs of immigrants.
Local Immigration Partnerships, or LIPs, are partnerships formed between the federal,
provincial, and municipal governments in Ontario. Local Immigration Partnerships are
89
Ibid.
Ibid, pp. 14 – 16.
91
Citizenship and Immigration Canada, “Immigration and Settlement in Ontario,”
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/laws-policy/agreements/ontario/can-ont-index.asp
90
34
“agreements between municipalities and local stakeholders to develop a comprehensive,
coordinated and collaborative strategy for the settlement and integration of newcomers to their
communities.”92 There are currently over 30 LIPs in Ontario funded by CIC in collaboration with
the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and the Association of Municipalities of
Ontario.
An example of a Local Immigration Partnership can be found in the Canada-OntarioToronto Memorandum of Understanding on Immigration and Settlement. Mr. Henderson stated
that “it is the one model that seems to be working well and is a good step in the right direction
and certainly can be looked at elsewhere.”93
In September 2006, the governments of Canada, Ontario, and the City of Toronto signed
the Canada-Ontario-Toronto Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Immigration and
Settlement under the terms of the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement.94 The MOU
established a framework for the federal, provincial and municipal governments to discuss matters
related to immigration and settlement in the City of Toronto. It focuses on improving outcomes
for immigrants through several areas of interest to all three governments, including citizenship
and civic engagement, and facilitating access to employment, services, and educational and
training opportunities.
As several witnesses indicated, Local Immigration Partnerships represent a workable and
productive model to bring municipalities into partnerships with the other levels of government,
allowing them to contribute to immigration planning that is tailored to match unique local needs.
Recently Citizenship and Immigration Canada has been working with representatives of
provincial governments and community stakeholders to stimulate interest in the LIP model and
that the model has been adapted beyond Ontario as a result.95These partnerships are an important
component of successful immigrant integration. The committee therefore recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 8
That the Government of Canada initiate efforts to expand the Local Immigration
Partnership model beyond the province of Ontario.
Enclaves
Witnesses noted a trend towards the formation of enclaves, in which immigrants from
similar ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds settle within close proximity to one another.
92
Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, 2010,
http://www.cic.gc.ca/English/resources/publications/annual-report2010/section4.asp .
93
Evidence, 3 February 2011, Ben Henderson.
94
Citizenship and Immigration Canada, “Canada-Ontario-Toronto Memorandum of Understanding on
Immigration,” http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/laws-policy/agreements/ontario/can-ont-toronto-mou.asp
95
Citizenships and Immigration Canada, Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration, 2012, p. 25.
35
The committee heard mixed views regarding the social impacts of such enclaves. Combined with
the spread of the Internet and other newer forms of electronic communication which make it
easier for recent immigrants to maintain ties with their countries of origin, the formation of
enclaves creates a concern that recent immigrants might be even more isolated from mainstream
Canadian life.
This concern was expressed by Professor Wu who testified that “first generation
immigrants, especially visible minorities, living in ethnic enclaves report a lower sense of
belonging to Canada than immigrants living in different types of neighbourhoods.” 96
Martin Collacott, of the Centre for Immigration Policy Reform, also raised concerns about
the formation of ethnic enclaves, telling the committee that “[t]here is no question that a
newcomer from a very different culture and language group will be more comfortable living
among people who speak the same language, but this does slow down integration.”97
David Harris, the Director of INSIGNIS Strategic Research Inc., also raised concerns about
enclaves, testifying that their growth “hints at increasing separation of communities, some of its
self-imposed, and the undermining of integrationist hopes, notably including hopes of integration
of Charter values.”98
Other witnesses had a more positive view of enclaves and the role that they play in the
integration process. These witnesses distinguished between enclaves and ghettoes; residents of
the former settle there by choice while residents of the latter live there due to factors over which
they have little or no control. David Hulchanski stated that “[t]here is nothing wrong with ethnic
enclaves, enclaves of choice.”99 Katherine Scott expressed a similar view, stating that:
It is a question of choice and the degree to which people have
choice. There is a large difference between new Canadians who
choose to live in particular areas for a set of complex reasons, and
those that have no choice.100
Professor Agrawal also drew a distinction between enclaves and ghettos, testifying that
“[e]thnic enclaves must not be confused with ghettos, which are the product of poverty,
exclusion and physical blight. Most Canadian ethnic enclaves are not burdened with such
conditions.”101
96
Evidence, 9 February 2011, Zheng Wu.
Evidence, 3 February 2011, Martin Collacott.
98
Evidence, 3 February 2011, David Harris.
99
Evidence, 15 March 2012, David Hulchanski.
100
Evidence, 15 February 2012, Katherine Scott.
101
Evidence, 15 February 2012, Sandeep Kumar Agrawal.
97
36
Professor Hulchanski spoke in terms of “positive” and “negative” enclaves, using the
Portuguese community of Toronto as an example of the former. Members of that community
“want to be near the Portuguese church and Portuguese school, so they cluster in that area. [...] It
is a positive kind of enclave. We have those all over our cities across the country.”102 A
“negative” enclave, in contrast “is where people end up living someplace they would rather not
live and end up clustering with people like themselves in various ways.”103
Professor Agrawal stated that contrary to the view that ethnic enclaves are dysfunctional
communities, they perform a valuable role in the integration process. A positive settlement
experience followed by gradual integration into Canadian society can be facilitated, for some
groups of immigrants, by living in an enclave where they can gain social capital. According to
Professor Zheng Wu “enclaves play a protective role in helping new immigrants to settle in.”104
Professor Agrawal asserted that ethnic enclaves fit within the normal development patterns
of Canadian cities, and added that due to significant changes in infrastructure, communications
technologies, and social geography of cities, neighborhoods no longer play the role they once did
in fostering social cohesion.
Ethnic enclaves do not pose a threat to social cohesion. Contemporary neighborhoods play
a limited role in fostering social cohesion. Neighborhoods have long lost the character of
territorial communities of primary relations and strong neighborhood bonds. Modern
social life is based on communities of interest, occupational associations, voluntary
organizations and social networks that are spread all across a city.
Dr. Sandeep Kumar Agrawal, Graduate Program Director,
School of Urban and Regional Planning, Ryerson University ,
Evidence, 15 February 2012
In effect, technologies that enable new Canadians to maintain ties with their countries of
origin also enable them to transcend the boundaries of the neighborhoods – or enclaves – where
they reside and allow them to develop bridges to the wider community.
Although there may be no one single policy approach to addressing the phenomenon of
“negative enclaves,” or ghettos, witnesses did offer a number of suggestions that municipal
governments and local planners could employ. Professor Agrawal recommended:


a mix of low and middle income households and deconcentration of disadvantaged
families;
… [r]ent subsidies and home ownership tax credits ..., and
102
Evidence, 15 March 2012, David Hulchanski.
Ibid.
104
Evidence, 9 February 2011, Zheng Wu.
103
37

promoting infill development of market housing and businesses [to broaden] the
economic base of deprived neighbourhoods.105
He also suggested that “building [an] intercultural bridge – geographic and social – is the
strategy of integration.”106
Alain Mercier, a Board Member of the Canadian Urban Transit Association, indicated that
public mass transit has a role to play in this regard, stating that: “One of the factors from an
urban design and planning perspective and mobility is being able to connect some of these
neighbourhoods [enclaves] that tend to isolate themselves both physically and socially...”107
Lastly, within the “negative enclaves” themselves, Professor Agrawal recommended the
provision of community based social development and advocated the use of community centres,
asserting that “[m]ulti-service neighbourhood centres are one of the best ways of serving some of
these deprived neighbourhoods.”108 The committee takes note of this recommendation which
promises to offset the disadvantages inherent in negative enclaves. Accordingly, the committee
recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 9
That the Government of Canada work with the provincial and territorial
governments and municipalities to support programs that identify neighbourhoods
at risk and to help provide services and infrastructure to overcome negative effects
of enclaves arising from poverty.
NEW CANADIANS AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Many newly arrived immigrants come from countries in which democratic institutions do
not exist and the rights of citizenship are either curtailed or non-existent. One of the features that
attract immigrants to Canada is the existence of a mature, well-established system of democratic
institutions. However, on arrival in Canada, many will be unfamiliar with their rights – as well as
their responsibilities – as citizens of a democratic nation.
105
Evidence, 15 February 2012, Sandeep Kumar Agrawal.
Ibid.
107
Evidence, 15 February 2012, Alain Mercier.
108
Evidence, 15 February 2012, Sandeep Kumar Agrawal The development of multi-service community centres is
on of the projects that could fall under the local initiatives referenced by Recommendation 2 of this report.
106
38
[N]ew immigrants should go through some kind of civic education training or language
training, pretty much in line with what is happening in some European cities. It is usually
handled by a municipality. When an immigrant or immigrant family comes to a city, it is
city hall that ushers that family [and] takes them around and explains what their rights and
responsibilities are, what the municipal government does for them, that they have the right
to participate in decision-making processes, and that they can make a deputation in front of
a city council. It does not happen in a systematic way in Canada.
Sandeep Kumar Agrawal, Graduate Program Director,
School of Urban and Regional Planning, Ryerson University ,
Evidence, 15 February 2012
The federal government, under the Citizenship Program delivered by CIC, assists
immigrants in the acquisition of Canadian citizenship. One of the important goals of the Program
is to promote the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship. In addition to their rights
and responsibilities as citizens of Canada, immigrants also need to know what they can expect in
terms of their rights at the local level, as well as their responsibilities. Accordingly, the
committee recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 10
That the Government of Canada work in partnership with provincial, territorial
and municipal levels of government to promote civic awareness among new
Canadians. Such programs should emphasize both the rights and responsibilities of
citizens vis-à-vis their communities.
ECONOMIC INTEGRATION OF RECENT IMMIGRANTS
One of the best ways of fostering a sense of inclusion is through active and successful
participation in the labour market. This is particularly so when there is a close alignment between
a person’s skills and levels of education and the nature of the work they do. As Lori Wilkinson,
Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Manitoba testified “[t]hose [younger
immigrants] with jobs that are fulfilling and that recognize their skill set and experience tend to
be happier, better adjusted and will become more engaged citizens in the long run than those
who have problems in the short term.”109
However, evidence demonstrates that the economic outcomes of recent immigrants are
below what Canadians and immigrants expect and desire. Immigrants recently arrived in Canada
experience high rates of unemployment and underemployment. Both circumstances represent a
loss, not only to immigrants and their families, but to the Canadian economy as a whole and thus
to all Canadians.
109
Evidence, 10 February 2011, Lori Wilkinson.
39
The committee heard extensive testimony from its witnesses regarding the changing
economic fortunes of immigrants over the past three decades. Garnett Picot stated that the
economic outcomes of new immigrants to Canada (less than five years in Canada) have been in
decline since the 1980s. The low-income rate for newly arrived immigrants rose from 24.6% in
1980 to approximately 36% in 2005; in comparison the low-income rate for the Canadian-born
population declined from 17.2% to 13.3% over the same period.110
Unlike the previous generation of immigrants, newcomers are not catching up to their
Canadian-born counterparts within the first ten years of arrival. Newcomers are earning
less and taking longer to find affordable housing and jobs that match their education and
skills levels.
Ben Henderson, Chair, Federation of Canadian Municipalities Standing
Committee on Social-Economic Development,
Evidence, 3 February 2011
Witnesses cited rising unemployment rates and poverty levels among the immigrant
population as a cause for concern. Mr. Picot indicated that unemployment rates for both men and
women tend to be higher among immigrants than the Canadian-born no matter how long they
have been in Canada.111 Mr. Henderson stated that newcomers are overrepresented in poverty
cycles, face significant barriers to success and are falling behind their non-immigrant
counterparts.112
An inability to secure employment in fields related to their professional skills and
education - a phenomenon known as “underemployment”- represents a problem for many
newcomers. Professor Agrawal told the committee that:
Most of the immigrants, especially new immigrants, find their first
footing in the service industry, waste management industry, lowpaying manufacturing industry, and they get stuck there for the rest
of their lives.113
Professor Agrawal added that, for many recent immigrants, “[t]he problem is access to
jobs. Most of these folks are not unemployed; they are underemployed.”114 Katherine Scott
indicated that “[n]ewcomer Canadians are working, but they are working in jobs that do not pay
adequate wages [...] employment levels among new immigrants are high. They are comparable to
rates among Canadian-born people.”115 The committee addressed these issues in its report In
110
Evidence, 3 February 2011, Garnett Picot.
Evidence, 3 February 2011, Garnett Picot.
112
Evidence, 3 February 2011, Ben Henderson.
113
Evidence, 15 February 2012, Sandeep Kumar Agarwal
114
Ibid.
115
Evidence, 15 February 2012, Katherine Scott.
111
40
From the Margins, calling for tax credits for employer who hire immigrants for their first jobs in
their areas of expertise and for bridging programs to assist immigrants with professional
qualifications (see Appendix B.I, recommendations 59 and 64).
Credentials and Credentialism116
A lack of credentials recognized by Canadian employers combined with the absence of
Canadian work experience are significant obstacles for recent immigrants trying to enter the
labour market at a level and salary appropriate to their skills and education.
In some instances, immigrants may arrive in Canada only to discover that their credentials
do not match the standards required by Canadian employers. Under such circumstances,
immigrants should have been informed that they may experience difficulty in finding
employment within their fields of expertise. To avoid such knowledge being acquired only after
an individual arrives in Canada, the committee recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 11
That, as part of the pre-departure services, prospective immigrants be advised when
their academic or other credentials do not meet the standards required by Canadian
employers.
[P]oor labour market outcomes of skilled immigrants cost the Canadian economy
between $2 billion and $5 billion annually. That is an estimate. The underuse of the skills
and employment potential of immigrants also results in unnecessary increases to social
services costs, a decreased ability of employers to find employees with the required skills
and loss of potential tax revenue. In addition, it reduces the chances of successful social
integration of newcomers and their families.
Jean-François LaRue, Director General of the Foreign Credentials Referral Office
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
Evidence, 10 February 2011
The Federal Government and Immigrant Labour Market Integration
With a rapidly aging population, declining birth rates, and occupational skills shortages in
some areas, the federal government has assigned a priority to attracting skilled immigrants who
can fill pressing labour market requirements. An increasing emphasis has been placed on
ensuring that there is a better match between these requirements and the attributes possessed by
immigrants at the point of selection. As the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration stated in the
introduction to his Department’s Annual Report to Parliament for 2011,
116
“Credentialism” refers to the challenges faced by employers in recognizing and verifying that education and job
experience obtained in another country are equivalent to the standards established for Canadians.
41
[R]ecently selected immigrants were chosen for the skills and talents they
possess that match Canada’s labour market demands. For immigration to continue
to support our economy’s development, it is crucial that we maintain an
immigration system that responds to Canada’s economic needs in a timely manner.1
Recent initiatives taken by the federal government to improve the selection of economic
class immigrants have already been mentioned. A better match between the medium- to longer
term labour market needs of Canadian employers and more careful attention to the linguistic
skills of prospective immigrants are expected to produce better results for the economic
integration of newcomers. A more rigorous introduction to Canadian social and economic
realities prior to departure should also ensure an easier transition to Canadian society and
workplace standards and norms.
The federal government is taking new measures and improving existing ones to bring about
better economic outcomes for immigrants following their arrival. In particular, the Government
of Canada is taking concrete steps to address the challenges presented by credentialism. To that
end, the federal government has taken a two-pronged approach by establishing the Foreign
Credentials Referral Office (FCRO) at Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the
Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Program managed by the Labour Market Integration
Directorate in Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC).
The Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO), Citizenship and Immigration Canada
The Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO) was created in 2007 with the mandate to:
provide internationally trained workers with the information, pathfinding and referral services they need to have their credentials
recognized as quickly as possible so that they can find work in
their field of expertise more quickly.117
The FCRO works with other federal government departments, provincial and territorial
governments, regulatory bodies, credential assessment agencies, industry associations and
employers. Ms. Prince-St-Amand pointed out that this work is extremely complex, particularly
given that the provinces and territories are responsible, through delegation to regulatory bodies,
for assessing and recognizing credentials. She went on to testify that:
Over 440 regulatory bodies across Canada govern over 55
professions. More than 200 post-secondary educational institutions
assess credentials for the purposes of academic placement, as well
as the five provincially mandated assessment agencies that
117
Evidence, 10 February 2011, Corrine Prince-St-Amand.
42
evaluate credentials for both academic placement and workplace
entry. There are many players. When you add employers to that,
we are into the thousands.118
To work with these complexities, the FCRO is using a variety of initiatives including
website development, providing information to individuals before they immigrate, and
supporting innovative projects, partnerships, and mentoring programs. Services are offered in
person to individual immigrants across Canada through Service Canada centres, outreach sites,
and a toll-free telephone service.
Tools created by the FCRO assist prospective employers and immigrants seeking
employment. The Employer’s Roadmap: Hiring and Retaining Internationally Trained Workers,
was development by the FCRO working with The Alliance of Sector Councils (TASC), to help
employers navigate the complexities involved in hiring workers with foreign credentials and
determine which options would best suit their requirements.119
Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Program – Human Resources and Skills Development
Canada
The Labour Market Integration Directorate in Human Resources and Skills Development
Canada (HRSDC) manages the Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Program. The Director
General in charge of the Directorate, Jean-François LaRue, explained that his office “is
responsible for reducing labour mobility barriers faced by Canadians in regulated occupations as
they move from province to province and also faced by internationally trained workers trying to
integrate into the Canadian economy.” He noted that the role of his Directorate “is different than
Citizenship and Immigration Canada's, in that they work with individuals while we work with
systems.”120 Specifically, the Directorate’s FCR Program:
promotes systemic change related to foreign credential recognition
processes, which includes, among others, bridge training
initiatives. This program works closely with and provides funding
to partners and stakeholders such as provinces, territories,
associations of regulatory bodies, employers' groups and others to
develop fair, transparent, consistent and timely FCR practices
across Canada.121
118
Ibid.
The Roadmap is made available on the FCRO’s website:
http://www.credentials.gc.ca/employers/roadmap/index.asp To assist individuals hoping to immigrate to Canada,
the FCRO has produced Planning to Work in Canada? An Essential Workbook for Newcomers, also available on
its website: http://www.credentials.gc.ca/immigrants/workbook/workbook.pdf
120
Evidence, 10 February 2011, Jean-François LaRue.
121
Ibid.
119
43
The Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign Qualifications
The Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign
Qualifications (the Framework)122 is a major initiative supported jointly by the FCRO and the
Labour Market Integration Directorate. The Framework is being implemented by HRSDC and
Health Canada, along with provincial governments, and establishes:
a)
b)
c)
d)
principles that the federal, provincial and territorial governments agree will guide
the recognition of foreign credentials;
standards for the timely treatment of people looking to have their qualifications
recognized;
occupations that will be the first priority for coordinated action to achieve the
standards for timeliness; and
a consistent approach that will see applications for licensing and credential
assessment processes increasingly begin overseas.123
In Budget 2009, the federal government allocated $50 million to help governments support
implementation of the Framework. Mr. LaRue testified that as of 31 December 2010, the FCR
Program had concluded 66 agreements, 36 of which were with regulated occupations, 23 with
non-regulated occupations, and seven with provinces and territories, In its report In From the
Margins, the committee recommended that the federal government work with provincial and
territorial governments to expedite the development and implementation of the Framework. (See
Appendix B.I, recommendation 63.)
BEYOND THE FIRST GENERATION: THE CHILDREN OF IMMIGRANTS
One could take a longer-term view of economic integration and
think about the children of immigrants. In this area Canada is
doing quite well.124
The children’s outcomes are sometimes considered the benchmark
by which integration is judged.125
The children of immigrants fall into two general categories: those under the age of 12 who
immigrated with their parents (sometimes referred to as “generation 1.5”)126 and those born in
122
Forum of Labour Market Ministers, Pan-Canadian Framework for the Assessment and Recognition of Foreign
Qualifications, 2009, http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/workplaceskills/publications/fcr/pcf_folder/PDF/pcf.pdf
123
Government of Canada, Foreign Credential Recognition: Measures for Employers,2009.
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/about/publication/ei/foreign_credential_eap_lowrez-eng.pdf
124
Evidence, 3 February 2011, Garnett Picot.
125
Settling In: OECD Indicators of Immigrant Integration, 2012, OECD Publishing, 2012, p, 17, http://www.oecdilibrary.org/docserver/download/8112051e.pdf?expires=1357751574&id=id&accname=ocid195214&checksum=
C6E277D0A7343D708E3D9A5CE67CECC4
126
Evidence, 3 February 2011, Garnett Picot.
44
Canada of immigrant parents. Overall, immigrants to Canada are predominately young. In 2006,
for example, most were between 25 and 44 years of age. The median age of these newcomers
was 29.8 years, a full nine years younger that Canada’s overall population.127 Professor
Wilkinson told the committee that “57 per cent of all people who come to Canada come here
before their 29th birthday.” Accordingly, “understanding the labour market entrance experiences
of this group has significant repercussions for determining the economic integration of all
immigrants.”128
In spite of worrying trends among first-generation immigrants, from a longer term view of
economic integration, there is reason to be optimistic. Garnett Picot testified that the educational
attainment of immigrant children is higher than the educational attainment of the children of
Canadian-born:
36% of the children of immigrants had a university degree... 24 per
cent of the children of Canadian-born parents had a university
degree.... The children are achieving quite high levels of
educational attainment.129
According to Mr. Picot, data also indicate that the rates of employment among the children
of immigrants are as good as or better than those of the children of Canadian-born parents.
Children of immigrants are more likely to be in professional occupations because of their high
level of educational attainment, and their earnings are 6% to 10% higher than the earnings of the
children of Canadian-born parents.130
However, Professor Wilkinson sounded a caution about the future educational and labour
market outcomes for the children of immigrants. Her research, which followed immigrant youth
who arrived in Canada between October 2000 and September 2001 for 10 years after their
arrival, suggested that recent waves of young immigrants could experience difficulty.131 Of those
between the ages of 15 to 19, only 18% had completed high school and only 19% were pursuing
post-secondary education. Among older age groups, only 14% of those aged 24 to 28, and 17%
of those aged 29 to 34 had completed a college diploma or trade certificate. On the other hand, a
third had completed a university degree.132 These findings may have serious consequences for
the social inclusion of younger immigrants. As Professor Wilkinson noted, “[w]hen they are
127
Statistics Canada, Canadian Demographics at a Glance, 2008, Catalogue no. 91-003-X, p. 23,
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/91-003-x/91-003-x2007001-eng.pdf
128
Evidence, 10 February 2011, Lori Wilkinson.
129
Evidence, 3 February 2011, Garnett Picot.
130
Ibid.
131
Lori Wilkinson, et al., “The Labour Market Transitions of Newly Arrived Immigrant Youth: A Tri-Provincial
Study,” Metropolis, 2010, http://canada.metropolis.net/pdfs/fow_wilkinson_etal_nrc_04jan11.pdf
132
Evidence, 10 February 2011, Lori Wilkinson.
45
satisfied with their education and their jobs, their satisfaction tends to have a trickle-down effect
in other aspects of their lives, including social, community, political and family.”133
The good news, according to Professor Wilkinson, is that participation in the labour market
by immigrant youth increased in the four years following their arrival. Six months after settling
in Canada, 54% were working and four years later, 84% of those she studied had found
employment. In the medium (three to 10 years after arrival) and long term (10 years and more
after arrival), in spite of difficulties during their first four years, “many of these young
immigrants experience a high degree of success in the labour market [...].” On this basis,
Professor Wilkinson concluded “that the evidence suggests that, on the whole, immigrant youth
experience successful integration in the labour market in the long term.”134 Nonetheless, the
recession which began in 2008 has had a particularly harsh impact on young immigrants.
Professor Wilkinson stated that:
Recent research suggests that being an immigrant or a refugee has
a significant effect on unemployment, with immigrants and
refugees being twice as likely to be unemployed, and that the effect
of recessions on immigrant youth is significant. A person who
enters the labour market during a recession earns 8 per cent to 10
per cent less in their lifetime than someone who enters the labour
market during a healthy economy.135
Garnett Picot testified in similar vein that immigrants as a whole are harder hit by
recessions than the Canadian-born population. He indicated that:
Immigrants are affected disproportionately during recessions.
During the recent recession, their employment rate fell, and their
unemployment rate rose more than you would see among the
Canadian-born. That was also true during the early 1990s
recession.136
Generational Differences
A study by Lloyd L. Wong and Roland R. Simon found that first-generation immigrants
have a very strong sense of attachment to Canada.137 However, this sense of attachment began to
deteriorate among the children and grandchildren of immigrants. In this regard, Professor Paul
133
Ibid.
Ibid.
135
Ibid.
136
Evidence, 3 February 2011, Garnett Picot
137
Lloyd L. Wong and Roland R. Simon, “Citizenship and Belonging to Canada: Religious and Generational
Differentiation,” Canadian Journal for Social Research, Winter 2010, http://www.acsaec.ca/pdf/pubs/CanadianJournalforSocialResearch_migrating-identities_pdf.pdf.
134
46
Bramadat, Director, Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria
testified that the traditional narrative in which the children of immigrants are fully integrated into
Canadian society is breaking down as evidenced by signs of radicalization among some of them:
When we look at why it is breaking down, and among whom, it
seems to be that radicalization is the principal vector of the
breakdown [...] someone coming from a war-torn country in Africa
or certain other parts of the world may suffer other kinds of
discrimination – racial or religious discrimination, according to
their credentials...138
In further comments regarding generational differences, Professor Bramadat noted that
with first-generation immigrants, the “immigration process itself tends to preselect; namely,
people who will be eager to sign on to this new project of being Canadian. They have [...] a
higher degree of attachment.”139 Although reluctant to generalize, Professor Bramadat observed
that members of the second generation:
do not speak with accents. They are more comfortable. They are
not surprised by Canadian society, and they see some of its flaws
more clearly – perhaps, than their parents do – especially around
race and inclusion.140
Kristopher Wells commented generally on the radicalization of minority youth, telling the
committee that “[i]t is that isolation and alienation when they feel disconnected that can lead to
[...] the radicalization where they look for community to find that sense of belonging. Extremists
out there can prey on them...”141
The children of immigrants, whether born in Canada, or immigrants themselves, have been
relatively successful in obtaining post-secondary education and integrating into Canadian society
and the labour market. Nevertheless, there are reasons for concern. These Canadians, along with
their parents, tended to be more adversely affected by the recession than their counterparts.
Those who also happen to be members of a visible and/or religious minority have sometimes
been vulnerable to prejudice and discrimination. In some rare instances, negative experience has
produced a sense of isolation and exclusion that has led some to seek out other identities and to
turn to radicalism. To counter these tendencies, Canada must rely on its traditional approaches to
newcomers, one that is welcoming yet insistent upon adherence to the rule of law and Canadian
values. The committee is of the view that for immigrant youth and the children of immigrants,
138
Evidence, 17 February 2011, Paul Bramadat.
Ibid.
140
Ibid.
141
Evidence, 17 February 2011, Kristopher Wells.
139
47
acquaintance with Canadian values and the principles involved in adherence to the rule of law is
best fostered through the educational system (see recommendation 11).
In addition to identifying a number of promising practices with regard to immigrant
integration, the committee’s witnesses also provided a number of practical suggestions to guide
the actions of governments at all three levels, organizations representing and serving immigrant
communities, and individual immigrants. Suggestions included taking into account best practices
from other immigrant-receiving countries, 142 building ties with municipal police forces,143 and
in-person encounters with other Canadians through such activities as team sports, cultural events,
and volunteering.144
142
Evidence, 2 February 2011, Ratna Omidvar.
Ibid.
144
Evidence, 3 February 2011, Fran Klodawsky.
143
48
CHAPTER FOUR: VISIBLE MINORITIES
Social inclusion, or more accurately, social exclusion, is a critical issue facing members of
the racialized and immigrant communities today. We are among the most marginalized
historically, and that is still the case.
Avvy Go, Director, Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic,
Evidence, 7 March 2012
INTRODUCTION
It is important to distinguish visible minorities from immigrants. Visible minorities have been
present in Canada from this country’s inception and prior to it. While many immigrants – the
majority in recent years – are members of a visible minority, other visible minority Canadians have
been in Canada for generations. Yet despite this fact, these Canadians still face significant
challenges when it comes to social inclusion and, for them, labour market participation can be
especially difficult. As the face of immigration has changed from European countries to other
sources, Canada’s racial diversity will continue to grow, potentially producing what some have
called a “majority-minority” state in which visible minorities collectively form the largest segment
of the population.145
The Employment Equity Act defines visible minorities as “persons, other than aboriginal
peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour.”146 The term “racialized groups” is
also used to describe people who are not white.147 In 2006, 5.3 million Canadians belonged to a
visible minority group, or 16% of the population. This is in contrast to the 4 million Canadians –
13.4% of the population – who reported membership in a visible minority group in the 2001
Census, which in turn was an increase from the 4.7% of the population who reported such
membership in 1981.148 The Conference Board of Canada reports that between 2001 and 2006,
Canada’s visible minority population increased by 27%, five times faster than the growth rate of
the overall population.149
According to demographic projections, by 2031, 29% to 32% of the population, or between
11.4 and 14.4 million people, could belong to a visible minority group.150 The largest visible
145
See, for example, Conor Dougherty, “U.S. Nears Racial Milestone,” The Wall Street Journal, 11 June 2010,
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704312104575298512006681060.html
146
Employment Equity Act, http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/E-5.401/index.html.
147
Canadian Race Relations Foundation, Glossary of Terms, http://www.crr.ca/en/component/glossary/Glossary70/V/Visible-Minority-115/ According to the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, people who are labelled as
‘visible minorities’ prefer the terms ‘racialized minority,’ or ‘people of colour.’
148
Samuel Perreault, Visible Minorities and Victimization, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Profile Series,
Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 85F0033MIE, 2004, p. 7,
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85f0033m/85f0033m2008015-eng.htm.
149
The Conference Board of Canada, How Canada Performs: Acceptance of Diversity,
http://www.conferenceboard.ca/HCP/Details/Society/acceptance-of-diversity.aspx .
150
Statistics Canada, Canada Year Book 2011, Chapter 13, p. 180, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-402x/2011000/pdf/ethnic-ethnique-eng.pdf .
49
minority group is currently made up of South Asians who comprised 25% of the visible minority
population in 2006; by 2031, they could represent 28% of the entire visible minority population.
Currently making up 24% of the visible minority population, Canadians of Chinese ancestry could
decline to 21% of that population by 2031. In 2006, Black and Filipino populations made up the
third- and fourth-largest visible minority groups; by 2031, they could double in size. Arab and
West Asian groups could represent the fastest growing populations of all visible minority groups,
more than tripling in size by 2031.151 Collectively, Canada’s visible minority population is
concentrated in Canada’s urban centres; by 2031, they are forecast to make up as much as 63% of
the population of Toronto, 59% of Vancouver’s population, and 31% of the population of
Montréal.152
151
152
Ibid, p. 181.
Ibid, p. 180.
50
Chart 2: Number and proportion visible minority population in Canada, 1981-2017
and Visible minority groups in Canada, 2001 and 2017
51
ECONOMIC INCLUSION
2006 Census results showed that visible minority groups collectively experienced an
unemployment rate of 8.6%, 2.4 percentage points above that experienced by Canadians who
were not members of a visible minority (6.2%)153. The labour market participation rate (the
number of employed and unemployed as a percentage of the labour force) was 67% for visible
minority Canadians in contrast with 66.7% for Canadians who were not visible minorities,
indicating that visible minority Canadians were as willing to work as their counterparts, but more
likely to be unemployed.154 Furthermore, the jobs they manage to secure are more likely to be
located in sectors of the economy where employment is precarious, temporary and lowpaying.155Employed visible minority Canadians tend to earn less – 81.4 cents for every dollar
paid to non-visible minority Canadians.156
Low incomes, precarious employment, and rates of unemployment among visible
minorities result in higher levels of poverty among those Canadians. This is reflected in data
from Toronto, where the highest concentrations of visible minority Canadians are located. In
April 2004, the United Way of Greater Toronto reported that between 1981 and 2000, the
poverty rate for the visible minority family population in Toronto “increased steadily,” from just
over 20% in 1981 to 29.5% in 2001.157 In contrast the poverty rates for non-visible minorities
stayed the same over the 20 year period, at 12%.158 In terms of numbers, the number of lowincome visible minority families increased by 362% between 1980 and 2001, while within the
low-income non-visible family population, numbers declined by 28%.159 Avvy Go told the
committee that “similar studies from other cities across Ontario found similar disparities,” and
pointed out that “it is not just for immigrants [...] 33 per cent of racialized groups that are
Canadian-born also experience a similar kind of exclusion.”160
153
Statistics Canada, “Labour Force Activity by Visible Minority Status,” 2006 Census of Population, Statistics
Canada catalogue no. 97-562-XCB2006013 (Canada, Code 01)
154
Sheila Block and Grace-Edward Galabuzi, Canada’s Colour-Coded Labour Market: The gap for racialized
workers, Wellesley Institute and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, March 2011, p. 7,
http://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/Nationalper
cent20Office/2011/03/Colourper cent20Codedper cent20Labourper cent20Market.pdf
155
Ibid., p. 17.
156
Ibid., p. 11.
157
United Way of Greater Toronto, Poverty by Postal Code: The Geography of Neighbourhood Poverty, 1981 –
2001,April 2004, p. 49,
http://www.unitedwaytoronto.com/downloads/whatWeDo/reports/PovertybyPostalCodeFinal.pdf.
158
Ibid., p. 50.
159
Ibid.
160
Evidence, 7 March 2012, Avvy Go.
52
Table 2: Visible Minority Labour Force Activity, 2006
Labour force activity (8)
Visible minority
groups (14)
Total - Labour
force activity
Total - Population by
25,664,220
visible minority groups
Total visible minority
3,922,695
population 1
Chinese
1,005,640
South Asian 2
957,645
Black
562,135
Filipino
320,915
Latin American
244,330
Southeast Asian 3
184,580
Arab / West Asian
321,755
Korean
114,615
Japanese
66,400
Visible minority, n.i.e.
57,120
4
In the
labour
force
Employed
Unemployed
Not in
the labour
force
Partici
pation
rate
Employ
ment
rate
Un
employment
rate
17,146,135
16,021,180
1,124,955
8,518,090
66.8
62.4
6.6
2,639,520
2,413,610
225,915
1,283,180
67.3
61.5
8.6
623,225
656,205
397,460
245,855
175,570
127,150
206,090
62,820
40,895
576,195
599,525
355,090
233,540
159,750
116,405
181,130
57,465
38,815
47,025
56,685
42,365
12,310
15,820
10,745
24,965
5,355
2,080
382,410
301,445
164,675
75,060
68,760
57,430
115,660
51,795
25,505
62.0
68.5
70.7
76.6
71.9
68.9
64.1
54.8
61.6
57.3
62.6
63.2
72.8
65.4
63.1
56.3
50.1
58.5
7.5
8.6
10.7
5.0
9.0
8.5
12.1
8.5
5.1
40,625
37,445
3,180
16,490
71.1
65.6
7.8
Multiple visible
87,565
63,630
58,250
5,380
23,935
72.7
66.5
8.5
minority 5
6
Not a visible minority 21,741,525
14,506,615
13,607,565
899,045
7,234,910
66.7
62.6
6.2
Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Activity, Visible Minority Groups, http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/dp-pd/tbt/Rpeng.cfm?TABID=1&LANG=E&A=R&APATH=3&DETAIL=0&DIM=0&FL=A&FREE=0&GC=01&GID=837928&GK=1&GRP=1&O=D&PID=92340&P
RID=0&PTYPE=88971,97154&S=0&SHOWALL=0&SUB=0&Temporal=2006&THEME=80&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=&D1=0&D2=0&D3=0&D
4=0&D5=0&D6=0
SOCIAL INCLUSION
Avvy Go told the committee that low levels of appropriate labour market engagement for
visible minorities make a significant contribution to their social exclusion.
[E]mployment inequity and resulting income disparity poses one of
the most important and significant barriers to full social inclusion
by members of racialized communities, be they immigrants or
Canadian-born.161
She also testified that:
...economic disadvantage [...] translates into other forms of
exclusion as members of racialized groups experience more
criminalization, poorer health, higher levels of homelessness, [and]
greater barriers in accessing education...162
161
162
Ibid.
Ibid.
53
In earlier testimony, Ratna Omidvar stressed the importance of having immigrant and
visible minority representation at the centres of community decision making. This view was
echoed by Sandeep Kumar Agrawal, who told the committee:
The empowerment of minorities through representation in city
councils, planning boards or departments is increasing but not in
the same proportion as the increase in the number of visible
minority immigrants. For instance, visible minorities comprise
almost 40 per cent of the population across the Greater Toronto
Area [...] but they account for only 7 per cent of all municipal
council members.163
Professor Agrawal recommended that to overcome this lack of representation, governments
should “...invite, solicit and facilitate expressions of interest and concerns of groups in policy
making and implementation [and] empower members of minority communities to become staff,
managers and elected or appointed public representatives.”164 The committee endorses these
approaches and notes that the City of Edmonton, through its review of voluntary boards and
commissions is already taking steps in this direction.165 As noted earlier, representation on and
participation in decision making bodies is essential for those who are at risk of exclusion. Such
participation brings the voices of excluded communities into decision making forums, builds
social capital, and can result in decisions that better reflect the full spectrum of community needs
While some progress has been made at the municipal level, the committee believes that
opportunities exist to foster this kind of inclusion at the federal level. The committee
recommends accordingly:
RECOMMENDATION 12
That the Government of Canada support initiatives that empower members of
minority communities to become better represented in federal boards,
commissions, and in public office.
The committee’s witnesses suggested actions that should be taken to overcome barriers to
social and economic inclusion encountered by visible minority citizens. John Reilly spoke
favorably of Canada’s Action Plan against Racism, issued by the federal government in 2005.166
The Plan contained the following six points to combat racism and discrimination:
1.
2.
assist victims and groups vulnerable to racism and related forms of discrimination;
develop forward-looking approaches to promote diversity and combat racism;
163
Evidence, 15 February 2012, Sandeep Kumar Agrawal.
Ibid.
165
See, for example, Evidence, 19 February 2011, John Reilly.
166
Department of Canadian Heritage, A Canada for All: Canada’s Action Plan Against Racism, 2005, http://dsppsd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection/CH34-7-2005E.pdf
164
54
3.
4.
5.
6.
strengthen the role of civil society;
strengthen regional and international cooperation;
educate children and youth on diversity and anti-racism; and
counter hate and bias.167
The Racism-Free Workplace Strategy, one of the initiatives under Canada’s Action Plan
against Racism, focused on reducing racism and discrimination and promoting diversity in
workplaces subject to the Employment Equity Act. An evaluation released in 2011 found that the
Strategy had made progress in generating expected impacts with employers.168
The necessity to combat racism extends well beyond federally regulated workplaces. The
time to eliminate racism is before it takes root. One way to prevent racism is through education.
The committee therefore recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 13
That the Government of Canada encourage the provinces and territories to develop
a national comprehensive educational policy to challenge and address underlying
structural issues such as racism, religious and sexual intolerance, and bullying in
schools and society.
The comprehensive anti-racism/educational funding must be transparent and linked to
policy development implementation, education and accountability and the components of a
comprehensive educational policy must address: a) curriculum, training, teaching, b) bullying
and “Safe School” policies, and c) second-language training in either official language.
As part of the Action Plan, the federal government committed to monitor progress and
report back to Canadians in the Annual Report on the Operations of the Canadian
Multiculturalism Act tabled in Parliament.169 The Department of Canadian Heritage was to work
with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to develop a set of
indicators to monitor the progress of efforts to counteract racism.
Mr. Reilly emphasized that “[s]upport for, and extension of, the work of Canada’s Action
Plan on Racism, and efforts to eliminate racism at systemic and community levels, will help
promote a more cohesive society in Canada.”170 The committee agrees that the Government of
167
Ibid., p. 6.
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Summative Evaluation of the Racism-Free Workplace
Strategy, Final Report, May 2011, http://www.rhdcchrsdc.gc.ca/eng/publications_resources/evaluation/2011/sp_1012_09_11-eng/sp_1012_09_11e.pdf
169
This report is now tabled in Parliament by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada whose
Department is now responsible for the Canadian Multiculturalism Act. It is available on-line at
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/publications/multi-report2011/index.asp.
170
Evidence, 10 February 2011, John Reilly.
168
55
Canada has an important role to play in efforts to combat racism and discrimination and
therefore recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 14
That the Government of Canada continue actions to combat racism and
discrimination as set forth in Canada’s Action Plan against Racism.
Federal legislation in the form of the Employment Equity Act seeks to:
[a]chieve equality in the workplace so that no person shall be
denied employment opportunities or benefits for reasons unrelated
to ability and, in the fulfillment of that goal, to correct the
conditions of disadvantage in employment experienced by women,
aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of
visible minorities by giving effect to the principle that employment
equity means more than treating persons in the same way but also
requires special measures and the accommodation of difference.171
The Act applies to both federally regulated private sector employers and the federal public
service, and is thus applicable to approximately 13% of the Canadian workforce and 600
employers.172 Under the terms of the Act, the Canadian Human Rights Commission is
responsible for the enforcement of the Act’s obligations, a task that is partly fulfilled through
compliance audits. Employers who fail to comply with the Act’s provisions are subject to
monetary penalties.
Avvy Go called for more regular compliance audits “so that [employers] know that they
have to follow it and be contract compliant.”173 In 2011, the Canadian Human Rights
Commission implemented a new employment equity audit process. If an employer is found to be
experiencing difficulty in hiring and retaining designated groups compared with its industry
counterparts, it is then subjected to a full compliance audit. In 2011, the Commission
acknowledged 45 top performers in employment equity and audited 53 other organizations.174
Under the terms of the Public Service Employment Act, visible minorities are one of four
groups whose representation in the federal public service must be factored into hiring and
retention practices. For 2011, Treasury Board Secretariat reported that although visible minority
representation in the public service had increased over the previous year, it still fell slightly
171
Department of Justice, Employment Equity Act, Statutes of Canada 1995, c. 44, http://lawslois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/e-5.401/page-1.html#h-2
172
Canadian Human Rights Commission, Annual Report, 2011, p. 11.
173
Evidence, 7 March 2012, Avvy Go.
174
Canadian Human Rights Commission ( 2011), p. 11.
56
below their workforce availability.175 The Public Service Commission of Canada reported that
the number and proportion of external appointments for visible minorities fell during 2010-2011;
the number of visible minority applications had also declined. As Canada’s largest employer,
whose employees both serve and are paid by the public, the federal government must have a
workforce that is representative of Canadians. The committee therefore recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 15
That the Government of Canada accelerate equitable hiring and staffing processes
for visible minorities and other designated groups as called for under the federal
Public Service Employment Act, and
That the Government of Canada invite employers in federally regulated industries
to hire and retain members of the four groups designated under the Employment
Equity Act in proportion to their workforce availability.
175
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, “Demographic Snapshot of the Federal Public Service, 2011,”
http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/res/stats/demo11-eng.asp
57
CHAPTER FIVE: RELIGIOUS MINORITIES
INTRODUCTION
A majority of Canadians – seven out of 10 in the 2001 Census – identify themselves as
either Catholic or Protestant. While there had been a slight decline in the number of people who
reported adherence to Protestant denominations and a slight increase in the numbers claiming
affiliation with the Catholic Church, the number of Canadians who reported affiliation with
Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism in 2001 had increased substantially.176 The numbers of
Canadians reporting that they either had no religious affiliation or do not attend religious services
had also risen.177
Between 1991 and 2001, the number of Canadians who identify themselves as Muslim
increased by 129%; the number of Hindus by 8%; the number of Buddhists by 84%; the number
of Sikhs by 89%; and the number of Jews by 4%. While the number of Canadians who identify
with faiths other than Christian is relatively small (6% overall), this number has grown from
3.8% in 1991, and almost all of the dramatic increases have come as a result of immigration.178
Professor Bramadat spoke of the religious diversity that characterizes contemporary Canada and
forecast that “[b]y 2017, we are looking at reaching about 10 per cent of non-Christian folks.”179
Table 3: Population by religion, 2001
Religion/Religious Denomination
Population
Total population
29,639,035
Catholic
12,936,905
Protestant
8,654,850
Christian Orthodox
479,620
Christian not included elsewhere
780,450
Muslim
579,640
Jewish
329,995
Buddhist
300,345
Hindu
297,200
Sikh
278,410
Eastern religions
37,550
Other religions
63,975
No religious affiliation
4,900,000
Source: Statistics Canada, Population by religion, 2001 Census. Note: Statistics Canada only collects data on religion every ten years.
176
Statistics Canada, “Overview: Canada still predominantly Roman Catholic and Protestant,” Religions in Canada:
2001 Census. http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/english/census01/Products/Analytic/companion/rel/canada.cfm
177
Warren Clark and Grant Schellenberg, “Who’s religious?,” Canadian Social Trends, Summer 2006, Statistics
Canada, Catalogue No. 11-008, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-008-x/2006001/9181-eng.htm, Clark and
Schellenberg report that between 1985 and 2004, the number reporting no affiliation and non-attendance
increased from 31% to 43% of the population (p. 2).
178
Paul Bramadat, “Religion in Canada in 2017: Are We Prepared?” Canadian Issues, Fall 2007, p. 119.
179
Evidence, 17 February 2011, Paul Bramadat
58
The Charter and Religious Minorities
In 1982, the introduction of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and its Clause
2a (which asserts that among the fundamental freedoms enjoyed by all Canadians is the
“freedom of conscience and religion”) in the Constitution, provided Canadians of minority
religious faith with the protection of the Constitution and Canadian courts. Discussing the
impact of the Charter, Pauline Côté, of the Department of Political Science at Université Laval,
writes that:
The Charter seems to have made it easier for religious minorities to state their case
and have a voice in public debates. Because of the Charter, the general public is much
more aware of religious discrimination, and public institutions are committed at least in
general terms, to religious equality.180
Côté adds that the Charter “also proved effective in striking down important measures of
preferential treatment of religion in the public sphere, mainly in schools.”181
Victimization and Discrimination
While Canadians generally think of themselves and their country as open and tolerant,
Canadian history contains multiple instances in which this tolerance has not been forthcoming
with regard to religious minorities. Some of this intolerance is in evidence today. A recent poll,
for example, found that anti-Semitism is still present in Canada and that there has been a rise
Islamophobia in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 2001.182 In 2010, approximately
395 hate crimes motivated by religion were reported by police. Members of the Jewish faith were
the most common targets, accounting for just over half (204 incidents or 55%) of such incidents,
followed by Muslims (50 incidents or 14% of the total), and Catholics (50 incidents or 14% of
the total). The remaining 17% of hate crimes were committed against other religious groups such
as Sikhs, Hindus, and Buddhists.183
Professor Bramadat indicated, however, that Canada has done relatively well in keeping the
peace between different religious affiliations, explaining that “[t]he good news [...] is that
180
Pauline Côté, “From Status Politics to Technocratic Pluralism: Toleration of Religious Minorities in Canada,
Social Justice Research, Vol. 12, No. 4, 1999, p. 261
181
Ibid.
182
Marina Jiminez, “Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia on the rise: poll,” The Globe and Mail, 14 September 2008,
http://v1.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080919.wattitudes0919/front/Front/Front/ The story
reported on a poll conducted by Leger Marketing based on a survey of 1,500 respondents across Canada. The
survey, which had a 3.9% margin of error, found anti-Muslim sentiment among 36% of its respondents, while
73% expressed favorable feelings toward Jews, down from 78% the previous year (2007).
183
Cara Dowden and Shannon Brennan, “Police-reported hate crime in Canada,” Juristat, 2010, Statistics Canada,
catalogue no. 85-002-X, p. 12, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2012001/article/11635-eng.pdf
59
compared to many other Western liberal democracies, Canada is performing well” in terms of
managing religious pluralism.184
Legal and political mechanisms such as the Charter, human rights codes, employment
legislation and the criminal code, do exist for religious minorities to seek redress for
discrimination, and federal bodies such as Citizenship and Immigration Canada and a variety of
provincial ministries and programs do exist to provide funding and other forms of support for a
number of anti-racist and pro-inclusion initiatives that promote the social and cultural inclusion
of minority religious communities. However, even better than these structural supports, there is
a political culture and a widespread- if not unconditional- ethos here that promotes inclusion
and diversity.
Paul Bramadat, Director, Centre for Studies in Religion and Society,
University of Victoria,
Evidence, 17 February 2011
Professor Bramadat observed that in major Canadian urban centres, there is increased
acceptance of religious diversity, particularly among young people and that this acceptance is
mirrored in the results of opinion surveys that show that “many people in their 30s and 40s have
a much higher tolerance” for intermarriage than previous generations.185
Secularism: Open and Closed
In his testimony, Professor Bramadat spoke of “closed” and “open” secularism. Under the
former,
...people leave their religious identities at the door when they enter
city hall, the courtroom, a classroom, Parliament and other public
spaces. In these spaces, we say they should simply function as
citizens, not as religious citizens, and they should translate their
religious motivations into secular terms that can be understood by
all other citizens, in theory.186
At first glance, closed secularism would appear to be desirable. Professor Bramadat said
that it “sounds like a good way to keep the tribalism, misogyny and violence often associated
with religion out of the public arena [...] in theory, it protects the rights won by women, won by
religion and won by gays and lesbians, among others.”187
Yet closed secularism has drawbacks: “...for those religious minorities who cannot, or will
not, conceive of themselves as anything but religious citizens,” for whom “an explicitly or
184
Evidence, 17 February 2011, Paul Bramadat
Ibid.
186
Ibid.
187
Ibid.
185
60
implicitly closed secularism conveys the message that Canada does not welcome them as they
are.”188 In contrast, open secularism would allow for the inclusion of religious minorities who
feel that they cannot separate their beliefs from their roles as citizens. In an open secular society,
however, “one can and must say no to religious groups from time to time” with care to ensure
that the ‘no’ is delivered in a respectful way.189
Professor Bramadat discussed the differences between ‘closed secularism’ as currently
practiced in Canada and ‘open secularism” and recommended that Canada adopt the latter:
One new way forward is to adopt, and perhaps to enhance, open
secularism; to aim for a society in which we are guided by the
much-valued Charter principles but in which we strive to develop
laws, policies and a broader ethos in which religious claims, and
identities are welcomed in virtually all parts of our society.190
Professor Bramadat cited, as examples of open secularism, Canadian hospitals and hospices
that are increasingly open to the diverse religious needs of their patients. However, governments
can exercise only very limited means to promote the acceptance of religious diversity; as noted
above, laws already in place provide protection for the freedom of religious choice. One area in
which governments could facilitate open secularism and the acceptance of religious diversity is
through the education system.
Professor Bramadat observed that “provincial policies around education about religion are
a patchwork set of policies across the country.”191 While education at the primary and secondary
levels lies outside the constitutional competency of the federal government, the federal
government could assume a leadership role in promoting an approach to religious education
similar to the one practiced in Québec. As Professor Bramadat told the committee, “[i]t would be
a great idea if other provinces tried to learn from the Quebec experience with regard to how to
educate kids about religion; to learn what works and does not work.”192 The committee believes
that its recommendation 13 at page 60 will help promote the religious literacy that can serve as a
foundation for greater understanding and acceptance of a plurality of religious faiths in Canadian
communities.
THE ROLE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
The federal government employs a variety of strategies and instruments designed to protect
freedom of religion. In addition to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and other measures, the
Government of Canada has initiated two new approaches to defend freedom of worship.
188
Ibid.
Ibid.
190
Ibid.
191
Ibid.
192
Ibid.
189
61
In March 2011, the federal government announced that the Security Infrastructure Program,
initially launched as a pilot project, would be made permanent. The Program is designed to
provide financial support to groups at risk of hate-motivated crime. The funding, amounting to
$1 million annually, is for the development of security infrastructure for places of worship,
educational institutions and community centres. In 2010-2011, while still at the pilot stage, the
Program funded 20 projects, a total investment of $565,000.193
193
Public Safety Canada, Departmental Performance Report, 2010-11, http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/dpr-rmr/20102011/inst/psp/psp02-eng.asp
62
CHAPTER SIX: URBAN ABORIGINAL CANADIANS
Urban Aboriginal people are a key part of the future for urban
communities and urban economies, but to realize this potential we need to
fully support community development for all urban Aboriginal peoples.194
INTRODUCTION
According to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada,195 Aboriginal peoples
is “a collective name for the original peoples of North America and their descendants. Section 35
of the Canadian Constitution recognizes three groups of Aboriginal people: Indians (commonly
referred to as First Nations), Métis and Inuit.”196 Aboriginal Canadians face many challenges to
becoming fully engaged in urban Canadian society and economy.
These challenges have their roots in a complex history that includes past government
policies, including Indian residential schools.197 The Prime Minister’s historic apology
recognized the “lasting and damaging impact” of residential schools on Aboriginal cultures,
heritage and language.198 Some of these impacts are evident today, with poorer health, education,
social and economic outcomes for Aboriginal people relative to their non-Aboriginal Canadian
counterparts, including among the growing Aboriginal population moving to Canadian cities.
Earlier, in Chapter 2 of this Report, the committee emphasized that to achieve social
inclusion and cohesion, “one-size-fits all” solutions adopted by one or even a handful of
stakeholders would not succeed. There is perhaps no other area in which this is more so than
with regard to Aboriginal Canadians who are varied in cultural, linguistic, and geographic
composition.
Aboriginal Canadians: A Profile
In 2006, the Census recorded a total of 1,172,785 Aboriginal people, 3.8% of the Canadian
population. In spite of this minority status, the Aboriginal population is the fastest growing in
Canada, increasing by 20.1% between 2001 and 2006.199 According to population forecasts,
Aboriginal peoples could comprise 4.1% of Canada’s population by 2017.
194
Ray Gerow, written submission, February 2012.
Formerly Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.
196
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada,”Aboriginal Peoples and Communities,” http://www.aincinac.gc.ca/ap/index-eng.asp,.
197
For more information about these institutions, see Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, “Indian
Residential Schools – Key Milestones.”
198
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Statement of Apology to former students of Indian Residential Schools, 11
June 2008,
199
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, “Canadians in Context – Aboriginal Population,” Indicators
of Well-being in Canada, http://www4.hrsdc.gc.ca/[email protected]?iid=36 . Note that the growing
Aboriginal Canadian population is the result of births plus an increased willingness to self-identify as Aboriginal.
195
63
The numbers of Aboriginal Canadians are increasing at either end of the age spectrum. At
one end, Aboriginal Canadians are younger on average than the rest of the overall population.
The 2006 Census found that the median age of the Aboriginal population was 27 years, while the
median age for non-Aboriginal people was 40 years.200 While seniors aged 65 and older only
make up 5% of the Aboriginal population (among non-Aboriginal people, seniors make up
approximately 13% of the population), the percentage of senior Aboriginal people doubled
between 1996 and 2006.201 The chart below also demonstrates the relative youth of the
Aboriginal population, addressed in more specific urban contexts below.
Chart 3: Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal population age, 2006 (%)
Source: Statistics Canada, Aboriginal Peoples in Canada in 2006: Inuit, Metis and First Nations, 2006 Census.
Ottawa, Statistics Canada, 2008 (Cat. No. 97-558-XIE)
A Diverse Population
Aboriginal Canadians are not monolithic. Apart from the three main groups that compose
Canada’s Aboriginal peoples (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit), First Nations peoples are
composed of many nations such as Cree, Ojibway, and Mohawk. There are approximately 615
200
Statistics Canada, Aboriginal Peoples in Canada in 2006: Inuit, Metis and First Nations, 2006 Census. Ottawa,
Statistics Canada, 2008 (Cat. No. 97-558-XIE),p.6, http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/as-sa/97558/pdf/97-558-XIE2006001.pdf
201
Department of Canadian Heritage, “\Summative Evaluation of the Aboriginal Peoples’ Program,” February
2011, p. 26, http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/em-cr/evaltn/2011/2011-1/app-eval-eng.pdf
64
First Nations communities which represent more than 50 nations and nearly 60 Aboriginal
languages.202
Every Canadian city is unique in terms of the composition of its Aboriginal citizens. Leona
Carter, the Director of the Aboriginal Relations Office, Community Services for the City of
Edmonton, spoke of this diversity in terms of her city, which is a microcosm of the Canadian
urban Aboriginal population. She told the committee that:
We include diverse First Nations peoples, though predominately
Cree, more than half of us are Métis, we include a growing Inuit
population and we never forget our non-status brothers and sisters
as well. We share a common history, some common world views;
however, our languages, customs and our cultures represent a wide
range of differences.203
Ms. Carter also spoke of the age profile of Aboriginal Canadians in her city: “Nearly half
[...] are younger than 25 years of age. More than one in four [...] is under 15 years of age. [Urban
Aboriginal] population growth is three times that of other Edmontonians.”204
Jurisdictional Issues
Under Section 91(24) of the Constitution, the federal government has responsibility for
“Indians and Lands reserved for Indians.” This responsibility is reflected in the Indian Act.
However, unless it involves First Nation reserves located within municipalities, this
responsibility is unclear when it relates to Aboriginal people living in Canadian cities.
In spite of the broad definition contained in the Constitution, the federal government’s
“current policy is that its responsibility – with a few exceptions – extends only to First Nations
people resident on-reserve, while provincial governments have a general responsibility for
Aboriginal peoples living off-reserve. Neither the federal nor the provincial governments have
accepted any special responsibility for the Métis and non-status Indian population.”205
In the 1990s, provincial and territorial governments transferred many responsibilities to the
municipal level, often including responsibility for delivering programs and services to Aboriginal
202
Statistics Canada, ‘Aboriginal Peoples in Canada 2006: Inuit, Métis and First Nations, 2006 Census,” The Daily,
15 January 2008, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/080115/dq080115a-eng.htm
203
Evidence, 9 February 2012, Leona Carter. Non-status Aboriginal people are those who identify themselves as
Indians but who are not entitled to register on the Indian Register pursuant to the Indian Act, even though many
may be members of a First Nation. For more information, see http://www.aadncaandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100014433/1100100014437
204
Evidence, 9 February 2012, Leona Carter.
205
Tonina Simeone, Federal-Provincial Jurisdiction and Aboriginal Peoples, Library of Parliament, 2001,
http://lpintrabp.parl.gc.ca/apps/tips/tips-cont-e.asp?Heading=14&TIP=95
65
peoples living within their boundaries and often, according to the Federation of Canadian
Municipalities, without transferring adequate fiscal resources.206
The committee notes that in a decision handed down on 8 January 2013, the Federal Court
of Canada ruled that Métis and non-status Indians are “Indians” within the meaning of section 91
(24) of the Constitution Act, 1867, and thus fall under the jurisdiction of the federal
government.207 The committee also notes that on 6 February 2013, the then-Minister for
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, John Duncan, issued the following statement:
Given that the Federal Court decision in [this] case raises complex
legal issues, it is prudent for Canada to obtain a decision from a higher
court. After careful consideration of the decision, Canada has filed an
appeal, and it would be inappropriate to comment further as the case is
before the courts.”208
Speaking to the committee on the issue of jurisdiction, Allan MacDonald, Director of the
Office of the Federal Interlocutor at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada,
testified that he doubted that “one party has to own it, but there needs to be some leadership,”
and that because the federal government has an interest in the urban Aboriginal population, it is
showing that leadership.209 Representatives of national Aboriginal organizations saw things
somewhat differently, arguing that the issue of which level of government has jurisdiction
constitutes a major roadblock to progress and needs to be resolved. Betty Ann Lavallée, National
Chief, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP), told the committee that:
Canada denies jurisdiction over Métis and non-status Indians under
section 91.24 of the Constitution Act. Most provinces take the
position that non-status Indians and Métis are a federal
responsibility. The consequence is that 600,000 Métis and nonstatus Indians have become trapped in a jurisdictional vacuum
where there are few government programs for Aboriginal peoples.
This is the principal reason why we have not reached our full
potential in Canadian society.210
206
Federation of Canadian Municipalities, “Policy Statement on Municipal Finance and Intergovernmental
Arrangements,” http://www.fcm.ca/Documents/corporate-resources/policystatements/2012_Municipal_Finance_and_Intergovernmental_Arrangements_Policy_Statement_EN.pdf;
207
This decision can be found online at http://cas-ncr-nter03.cas-satj.gc.ca/rss/T-2172-99%20reasons%20jan-82013%20ENG.pdf
208
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, “Statement from Minister Duncan – Daniels Court
Decision,” 6 February 2013.
209
Evidence, 2 March 2011, Allan MacDonald.
210
Evidence, 2 March 2011, Betty Ann Lavallée.
66
In its report 14 years ago, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) observed
that the jurisdictional issue “is the most basic current form of governmental discrimination.”
RCAP recommended unblocking this issue by action in the courts and observed that until this
discriminatory practice has been changed, no other remedial measures can be as effective as they
should be.211
Allan MacDonald asserted that “if you start arguing over whose jurisdiction it is, you will
get nothing done.”212 Rick Simon, Regional Chief, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, of the
Assembly of First Nations (AFN), indicated that the AFN does not want to see wrangling
between the federal and provincial governments over jurisdiction: “we are standing on the
outside watching you guys argue about what is best for us, and that is not acceptable.” Mr.
Simon added that Aboriginal Canadians “need a more comprehensive continuum of care across
jurisdictional divides and uncertainties.”213
211
Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, Vol. 4,
Perspectives and Realities, p. 519, http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100014597/1100100014637#chp6
212
Evidence, 2 March 2011, Allan MacDonald.
213
Evidence, 2 March 2011, Rick Simon.
67
ABORIGINAL CANADIANS IN URBAN CENTRES
What is life like for Aboriginal peoples living in Canadian cities? The answer,
unfortunately, for [the] most part is that it is bleak.
The lot of life for Aboriginal peoples living in Canadian cities is not much different than
it is for Aboriginal peoples living in rural, remote and isolated communities. Yes, there
are some positive examples of success, of people employed, of owning businesses and of
good health. Unfortunately, and for the most part, our conditions of life include low
education and literacy rates, poor employment training opportunities in spite of federal
funding...
We have poor health and are experiencing high rates of diseases such as diabetes. Our
youth are challenged to decide whether to join gangs or to seek a better, more wholesome
life.
Jeffrey Cyr, Executive Director
National Association of Friendship Centres
Evidence, 8 February 2012
Aboriginal Canadians are increasingly urban. In 2006 in Canada as a whole, slightly more
than half the Aboriginal population lived in urban centres, up from 47% in 1996.214 Although the
results of the 2011 Census as they relate to Aboriginal Canadians had yet to be released at the
time of writing, Jeffrey Cyr, Executive Director of the National Association of Friendship
Centres, estimated, almost 60% of Canada’s total Aboriginal population currently live in
cities.215 Larry Cachene, Chief of the Yellow Quill First Nation, Saskatoon Tribal Council,
indicated that his Nation mirrors this trend, telling the committee that the Yellow Quill First
Nation has “2,700 band members [...] on our list, and 800 of them are in the community while
1,600 are off the reserve.”216 Projected demographic trends predict that the urban Aboriginal
population will continue to grow.
214
The Environics Institute, Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study, 2010, p. 24, http://uaps.twg.ca/wpcontent/uploads/2010/04/UAPS-FULL-REPORT.pdf
215
Evidence, 8 February 2012, Jeffry Cyr.
216
Evidence, 2 February 2012, Larry Cachene.
68
Table 4: Aboriginal populations in major urban centres, 2006
CENSUS
ABORIGINAL
Percentage
As a Percentage
METROPOLITAN
IDENTITY
Growth since
of Total CMA
AREA (CMA)
2001
Population
Winnipeg
68,380
+22%
10%
Edmonton
52,105
+27%
5%
Vancouver
40,310
+9%
2%
Calgary
26,575
+26%
2%
Toronto
26,575
+31%
.2%
Saskatoon
21,535
+6%
9%
Montréal
17,870
+60%
.5%
Regina
17,105
+9%
9%
Source: Statistics Canada, Population by Aboriginal Group, by census metropolitan area (2006 Census)
http://www40.statcan.gc.ca/l01/cst01/demo64a-eng.htm.
Urban Aboriginal Women
The 2006 Census found that approximately16,500 more Aboriginal women than men live
in the ten census metropolitan areas reporting the largest Aboriginal population. .217 Women
have tended to leave reserves for the city to gain access to better housing and better educational
opportunities for their children. Data show that a higher proportion of Aboriginal children living
in population centres are living with one parent compared to their counterparts living in rural
Canada.218 Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada reports that nearly one in four
families are lone-parent families.219 Based on anecdotal evidence, the majority of these soleparent families are headed by women.220 Rick Simon reminded the committee that Aboriginal
women in urban centres do not feel safe and that many of them are among those who have been
made missing, murdered or disappeared in recent years.221
Urban Aboriginal Youth
Reflecting the age profile of the Aboriginal population as a whole, Aboriginal people living
in cities are very young. In 2006, 28% of Aboriginal people in urban centres were under 15 years
of age compared with 17% of the non-Aboriginal population.222 The proportion of urban
Aboriginal youth under the age of 25 also tended to be higher than in the non-Aboriginal
217
Calculated by analyst from Statistics Canada, Aboriginal population in selected census metropolitan areas,
Canada, 2006, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-503-x/2010001/article/11442/c-g/c-g001-eng.htm
218
Evidence, 2 March 2011, Jane Badets.
219
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, “Urban Aboriginal Strategy – Backgrounder,”
http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100014349
220
Evidence, 2 March 2011, Jane Badets, Allan MacDonald, Rick Simon.
221
Evidence, 2 March 2011, Rick Simon.
222
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, “Fact Sheet – Urban Aboriginal Population in Canada,”
http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100014298/1100100014302
69
population, ranging from a high of 56% and 55% of the Aboriginal populations in Regina and
Saskatoon respectively, to a low of 33% of the Aboriginal population in Montréal.223
The National Association of Friendship Centres reported that in 2006, Aboriginal youth
between 15 and 24 were twice as likely as non-Aboriginal people in the same age range to be
unemployed.224
Educational Attainment
Right now, we are asking our people to run before they can walk,
so we need to get the skills for them to move forward, the personal
skills development that they need to deal with a range of issues.225
Aboriginal youth are falling through the cracks of the current
educational system.226
Educational attainment among Aboriginal Canadians tends to be lower, and in some
instances significantly lower, than among their non-Aboriginal counterparts. A much higher
proportion of Aboriginal Canadians are without high school diplomas compared to nonAboriginal Canadians (34% versus 15%), while there is an equal level of attainment for college
and trade certification among Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. In 2006, 8% of the
Aboriginal population held a university degree while 23% of the non-Aboriginal population did.
When comparing attainment by gender in 2006, more Aboriginal women than men have
completed high school and college, and have received post-secondary diplomas and university
degrees. Only in apprenticeship did the proportion of men exceed that of women.227
Educational attainment among Aboriginal peoples can also vary by city. In Edmonton, for
example, almost half of Aboriginal women (49%) and men (48%) between the ages of 25 and 64
in 2006 had completed post-secondary education, compared with approximately six in 10 of nonAboriginal people in the same age range.228
The dropout rate for Aboriginal youth below the post-secondary level is particularly
troubling: Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey found that the three-year average dropout
223
Statistics Canada, 2006 Aboriginal Population Profiles for Selected Cities: Prairie Provinces,
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-638-x/89-638-x2010003-eng.htm
224
National Association of Friendship Centres, “Fact Sheets: Urban Aboriginal Population,”
http://nafc.ca/en/content/fact-sheets
225
Evidence, 2 February 2012, Larry Cachene.
226
Evidence, 2 March 2011, Dwight Dorey.
227
Ontario Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, “Aboriginal Education,” Quick Facts, p. 2.
228
Statistics Canada, 2006 Aboriginal Population Profile for Edmonton, Catalogue no. 89-638-X no. 2010003,
February 2010, p. 5, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-638-x/2010003/article/11077-eng.pdf
70
rate for 2007-2010 for off-reserve Aboriginal youth aged 20 to 24 was 22.6%; the corresponding
rate for non-Aboriginal youth was 8.5 %.229
Chart 4: Level of education, non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal populations,
aged 25-34 years,2006, (per cent)
Source: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Learning – Educational Attainment, in Indicators of
Well-being in Canada, http://www4.hrsdc.gc.ca/[email protected]?iid=29
Representatives of national Aboriginal organizations stressed the importance of education
in helping Aboriginal people integrate into Canadian economy and society. Rick Simon told the
committee that education “is the key to unlocking the full potential of Aboriginal citizens [...]
education will be the foundation for lasting and positive change.”230 He indicated that
educational attainment for Aboriginal peoples is improving and that improvements need to
continue. Mr. Chartrand told the committee that education “is the light bulb of the future. If we
can get more emphasis on the educational side, we will see a great change.”231
In Budget 2012, the Government of Canada announced that it would spend $275 million
over three years to support First Nations education and build and renovate schools on reserve.232
Although this expenditure will not be directed at Aboriginal Canadians living in cities, the
committee notes that with increasing migration of Aboriginal people into urban areas, improved
229
Jason Gilmore, “Trends in Dropout Rates and the Labour Market Outcomes of Young Dropouts,”Education
Matters: Insights on Education, Learning and Training in Canada, Vol. 7, No. 4, Statistics Canada, 3 November
2010,. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/81-004-x/2010004/article/11339-eng.htm
230
Evidence, 2 March 2011, Rick Simon.
231
Evidence, 2 March 2011, David Chartrand.
232
Government of Canada, Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity: Economic Action Plan 2012, p.136,
http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/consultations/docs/pdf/Web_Labour_Market_Report_Panel_eng.pdf.
71
education at the reserve level should result in enhanced ability for Aboriginal adults moving to
cities to access employment opportunities.
From the perspective of the committee and that of its witnesses, access to education and
training at the post-secondary level offers one of the best opportunities for Aboriginal Canadians
to enrich their lives and that of the communities in which they reside. In recommendations 7 to
11 of Opening the Door: Reducing Barriers to Post-Secondary Education in Canada, and
recommendations 19 and 21 of In From the Margins, the committee recommended measures
directed toward improving educational opportunities for Aboriginal Canadians. These
recommendations can be found at Appendix B.I-B.II of this report.
Aboriginal Youth Gangs
Pride and an acknowledged cultural identity, is critical to
Aboriginal youth not engaging in substance abuse, joining gangs or
criminal activities.233
In a relatively recent study, it was demonstrated that approximately 20,000 Aboriginal
children under the age of 17 are in government care, three times the number enrolled in the
residential schools at the height of their operation. Other studies demonstrate that
Aboriginal children outnumber non-Aboriginal children by a rate of eight to one in their
proportion of being in care. This is particularly relevant because we know that children in
care are at a much higher risk of later trajectories in juvenile offending.
Daniel Sansfaçon, Director, Policy, Research and Evaluation,
National Crime Prevention Centre, Public Safety Canada,
Evidence, 7 March 2012
Aboriginal youth gangs are of particular concern to the committee and its witnesses. Young
Aboriginal people make up the second highest proportion of youth gang members in Canada, and
their participation in street gangs is particularly worrisome in western provinces.234
Betty Ann Lavallée linked participation in youth gangs to poverty, exclusion and
oppression. The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples has learned that participation in gangs “is often
not a conscious choice, but a choice made out of what some call ‘habit.’” Ms. Lavallée told the
committee that the majority of the youth involved in youth gangs are at or below the low-income
cut-offs for the cities they live in. She indicated that:
233
234
Evidence, 2 February 2012, Dwight Dorey
Public Safety Canada, National Crime Prevention Centre, “Youth Gangs in Canada: What do we Know?,”
Building the Evidence – Youth Gangs, 2007, p. 1, http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/prg/cp/bldngevd/_fl/2007-YG1_e.pdf , The highest proportion of youth gang members is composed of African Canadians; Caucasian
Canadians comprise the third highest proportion.
72
[t]heir parents and other family members and their circle of friends
live in similar conditions in the same city neighbourhoods or
another nearby. These similarities of ‘living in poverty’ and ‘living
in urban areas’ combined with a relatively long history of social
exclusion, oppression, discrimination and shame are the indicators
for the development of the habit [of joining youth gangs]. 235
Rick Simon agreed with Ms. Lavallée, telling the committee that “[f]or too many First
Nations and young adults, gang involvement and violence are part of their reality.”236 In like
manner, Dwight Dorey testified that:
[I]t has been discovered that their participation is not necessarily a
conscious decision. Their families and friends live in low-income
areas within urban centres, and this lifelong exposure to this
lifestyle situation results in similarly focused living patterns and
activities. We are now starting to see and witness second
generation gang members.237
Rick Simon indicated that the AFN is working on a strategy to combat gang violence, but
that “there is no money within government to do the work.”238 Dwight Dorey, of the Congress
of Aboriginal Peoples, offered similar testimony, stating that the problem that his organization
faces when attempting to counter the attraction of youth gangs to Aboriginal youth is that of a
“lack of adequate resources to facilitate the kinds of [alternative] activity that the youth would
like to engage in.”239
All three representatives of national Aboriginal organizations indicated that they had taken
steps to divert Aboriginal youth away from youth gangs. The Métis National Council has
implemented a program – Standing Tall – in which family members are directly involved with
their children in school settings.240 The AFN worked with a former member of the RCMP to
develop an anti-gang strategy but failed to secure government funding for the initiative.241
Rick Simon told the committee that he had not heard of the federal government’s Youth
Gang Prevention Fund. David Chartrand, Vice-President of the Metis National Council asserted
that there “is no question that the gang initiative the government is trying to deal with is not
working.”
235
Evidence, 2 March 2011, Betty Ann Lavallée.
Evidence, 2 March 2011, Rick Simon.
237
Evidence, 2 February 2012, Dwight Dorey.
238
Evidence, 2 March 2011, Rick Simon.
239
Evidence, 2 February 2012, Dwight Dorey.
240
Manitoba Metis Foundation, Standing Tall, http://www.mmf.mb.ca/images/standing/stp.pdf
241
Evidence, 2 March 2011, David Chartrand.
236
73
The Youth Gang Prevention Fund
The federal government’s Youth Gang Prevention Fund (YGPF) focuses on youth who
have a history of serious violence and/or at risk of joining youth gangs or are already members.
An evaluation of the Youth Gang Prevention Fund released by Public Safety Canada in March
2011 found that the 19 projects supported by the Fund had engaged approximately 1,100 youth
over the five years (2006 to 2011) of its existence.242
While there are no details with regard to the Fund’s support of projects that are specifically
aimed at Aboriginal youth, some projects such as the Turning the Tides project in Winnipeg are
partly based on Aboriginal teachings. In its Departmental Performance Report for 2010-2011,
Public Safety Canada, the federal department responsible for the Youth Gang Prevention Fund,
reported that in two examples, both in Saskatchewan, YGPF projects had managed to achieve
successful gang exits of 72% and 78% respectively.243
The Youth Gang Prevention Fund was set to expire at the end of fiscal year 2010-2011.
However, funding for the program was subsequently renewed on 15 March 2011. The federal
government has announced that the Fund will receive $37.5 million over five years and $7.5
million thereafter in ongoing annual funding.
The committee welcomes the renewal of the Youth Gang Prevention Fund and notes that
youth gang violence is a problem that plagues other segments of Canadian society, not just the
Aboriginal Canadian communities, and is a serious and growing phenomenon that affects all of
Canada’s major cities. The committee found that representatives of national Aboriginal
organizations tended to have minimal information about the Fund, and thus may not have
benefited from it. The committee therefore recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 16
That the Government of Canada enhance efforts to communicate information
regarding the Youth Gang Prevention Fund to national Aboriginal organizations
and consult with those organizations regarding the design and opportunities
available under the program, with a view to enhancing its overall effectiveness.
Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth (CCAY) Program
The Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth program began as the Urban Multipurpose
Aboriginal Youth Centers Initiative funded by Canadian Heritage and administered by
Aboriginal Friendship Centres. In 2012, the Initiative was transferred to Aboriginal Affairs and
Northern Development Canada where it was renamed the Cultural Connections for Aboriginal
242
Public Safety Canada, Final Report 2010-2011 Evaluation of the Youth Gang Prevention Fund Program, 19
March 2011, http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/abt/dpr/eval/ygpf-flagj-09-10-eng.aspx
243
Public Safety Canada, Departmental Performance Report, 2010-11, p. 25. http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/dprrmr/2010-2011/inst/psp/psp-eng.pdf
74
Youth (CCAY) Program. The Program was suspended following transfer, while the Department
engaged in discussions with the National Association of Friendship Centres about the Program
with plans to renovate and ultimately reintroduce it.244 Subsequently, on 30 July 2012, the
federal government announced that funds for the Program had been unfrozen under new terms
and conditions that focus on preparing Aboriginal youth for fuller participation in the Canadian
economy.245
The committee welcomes the reintroduction of the Program, and expects that attention will
be paid to accessibility in the redesign process. Given the economic and cultural diversity of
Aboriginal Canadians living in urban centres, it is vital that local communities have a strong
voice in shaping the content and delivery of the CCAY Program. This will ultimately strengthen
the Program and help ensure that Aboriginal youth take full advantage of it. The committee
therefore recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 17
That in developing and delivering the Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth
(CCAY) Program, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the
National Association of Friendship Centres work together to ensure that local
Aboriginal communities are given a prominent role in shaping the Program to
respond to community needs.
The Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS)
As an Aboriginal person, for most of my life I have been told that Aboriginal peoples
need to change to fully benefit from the good fortune of being Canadian. Experience, and
hopefully, wisdom now tell me that our government is working together to change and
true collaboration with Aboriginal people will determine success. To achieve our
objectives with Aboriginal peoples, I believe that all three orders of government would do
best to collaborate on sustainable initiatives that support our Aboriginal communities,
reclaiming our identities, our languages, our culture, our prosperity and our autonomy.
Leona Carter, Director, Aboriginal Relations Office
Community Services, City of Edmonton
Evidence, 8 February 2012
244
Marc Mulvaney, “Feds Promise New and Improved Aboriginal Youth Program - HQ Commox Valley, Nation
Talk, 25 July 2012, http://nationtalk.ca/story/feds-promise-new-and-improved-youth-aboriginal-program-hqcomox-valley/
245
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, “Harper Government Investing in Preparing Aboriginal
Youth for the Labour Market,” News Releases - 2012, 30 July 2012, http://www.aadncaandc.gc.ca/eng/1343665302003
75
The federal government is engaged in a number of initiatives to assist Aboriginal peoples
living in urban centres. These initiatives are gathered collectively under Aboriginal Peoples
Program (APP). The APP was initially led by the Department of Canadian Heritage and
integrates 15 elements that were managed separately prior to 2005. The principal element
among these initiatives that is focused on Aboriginal Canadians living in cities is the Urban
Aboriginal Strategy (UAS) which falls under the responsibility of the Office of the Federal
Interlocutor, located in the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.
The Urban Aboriginal Strategy was first developed in 1997 with a four-year mandate and a
budget of $40 million. Funding was subsequently renewed in 2003. In 2007, the UAS was
renewed again and enhanced. That year, the federal government made a long-term commitment
to the UAS, allocating $68.5 million over five years to the program. In 2010-2011, a total of
$14.5 million was invested in the UAS, approximately $1 million above planned spending, a
move that was made to address priority issues.246 For that fiscal year, working with partners, the
UAS supported 144 community projects and invested $9.3 million, coordinated $2.5 million
from other federal departments and agencies, leveraged $5.8 million from provinces and
municipalities, and $3.6 million from non-public sector partners. In its Departmental
Performance Report for that period, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
indicated that a precursory analysis of census data from 2001 to 2006 had shown that high school
attainment, employment, and average total income rates for Aboriginal Canadians living in cities
where the UAS was in operation had increased by one per cent.247
The UAS was set to expire in 2012, but in Budget 2012, the Government of Canada
renewed the Strategy and invested $27 million over two years (2012-2013 and 2013-2014) in
order to improve economic opportunities for Aboriginal Canadians living in cities.248 UAS
investments focus on three priority areas: improving life skills (through school attendance and
activities outside the formal educational system, such as mentoring), promoting job training,
skills and entrepreneurship, and supporting Aboriginal women, children and families.249
One of the Strategy’s leading goals is improve coordination and foster efficiencies among
federal departments and agencies already delivering programs to urban Aboriginal people.
Participating federal entities include:
246
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Departmental Performance Report 2010-11,
http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/dpr-rmr/2010-2011/inst/ian/ian02-eng.asp
247
Ibid. It should be noted that this preliminary analysis predates the recession that began in 2008.
248
Government of Canada, Budget 2012, Economic Action Plan 2012: Jobs, Growth, and Long-Term Prosperity,
p.151.
249
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, “Urban Aboriginal Strategy – Backgrounder,”
http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100014349
76




Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (Aboriginal Human Resource
Development Strategy, Homelessness Partnering Strategy, Aboriginal Skills and
Employment Partnership Program);
Health Canada (Head Start Program),
Canadian Heritage (Urban Multi-Purpose Aboriginal Youth Program, now the
Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth (CCAY) Program, administered by
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada), and
Public Safety Canada (National Crime Prevention Strategy) and Justice Canada
(Aboriginal Affairs Portfolio).
Each of these programs operates with budgets that are separate from the UAS. Horizontal
terms and conditions have been created with the aim of enhancing federal coordination. This is a
mechanism by which other federal government departments can pool their funds and direct them
through a single agreement to a recipient, which not only coordinates federal efforts around a
project but also makes it easier for the recipient to interact with government. This innovation also
seeks to ensure that federal financial investments are maximized, well aligned and mutually
supportive.
Under the Strategy, the Government of Canada works with other levels of government and
community organizations to sustain projects that support urban Aboriginal peoples and that
correspond with local priorities and needs. The UAS aims to promote self-reliance among
Aboriginal people in thirteen cities whose Aboriginal population represents more than 25% of
Canada’s total Aboriginal population. Cities where the UAS is in operation include Vancouver,
Prince George, Lethbridge, Calgary, Edmonton, Prince Albert, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg,
Thompson, Toronto, and Thunder Bay. The federal government is currently conducting
preliminary work with Aboriginal people in Montréal and Halifax to explore the potential of
extending the UAS to those cities.
The UAS works in these cities through community steering committees, and these
committees have participation from the local urban Aboriginal community and all levels of
government. In some cases, existing community structures are used to deliver the Strategy, and
in others, community steering committees have been established for this purpose. The task of the
committees is to work with the private sector and all levels of government to expedite planning,
funding decisions and responses to urban Aboriginal issues.
While each city is unique and has developed its own priorities, all of these cities target the
same three national priorities that have been established under the UAS. Mr. MacDonald
indicated that when local priorities are established, federal programming is targeted and
coordinated to meet those needs rather than having communities adjust their needs to meet
federal programming requirements.
77
Mr. MacDonald told the committee that, under the UAS, the federal government has
funded life-skills training for young Aboriginal mothers seeking to move into the workforce
from bad domestic situations, supported training and apprenticeships for Aboriginal youth and
helped urban Aboriginal youth exit the gang life. He added that the federal government has “also
influenced municipalities to provide greater focus in this area and formalized our relationships
with governments to align and coordinate our efforts to address urban Aboriginal issues.”250
Opinions about the Urban Aboriginal Strategies varied among the committee’s witnesses.
Denis Carignan, Saskatchewan Director of the Office of the Federal Interlocutor, gave a personal
endorsement of the UAS. Mr. Carignan, himself a member of a First Nation, testified that:
This particular strategy is the reason that I came to work for the
federal government. It allows us to be connected to the
communities; it allows us, as a management culture, to listen to the
community interests first and then find partners willing to work
with us. This is something that really represents the future of
government.251
A contrary view was expressed by David Chartrand who stated that the UAS:
[i]s not working. In fact, it is in worse shape than ever.... the Métis
received 6 per cent of [$65 million spent by the federal
government on the UAS], yet we dominate such a large populous
base in Western Canada. We are not a participant of the process.
We tried to be a partner from the beginning; we tried to work with
it. It did not take us anywhere. In fact, we are not very proud of
it.252
Mr. Chartrand added that community steering committees “are such a mishmash
everywhere,” so that “[y]ou do not know who is going left or right or which door is being opened
or closed; there is no coordination.”253
In his written submission, Ray Gerow, President and Chief Executive Officer of the
Aboriginal Business and Community Development Centre in Prince George, British Columbia,
asserted that “[t]here is great potential for activities like the Urban Aboriginal Strategy to be used
250
Evidence, 2 March 2011, Allan MacDonald
Evidence, 2 March 2011, Denis Carignan
252
Evidence, 2 March 2011, David Chartrand
253
Ibid.
251
78
as a mechanism for dialogue across urban Aboriginal populations,” but because the UAS is tied
to funding allocations, it “creates competition between urban service providers.”254
Regardless of mixed views, the UAS represents a model for cooperation among all levels
of government including municipalities, and Aboriginal Canadians living in an urban
environment. Apart from its ability to convene stakeholders and facilitate the coordination of
program delivery, another important aspect of the UAS is its ability to secure financial and other
forms of investment from its partners, as noted above. Because the Strategy is an excellent
vehicle to bring about improved social inclusion, as well as better economic outcomes, for
Aboriginal Canadians living in cities, the committee recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 18
That the Government of Canada, in partnership with national Aboriginal
organizations and other levels of government, expand the Urban Aboriginal
Strategy beyond the thirteen municipalities where it is already in operation.
The committee takes note of the observations made by Mr. Gerow and Mr. Chartrand and
believes that the federal government should continue to take steps aimed at improving the Urban
Aboriginal Strategy. The committee therefore recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 19
That the Government of Canada work with national Aboriginal organizations and
other levels of government to bring about better coordination and distributional
fairness within community steering committees established under the Urban
Aboriginal Strategy.
Making the Transition to Urban Life
The shift to increasing urbanization of Aboriginal peoples brings with it significant cultural
and economic challenges as Aboriginal Canadians adjust to life in Canadian cities.
Witnesses were asked about the level of preparedness among Aboriginal people, and
especially Aboriginal youth, relocating from rural reserves to urban centres. The committee
wondered whether those migrating to cities have information about the resources that are
available upon arrival. Dwight Dorey testified that young Aboriginal people moving to cities to
attend universities and colleges are well supported, but others are not.255
In their report on urban Aboriginal people, Dominique M. Gross and John Richardson note
that local labour market indicators such as unemployment and median income do not influence
254
Ray Gerow, Written submission to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, 8
March 2012.
255
Evidence, 2 February 2012, Dwight Dorey.
79
the choice of Aboriginal people to move to an urban area, indicating that weak integration might
be the result of a lack of information. An individual’s recent arrival in a CMA could be the
reason for reporting limited professional connections with potential employers or a lack of
contacts with government employment agencies.256
There is a need for well-planned and properly funded urban transition services that
bridge reserve and settlement experience with the challenges of adaptation to urban life,
for example, housing, employment, education, health and other inter-related needs.
Leona Carter, Director, Aboriginal Relations Office
Community Services, City of Edmonton
Evidence, 8 February 2012
Jeffrey Cyr asserted that “[t]he same way we think about immigration services for new
Canadians coming in, we should think about immigration or emigration services for existing
First Peoples in this country.”257
The committee supports the observations and recommendations of its witnesses and notes
that Aboriginal Friendship Centres provide important services to Aboriginal peoples making the
move to Canadian cities. These centres, operated by Canadian Aboriginal people, provide the
best means to assist Aboriginal peoples adapt to urban life. The committee recommends,
therefore:
RECOMMENDATION 20
That the Government of Canada continue to work in partnership with Aboriginal
Friendship Centres to support transition services for Aboriginal peoples moving to
Canadian cities.
ECONOMIC INCLUSION
Aboriginal Canadians face numerous challenges to full inclusion in the Canadian economy.
At the same time, there have been some encouraging developments upon which to build.
Business development among Aboriginal people, for example, has been increasing. According to
data from the 2007 Small and Medium Enterprise Financing Initiative cited by the Aboriginal
Affairs Working Group,258 approximately 2.4% of small businesses in Canada were majority
owned by Aboriginal peoples. This represented approximately 27,000 businesses, both on- and
256
Dominique M. Gross and John Richards, “Breaking the Stereotype: Why Urban Aboriginals Score Highly on
‘Happiness” Measures,’” Commentary no. 354, C.D. Howe Institute, , July 2012, p.18,
http://www.cdhowe.org/pdf/Commentary_354.pdf
257
Evidence, 9 February 2012, Jeffry Cyr
258
The Aboriginal Affairs Working Group brings together provincial and territorial ministers responsible for
Aboriginal affairs and will be described in more detail later on in this report.
80
off-reserve, not counting incorporated and community-owned enterprises.259 About 22% of the
self‐employed Aboriginal people in 2006 were found on reserve, with a similar number in rural
off-reserve locations and the balance in urban areas. Women entrepreneurs made up 38% of the
total number of Aboriginal entrepreneurs.260 The federal government has been active in
supporting training and employment opportunities for Aboriginal peoples. In its report In from
the Margins: A Call to Action on Poverty, Housing and Homelessness, the committee
recommended enhancing this support and opening up new economic opportunities for Aboriginal
Canadians. (See recommendation 67, Appendix B.I of this report.)
Challenging Trends
Though as a group we are increasingly well educated, Aboriginal
peoples in Edmonton experience chronic unemployment,
underemployment, and low incomes.261
Demographic changes should paint a promising picture for the future growth of Aboriginal
economic and business development, but this is a promise that has yet to be realized fully. As a
rapidly growing and increasingly urban population, Aboriginal Canadians represent a potentially
important group of future entrepreneurs and important labour source for business.262
Over the past decade, improvements have been made in the levels of education,
employment and income of Aboriginal peoples, and in many cases, the gap between the
Aboriginal and non‐Aboriginal population has been reduced. However, despite better economic
fortunes for many Aboriginal Canadians, a number of disturbing economic trends have remained
constant, including high levels of unemployment and persistent levels of low income.
Aboriginal peoples continue to have poorer labour market outcomes than non-Aboriginal
Canadians. Employment rates improved for Aboriginal peoples between 2001 and 2006, but they
still remained less likely than non-Aboriginal people to be employed.263 In 2006, the
unemployment rate for Aboriginal peoples was 13.2%, nearly three times that of the nonAboriginal population (5.2%). Further, much of the improvement in employment between 2001
and 2006 reflected gains among older Aboriginal Canadians, while those under 25 years
259
Aboriginal Affairs Working Group, A Framework for Action in Education, Economic Development and Violence
Against Aboriginal Women and Girls, April 28, 2010, p. 34,
http://www.gov.bc.ca/arr/reports/down/aawg_paper.pdf For a description of the AAWG, see below.
260
Making First Nations Poverty History Advisory Committee, The State of the First Nation Economy and the
Struggle to Make Poverty History, prepared for the Inter-Nation Trade and Economic Summit, Toronto, March
2009, p. 59.
261
Evidence, 9 February 2012, Leona Carter
262
Ashley Sisco and Nicole Stewart, True to their Visions: An Account of 10 Successful Aboriginal Businesses, The
Conference Board of Canada, November 2009, http://abdc.bc.ca/uploads/file/09%20Harvest/10131_TrueToTheirVisions_WEB.pdf
263
The Environics Institute, (2010), p. 25.
81
continued to record high jobless rates. In the case of First Nations people, the unemployment rate
for those under 25 years of age hovered at about 30% in 2006.264 In that same year, people of
Aboriginal status living in census metropolitan areas had a median income of $22,100, much
lower than the median income of non-Aboriginal people which stood at $28,900.265
In 2009, First Nation communities were still, on average, the most disadvantaged
social/cultural group in Canada on a host of measures including income, unemployment, health,
education, child welfare, housing and other forms of infrastructure.266 In one analysis, Aboriginal
people are shown to be under-represented in fields such as finance, insurance and real estate, and
to have quite low participation rates in professional health occupations.267
Aboriginal Canadians were hit harder and longer by the recession that began in 2008 than
non-Aboriginal Canadians. Statistics Canada data, which include only Aboriginal people living
off-reserve, show that Aboriginal Canadians aged 15 and older experienced a decline in
employment of 3.5% in 2009, for a loss of 13,000 jobs. In 2010, employment among these
Canadians fell by 3.7% representing a loss of 14,000 jobs.268
264
Derek Burleton and Don Drummond, “ Aboriginal People in Canada: Growing Mutual Economic Interests Offer
Significant Promise for Improving the Well-Being of Aboriginal Populations,” TD Economics, 11 June2009, p.3,
http://www.td.com/document/PDF/economics/special/td-economics-special-db0609-aboriginal.pdf
265
Data cited by Dominique M. Gross and John Richards,(2012) , p. 7.
266
Making First Nations Poverty History Advisory Committee (2009), p. 10
267
National Association of Friendship Centres, Economic Development Policy Paper, July 2010,
http://mail.nafc.ca/docs/NAFC%20Economic%20Development%20Policy%20Position%20Paper.pdf
268
Jeannine Usalcas, , Aboriginal People and the Labour Market: Estimates from the Labour Force Survey, 20082010, Catalogue no. 71-588-X, no. 3, p. 9, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/71-588-x/71-588-x2011003-eng.pdf
82
Chart 5: Unemployment rate of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations
aged 15 and over, 2008 - 2010
Note(s): Data excludes people living on reserves or in the territories.
Source(s): Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, in Jeannine Usalcas, Aboriginal People and the Labour
Market: Estimates from the Labour Force Survey, 2008-2010, Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 71-588-X,
no. 3. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/71-588-x/2011003/ct003-eng.htm
The committee notes with concern the high levels of unemployment among Aboriginal
young people. Given their large and growing numbers and the potential contribution they could
make in light of Canada’s aging workforce and skills shortages in certain areas, priority should
be given, in any programs or initiatives designed to improve workforce participation, to their
needs. The committee therefore recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 21
That the Government of Canada continue to place an emphasis, in all federal
government employment programs or initiatives, on making sure that there are
skills training and employment opportunities for Aboriginal youth.
Private Sector Involvement
Canadian businesses are experiencing skills shortages in certain sectors and have become
increasingly engaged in efforts to encourage, mentor, and train Aboriginal Canadians to enter
employment. The federal government frequently works in partnership with the private sector in
this endeavor, an engagement that the committee supports. The committee recommends
therefore:
83
RECOMMENDATION 22
That the Government of Canada continue to work with private sector partners to
stimulate efforts to open up employment and skills training opportunities for
Aboriginal youth in all sectors of the Canadian economy.
Barriers to Aboriginal Economic Inclusion
While the majority of Aboriginal businesses face the same challenges as any small or
medium-sized business in Canada, many face additional and unique challenges as a result of
their socio-economic circumstances and other factors.
One of the biggest challenges for Aboriginal businesses is obtaining the initial capital
necessary to sustain a business enterprise. Insufficient education and training and difficult socioeconomic conditions make it challenging for many Aboriginal peoples to acquire the necessary
capital to amass resources and make investments in new technology. According to the
Conference Board of Canada, the wealth disparity between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal
populations in Canada, and the corresponding gap in the means to access capital, puts Aboriginal
businesses at a disadvantage.269 Access to capital was also identified by national Aboriginal
organizations as a major hurdle for Aboriginal people seeking greater economic engagement.
Larry Cachene testified that “[t]he first problem we face is the financial resources we need to
develop programming and support services.”270 Dwight Dorey echoed these comments, testifying
that the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) is examining the possibility of hiring economic
development officers or workers within each of its provincial affiliate organizations. These
officers would assist “off-reserve people in the major urban centres and help them access [...]
capital, training, and mentoring.”271 The stumbling block to this plan is that CAP does not have
“the resources to put them in place”272 and thus has turned to the federal government for
resources needed to implement it. As noted in subsequent sections, the federal government and
the private sector have been taking steps to facilitate better access to capital for Aboriginal
entrepreneurs.
269
Sisco and Stewart, (2009), p. 7
Evidence, 8 February 2012, Larry Cachene.
271
Evidence, 9 February 2012, Dwight Dorey.
272
Ibid.
270
84
Racism and Prejudice
There are many issues that together we must address and they are challenging issues.
For us, these include sustained initiative aimed at dispelling the negative myths and
stereotypes about Aboriginal peoples that prevent full inclusion and employment
services and opportunities experienced by other citizens; a need for the continuous
sharing of Aboriginal history with all Canadians through the rewriting of history books
and embedding of Aboriginal history as a central part of our collective Canadian history.
This can be accomplished by ensuring that stories and histories are shared that provide
positive Aboriginal profile in such things as Aboriginal street names, public buildings
and displays showing the history of our cities. This will help engender a sense of
belonging and pride in our Aboriginal peoples. For non-Aboriginal peoples, it will
educate and promote a culture of inclusion and opportunities for intercultural learning.
Leona Carter, Director, Aboriginal Relations Office
Community Services, City of Edmonton
Evidence, 9 February 2012
Stereotyping and racism are significant challenges faced by Aboriginal entrepreneurs, as
well as other members of the Aboriginal communities living in Canadian cities. A 2003 survey
reported that 46% of off-reserve Aboriginal respondents felt that they had been a victim of
racism or discrimination at least once over the previous two years. In addition, more than half of
Canadian respondents to a 2002 Ipsos Reid survey reported that “racism separates Aboriginal
peoples from the rest of society.”273 These findings were confirmed by the Environics Institute,
which reported in 2010 that almost all Aboriginal Canadians living in cities agreed that nonAboriginal people behave in an unfair or negative way towards Aboriginal peoples.274 The
committee also heard that discrimination as a root cause for the higher incarceration rates of
Aboriginal peoples relative to the non-Aboriginal people.275
The existence of racism and discrimination acts as a barrier that discourages many
Aboriginal entrepreneurs from learning from and engaging with their non-Aboriginal
counterparts. Asked if racism, discrimination and stereotyping posed a problem for Aboriginal
people seeking to become more fully engaged in the labour market and business development,
Chief Dorey replied in the affirmative, adding that because of it, “our people have a tendency to
273
Sisco and Stewart (2009), p. 11.
The Environics (2010), p. 78.
275
Evidence, 2 March 2011, David Chartrand. For more information on incarceration rates for Aboriginal people,
see Samuel Perreault, “The incarceration of Aboriginal people in adult correctional services,” Juristat, Sttistics
Canada, July 2009.
274
85
keep among themselves.”276 He added “[t]here always continues to be some of our people who
do fairly well at advancing and integrating [...] but it is a rare kind of quality.”277
Stereotyping, prejudice and racism constitute formidable barriers to social and economic
inclusion of Aboriginal peoples, including those who live in major urban centres. Leona Carter
asserted that one important way in which these barriers can be reduced through the introduction
of Aboriginal history in curricula at the primary level of instruction. The committee is therefore
pleased to note that most provinces and territories have now incorporated Aboriginal histories
and cultures into their educational curricula from kindergarten to grade 12. For example, in 2000,
Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, and Yukon
developed a common approach to teaching Aboriginal languages and cultures in kindergarten to
grade 12 and other provinces had adopted similar approaches.278
Initiatives to Increase Aboriginal Economic and Business Development
Linkages made between the economic fortunes and the social well-being of Aboriginal
Canadians have led to a proliferation of initiatives aimed at Aboriginal economic and business
development. The federal government, through Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
Canada (AANDC) and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), has
undertaken several initiatives with the provinces and territories, and national Aboriginal
organizations to increase the economic opportunities of Aboriginal peoples.
In 2009, the federal government launched the Federal Framework for Aboriginal
Economic Development to encourage better integration of Aboriginal peoples into the Canadian
labour market. This strategy focuses on engaging the private sector and the whole of
government, including provinces and territories, in promoting economic development and selfsufficiency of Aboriginal communities. The five pillars of the Framework are: strengthening
Aboriginal entrepreneurship on reserve and in the North; developing Aboriginal human capital
by supporting demand-driven labour markets; enhancing the value of Aboriginal assets by
aligning federal investments with economic opportunities; promoting Aboriginal partnerships
with the provinces and private sector; and improving federal government effectiveness and
efficiency with clearer direction, greater coordination and more linkages.279
276
Evidence, 9 February 2012, Dwight Dorey
Ibid.
278
Western Canadian Protocol for Collaboration in Basic Education, The Common Curriculum Framework for
Aboriginal Language and Culture Programs, http://education.alberta.ca/media/929730/abor.pdf
279
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic
Development, 2009, p. 12., http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/DAM/DAM-INTER-HQ/STAGING/textetext/ffaed1_1100100033502_eng.pdf
277
86
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) administers funding for a
number of labour market programs addressed toward Aboriginal skills development and training.
These programs include:
a)
The Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund (ASTSIF). In 2009,
the federal government invested $75 million over two years to support Aboriginal
people in gaining the skills needed for the labour market. The Fund also supports
investments in training for individuals who face barriers to employment, such as
low literacy and a lack of essential skills;280
b)
The Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership (ASEP) program. ASEP was a
nationally managed and project-based program that promoted increased
participation of Aboriginal people in major economic industries. The program
supported multi-year training strategies developed by Aboriginal organizations and
industry employers. As part of the 2009 Economic Action Plan, the federal
government invested an additional $100 million over three years in ASEP. On 31
March 2012, the Program ended, and its successful elements were added to the
Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) and the Skills and
Partnership Fund (see below).281
c)
The Aboriginal Skills and Employment and Training Strategy (ASETS) program is
a five-year strategy that focuses on three priorities: supporting demand-driven skills
development, fostering partnerships with the private sector and the provinces and
territories, and placing emphasis on accountability and results.282 The VicePresident of the Métis National Council, David Chartrand, called ASETS “one of
Canada’s best programs,” saying that “it has worked wonders”; 283 and
d)
The Skills and Partnership Fund – Aboriginal (SPF). SPF supports federal and
provincial/territorial priorities by funding projects that contribute to the
development of skills and training of Aboriginal workers The Fund was created in
July 2010 and given an investment of $210 million over five years. SPF is designed
to complement the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy
(ASETS).284
280
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, ”The Government of Canada launches the Aboriginal Skills
and Training Strategic Investment Fund,”, Canada News Centre, 4 May 2009. http://news.gc.ca/web/articleeng.do?nid=447419
281
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership program,
http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/employment/aboriginal_training/index.shtml
282
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, ASETS Background, ,
http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/employment/aboriginal_employment/strategy/index.shtml
283
Evidence, 2 March 2011, David Chartrand.
284
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Skills and Partnership Fund – Aboriginal,
http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/employment/skills_partnership/index.shtml
87
Private sector organizations and municipalities are also deeply involved in Aboriginal
economic and business development. Examples include:
a)
The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) delivers programs intended
to facilitate the growth of Aboriginal business and connect Aboriginal and nonAboriginal entrepreneurs. The CCAB was created on the initiative of Murray
Koffler, founder of Shoppers Drug Mart and co-founder of Four Seasons Hotels and
Resorts, who brought together Aboriginal leaders, members of the business
community, and government representatives in 1984 to seek out ways to bolster
Aboriginal business activity;285
b)
Business Development Canada (BDC) administers the Aboriginal Business
Development Fund. The Fund provides access to capital for Aboriginal
entrepreneurs who would not normally qualify for a loan and administers a
management training and mentorship program. BDC has allocated $1 million for 4
Aboriginal Development Funds (ABDFs). Funds are provided at the local level in
repayable loans ranging from $5,000 to $20,000;286 and
c)
In 2007, the City of Edmonton, and the governments of Alberta and Canada entered
into an Aboriginal Workforce Participation Initiative. As part of the initiative, all
parties agreed to develop and support practices that resulted in the recruitment of
Aboriginal staff; facilitated training opportunities focused on Aboriginal cultural
competence for City staff; linked the Aboriginal labour force to employment
opportunities; and promoted career development opportunities for Aboriginal
employees.287
These programs have a common goal to provide skills and training to Aboriginal Canadians
so that they can enter the labour market as employees. These efforts are important but should be
complemented by programs that develop entrepreneurial skills so that Aboriginal Canadians can
start and expand enterprises of their own. The committee recommends therefore
RECOMMENDATION 23
That the Government of Canada, along with provincial/territorial governments,
place additional emphasis on working with national Aboriginal organizations to
support the development of Aboriginal entrepreneurs, with a focus on new and
285
Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, Our History. http://www.ccab.com/our_history
Business Development Corporation, Aboriginal Business Development Fund,
http://www.bdc.ca/en/i_am/aboriginal_entrepreneur/Pages/aboriginal_fund.aspx
287
The City of Edmonton,Partnership “Agreement between the City of Edmonton and Government of Alberta and
the Aboriginal Workforce Participation Initiative,” 2007,
http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/documents/AWPI_Partnership_Agreement_2007.pdf
286
88
existing Aboriginal businesses through such activities as business assessments,
business and marketing plans, and mentoring for business owners; and
That the Government of Canada, in partnership with national Aboriginal
organizations, place additional emphasis on developing Aboriginal human capital,
through such measures as arranging full access for Aboriginal peoples for skills
development and training specific to their businesses, and the provision of business
skills training that would assist Aboriginal entrepreneurs to own and manage a
successful business.
The Aboriginal Affairs Working Group (AAWG)
In 2009, provincial premiers and representatives of national Aboriginal organizations met
prior to the meeting of the Council of the Federation to discuss how to address issues confronting
Aboriginal Canadians.288 Following this meeting, the premiers directed their ministers
responsible for Aboriginal affairs to form a working group. Subsequently, the Aboriginal Affairs
Working Group (AAWG) held its first meeting in Toronto, in October 2009. The AAWG has
chosen, as its three key goals:
1.
2.
3.
increasing the graduation rates for Aboriginal students;
supporting economic development in Aboriginal communities; and
taking action to end violence against Aboriginal women and girls.289
Chief Dorey referred to a document adopted by the AAWG on 28 April 2010 entitled A
Framework for Action in Education, Economic Development and Violence Against Women and
Girls.290 He cited one of the three goals that were highlighted in the document and that the
premiers directed the Aboriginal Affairs Working Group to explore: regional opportunities
related to infrastructure, micro financing and resource revenue sharing, as well as sharing of
economic development best practices. Chief Dorey also testified that members of the Working Group
have acknowledged that federal participation in the Group would be desirable.291
However, Jerry Peltier, the National Advisor to the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples,
testified that the federal government has not been participating in the AAWG.292
A horizontal initiative, the Strategic Partnerships Initiative (SPI) led by Aboriginal Affairs
and Northern Development Canada, began in June 2010 and “builds partnerships among federal
288
The national Aboriginal organizations included Assembly of First Nations, Métis National Council, Inuit Tapiriit
Kanatami, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples and the Native Women's Association of Canada.
289
Ontario, Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, Aboriginal Affairs Working Group,
http://www.aboriginalaffairs.gov.on.ca/english/policy/aawg/aawg.asp
290
Aboriginal Affairs Working Group, A Framework for Action in Education, Economic Development and Violence
Against Women and Girls, 28 April 2010, http://www.gov.bc.ca/arr/reports/down/aawg_paper.pdf
291
Evidence, 9 February 2012, Dwight Dorey.
292
Evidence, 9 February 2012, Jerry Peltier.
89
departments, Aboriginal communities, provincial and territorial governments and the private
sector.” The SPI brings together officials with the goal of assisting to Aboriginal people “take
advantage of complex market-driven opportunities in key sectors of the economy,” principally in
forestry, fisheries, mining, energy and agriculture.293 There is, however, a need for higher level
consideration of broader issues affecting Aboriginal Canadians.
The Aboriginal Affairs Working Group constitutes a useful forum for the discussion at the
ministerial level of the broad range of needs and interests of Aboriginal Canadians. As such, it is
desirable that the Government of Canada participate in this forum. The committee therefore
recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 24
That the Government of Canada explore, with provincial and territorial
governments, its involvement in the Aboriginal Affairs Working Group.
Service Providers: Federal Government Involvement
As mentioned, it is unclear which level of government has responsibility to provide
services to Aboriginal peoples living in cities. Nevertheless, the federal government does provide
services under the Urban Aboriginal Strategy (UAS) administered and coordinated by Aboriginal
Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
In addition to the services delivered under the Urban Aboriginal Strategy, there are a
number of other services offered to support urban Aboriginal people by federal government
departments, including the following initiatives by Health Canada and Public Health Agency of
Canada:
1.
2.
The First Nations and Inuit Health Branch at Health Canada provide a health
benefits program (Non-Insured Health Benefits Program) for First Nations people
and Inuit, including those who live in cities. The Plan covers the costs of medical
services not covered by provincial and territorial health care plans, or by private
insurance plans.294
Health Canada also administers the Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative which covers
Aboriginal people living in cities as well as on rural reserves. In 2010, the
Government of Canada committed $275 million over five years (2010-2015) for the
third phase of the Initiative.295 In addition, the Department has created a version of
293
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Strategic Partnerships Initiative - Overview,
http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1330016561558/1330016687171
294
Health Canada, “First Nations and Inuit Health, Non-Insured Health Benefits for First Nations and Inuit,” First
Nations & Inuit Health, http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fniah-spnia/nihb-ssna/index-eng.php
295
Health Canada, Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative: Program Framework 2010-2015, 2011, http://www.hcsc.gc.ca/fniah-spnia/pubs/diseases-maladies/_diabete/2010-2015-frame-cadre/index-eng.php
90
3.
the Canada Food Guide specifically tailored to the needs of First Nations, Métis,
and Inuit Canadians which it makes available in four Aboriginal languages and
distributes to Aboriginal peoples living in cities as well as on reserves.296
The Public Health Agency of Canada delivers a community-based program – the
Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities (AHSUNC) program –
that focuses on early childhood development for First Nations, Inuit and Métis
children living off-reserve. While the program falls under the umbrella of the Urban
Aboriginal Strategy,
AHSUNC is locally controlled and designed. Each year, it supports more than
4,800 Aboriginal children in 129 sites in urban and northern communities and deals
with issues such as childhood obesity, mental health problems and children with
special needs. AHSUNC sites provide structured half-day preschool experiences for
Aboriginal children focused on six program components: Aboriginal culture and
language, education and school readiness, health promotion, nutrition, social
support, and parental involvement. Begun in 1995, the program received five-year
funding (2010–2015).297
Aboriginal Friendship Centres
The most significant efforts to build social and economic inclusion for urban Aboriginal
people and to ease the transition from rural to urban living are being taken by Aboriginal peoples
themselves in the form of Aboriginal Friendship Centres.
The first Aboriginal Friendship Centre opened its doors in Toronto in 1951. In the 62 years
since, 119 Friendship Centres serving First Nations, Métis, and Inuit in urban centres have been
established across Canada. As such, they are the largest off-reserve Aboriginal infrastructure in
Canada, providing services in the areas of housing, education, human resource development and
employment, youth and family, health, recreation, and culture.298 Collectively, local Friendship
Centres and seven Provincial/Territorial Associations belong to the National Association of
Friendship Centres (NAFC) whose mission is to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal
peoples in an urban environment.299
The NAFC estimates that on average, it costs approximately $300,000 annually to operate a
Friendship Centre. The federal government, through Aboriginal Affairs and Northern
296
Health Canada, “Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide – First Nations, Inuit and Métis,” Canada’s Food
Guide, http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/fnim-pnim/index-eng.php
297
Public Health Agency of Canada, Aboriginal Head Start in Urban and Northern Communities (AHSUNC),
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/dca-dea/prog-ini/ahsunc-papacun/index-eng.php
298
Jack Jedwab, “Institutional ‘incompleteness’: The challenges in meeting the needs of Canada’s urban Aboriginal
population,” Canadian Issues, Winter 2009, p. 80.
299
National Association of Friendship Centres, Our Mission, http://nafc.ca/en/content/our-mission
91
Development Canada 300 and its Aboriginal Friendship Centre Program (AFCP), provides core
funding to support Aboriginal Friendship Centres. This funding is used to pay for basic staff and
operations. Additional staff are hired to work on programs funded by the provincial and federal
governments. Friendship Centres must apply to the National Association of Friendship Centres
which took over responsibility from Canadian Heritage in 1996 for allocating the funds. The
NAFC indicates that it allocates approximately $130,000 of core funding each to the majority of
Centres and that the Centres must find additional funding from other sources to cover their full
operating costs.301
In addition to the AFCP, the National Association of Friendship Centres also administers
and delivers other programs including Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth (CCAY) and
the Aboriginal component of the Young Canada Works Program. The NAFC has an Aboriginal
Youth Council (AYC) that identifies youth priority issues, including: stay in school initiatives;
healing and wellness; suicide; preserving culture and heritage; cross cultural awareness;
homelessness; youth leadership; employment and training; youth involvement at all levels of the
Friendship Centre Movement; and more specifically, youth involvement in decision-making
processes.
The NAFC asserts that federal funding has not changed from 1996 levels of $16 million
annually. NAFC indicates that as a result of inflation, technological change, and a growing
population of urban Aboriginal people, combined with frozen funding levels, the capacity of
Friendship Centres to adequately serve their clientele will be compromised.
Mr. Cyr told the committee that more programs and funding are needed to support direct
urban-based services for employment and training; more Aboriginal awareness; more Aboriginal
content in school curriculums; and more programming to improve literacy and education for
Aboriginal peoples.302
Friendship Centres provide vital services to the growing number of Aboriginal Canadians
moving to and living in Canada’s cities. Managed and directed by Aboriginal Canadians, the
Centres facilitate and build self-sufficiency. Financial self-sufficiency and autonomy are built
through raising and leveraging funds to support core operations. Nevertheless, the federal
government retains a principal role in the provision of core funding for the Centres. However,
funding levels have been fixed for 16 years in the face of inflation, growing urban Aboriginal
populations, and expansion of the number of Friendship Centres. The committee believes that
core funding levels should be reconsidered and recommends:
300
Prior to 2012, the Aboriginal Friendship Centre Program was funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage.
National Association of Friendship Centres, “Friendship Centres call upon the Government of Canada for an
increase to current AFCP core funding,” Press Releases, 22 November 2010.
302
Evidence, 9 February 2012, Jeffrey Cyr.
301
92
RECOMMENDATION 25
That the Government of Canada review core funding under the Aboriginal
Friendship Centre Program and, where warranted, adjust funding to appropriate
levels.
93
CHAPTER SEVEN: CANADIANS WITH DISABILITIES
An inclusive and accessible Canada is where Canadians with disabilities – children, youth,
working-age adults, and seniors – have the necessary support to fully access and benefit
from all that Canada has to offer. Independent living principles of choice, consumer
control, and autonomy are made real. Canadians with disabilities have safe, adequate,
accessible housing within their communities and live free from residential institutions and
their confinements. Canadians with disabilities have income, aids and devices, personal
supports, medications, environmental accommodations that make social, cultural and
political citizenship accessible and inclusive to all. Women with disabilities, Aboriginal
people with disabilities, persons with disabilities from visible minority communities, and
those from other marginalized communities should have equal access and benefits from
Canadian society. Canadians with invisible disabilities, chronic illness, episodic
disabilities, or environmental sensitivity, and living in remote or rural areas, are equally
able to access benefits from Canadian society. People with disabilities should be able to
contribute to and benefit from Canadian society in the same way as other citizens. This is
our Canada. It is just the quality of citizenship and wanting that.
Tony Dolan, Chairperson, Council of Canadians with Disabilities,
Evidence, 7 March 2012
INTRODUCTION
According to Statistics Canada, in 2006, an estimated 4.4 million Canadians – or one out of
every seven people – reported having a disability. This represented an increase since 2001 when
the last survey (Participation and Activity Limitation Survey or PALS) was conducted by
Statistics Canada. Thus, the number of people reporting a disability increased by more than
three-quarters of a million or by 21.2% over five years. Statistics Canada indicated that
significant changes in way that society perceives disability may have played a role making
Canadians more willing to report having a disability.303 While in 2001 12.4% of the population
reported a disability; by 2006 this rate had risen to 14.3%. Of those aged 15 and older reporting
a disability in 2006, 35.4% had mild limitations, 24.8% reported moderate limitations, and
39.8% had severe to very severe limitations.
Among seniors aged 65 and older, mobility limitations were the most common. An aging
population accounted for only a portion of the increase in reported disabilities; As Canada’s
population ages, however, the proportion of Canadians experiencing disabilities is likely to grow.
303
Statistics Canada, “Participation and Activity Limitation Survey”, The Daily, 3 December 2007,
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/071203/dq071203a-eng.htm
94
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC INCLUSION
Even though, as the Chairperson of the Canadian Council of Persons with Disabilities,
Tony Dolan, told the committee, Canadians with disabilities “have come a long way in
employment,”304 people with disabilities are still overrepresented among Canada’s low-income
population. As Mr. Dolan stated, citing data from Statistics Canada’s 2006 Participation and
Activity Limitation Survey,305 “almost half a million people, 20.5% of working-age adults
between 15 and 64 with disabilities lived on a low income. People of working age with
disabilities are about twice as likely as their counterparts without disabilities to live on a low
income.”306 Mr. Dolan added that “the incidence [of low income] among Aboriginal people with
disabilities is even higher.”307 In light of the significant financial challenges faced by Canadians
coping with severe disabilities, the committee called for enhanced support for these Canadians in
recommendations 53 and 54 of its report In From the Margins. These recommendations can be
found at Appendix B.I of this report.
In 2010, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) reported that the
average income among working age disabled Canadians was $29,393 compared to an average of
$37,994 for adults without disabilities, or 22.5% lower.308 When income from all sources was
accounted for, disabled adult Canadians had lower household incomes than their non-disabled
counterparts ($64,565 vs. $89,480).309 Close to 10% (9.9%) lived in houses that were in need of
major repair (or “inadequate” housing) while just over 6% of adults without disabilities did.310
Canadian cities are faced with the challenge of fostering greater inclusion for their citizens
with disabilities, a challenge that will grow as the Canadian population ages. Measures that are
taken often coincide with efforts to make cities more age-friendly (see Chapter 8 on Senior and
Youth). Alain Mercier of the Canadian Urban Transit Association, made reference to this when
he told the committee that “[o]ne of the greatest challenges across Canadian cities today is how
to provide specialized mobility for those who do not have the ability to leave their homes or walk
more than five or ten feet.”311
304
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Tony Dolan.
Statistics Canada, “Participation and Activity Limitation Survey,” The Daily, 3 December 2007.
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/071203/dq071203a-eng.htm
306
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Tony Dolan. In 2006, PALS reported a total of 4,215,530 Canadians 15 and over as
having a disability. Of these, 2,457,940 were between the ages of 15 and 64.
307
Ibid.
308
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, The Government of Canada’s Annual Report on Disability
Issues, 2010, p. 9 http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/disability_issues/reports/fdr/2010/fdr_2010.pdf
309
Ibid., p. 11.
310
Ibid., p. 12.
311
Evidence, 15 February 2012, Alain Mercier.
305
95
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT
In Budget 2007, the Government of Canada announced the introduction of the Registered
Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) which was subsequently implemented in December 2008.
Vangelis Nikias, Project Manager with the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, told the
committee that the RDSP is a “great step forward because it does provide possibilities for
improving financial security for many members” of the disability community.312
Since its introduction, close to 55,000 RDSPs have been opened. Contributions from
beneficiaries and their families have amounted to over $220 million. For its part, the federal
government has contributed approximately $450 million through Canada Disability Savings
Grants and Canada Disability Savings Bonds. In its 2011 Budget, the Government of Canada
indicated that it would conduct a review of the RDSP program that year, a review that was
subsequently launched in October 2011. In its Budget tabled on 29 March 2012, the Government
proposed several changes to the RDSP, including the provision of greater access to RDSP
savings for small withdrawals and giving enhanced flexibility for parents who save in Registered
Education Savings Plans (RESPs) for children with disabilities by allowing the transfer of
investment income earned in RESPs to an RESP beneficiary’s RDSP on a tax-free basis.313
Also in Budget 2012, the Government announced the creation of a panel on the labour
market opportunities for persons with disabilities. The panel was given the task of identifying
successes and best practices achieved by private sector employers in facilitating the participation
of disabled Canadians. The panel’s report was reviewed by the Minister of Finance and the
Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada by the end of 2012, and released
in January 2013.314
Bilateral Labour Market Agreements
The Government of Canada has bilateral Labour Market Agreements with each of the
provinces and territories to assist Canadians in finding work and to develop a skilled labour
force. Similarly, the federal government has bilateral cost-shared agreements – Labour Market
Agreements for Persons with Disabilities (LMAPD) – with all provinces except Québec.
LMAPDs are based on a Multilateral Framework for Labour Market Agreements for Persons
312
Evidence, 7 March 2012, Vangelis Nikias.
Government of Canada, Economic Action Plan 2012: Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity, 29 March, 2012,
pp. 180-181.
314
Rethinking Disability in the Private Sector, Report from the Panel on Labour Market Opportunities for Persons
with Disabilities, January 2013,
http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/consultations/docs/pdf/Web_Labour_Market_Report_Panel_eng.pdf; Economic
Action Plan 2012: Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity.
313
96
with Disabilities.315 Each year, the federal government transfers approximately $218 million to
the provinces to implement the agreements.316
Witnesses from the Council of Canadians with Disabilities recommended the following
with regard to Labour Market Agreements:



Expand the Multilateral Framework for Labour Market Agreements for Persons with
Disabilities to provide greater capacity at the provincial and territorial levels to
address barriers to employment;317
That the Government of Canada work collaboratively with all levels of government
on labour market strategies and broad social policy initiatives to address the needs of
persons with disabilities;318 and
Establish specific targets for Canadians with disabilities in labour force development
agreements negotiated with the provinces.319
Disability Tax Credit
The federal government provides a non-refundable income tax credit (Disability Tax
Credit, or DTC) for Canadians with disabilities, given they face unavoidable, additional expenses
that are not borne by non-disabled Canadians. Under the terms of the DTC, recipients must have
a taxable income and must meet an eligibility test to determine that they have a prolonged
impairment (at least 12 continuous months) that restricts the basic activities of daily life.
Representatives of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities called for the conversion of
the Disability Tax Credit to a refundable tax credit.320 Mr. Nikias stated that such a conversion
“is probably the first thing that the federal government can do.”321
In 2010, the Caledon Institute of Social Policy proposed that the Disability Tax Credit be
made refundable for all persons between the ages of 18 and 65 with severe or very severe
disabilities.322 Qualifying persons would receive $2,000 annually either as an income tax credit
for those earning a taxable income or as a cash payment for those of low or no income.
Provincial disability tax credits would be eliminated giving the provinces an estimated additional
revenue of $100 million annually. Caledon calculated that the total cost to the federal
315
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, “Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities,”
http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/disability_issues/labour_market_agreements/index.shtml#base1
316
Canada Employment Insurance Commission, Employment Insurance: 2011 Monitoring and Assessment Report,
p. 57. http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/employment/ei/reports/eimar_2011/PDF/EIMAR2011eng.pdf
317
Evidence, 7 March 2012, Tony Dolan.
318
Ibid.,
319
Ibid.,
320
Ibid., Vangelis Nikias.
321
Evidence, 7March 2012, Vangelis Nikias.
322
Michael Mendelson, Ken Battle, Sherri Torjman and Ernie Lightman, A Basic Income Plan for Canadians with
Severe Disabilities, Caledon Institute of Social Policy, November 2010,p. 29 – 31,
http://www.caledoninst.org/Publications/PDF/906ENG.pdf
97
government would be approximately $1.9 billion. The authors estimated that current federal
costs, including transferred claims were roughly $450 million, so that the net cost of
refundability would be approximately $1.45 billion.
The committee concurs that the federal government should consider making the Disability
Tax Credit refundable to assist working age Canadians with severe disabilities to meet additional
expenses, and made that recommendation in its report, In from the Margins. (See Appendix B.I,
recommendation 52)
Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities
The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities (administered by Human Resources
and Skills Development Canada, HRSDC) provides funding for projects that are delivered by
third parties and are designed to increase labour market participation for persons with
disabilities. Businesses, organizations, individuals with disabilities, public health and educational
institutions, band or tribal councils, and municipal governments can apply for funding.323
Witnesses from the Council of Canadians with Disabilities called upon the federal government to
strengthen the accountability (reporting) requirements for the Opportunities Fund for Persons
with Disabilities.324
In 2008, HRSDC completed an evaluation of the Fund that covered the period 20042005. Evaluations, however, do not occur at regular intervals, thus do not satisfy the need for
ongoing scrutiny. In its annual Departmental Performance Reports, HRSDC groups together its
employment programs for Canadians underrepresented in the labour force. As a result there is
no separate reporting on the outcomes achieved by the Fund, or resources allocated to it. In its
Federal Disability Report, HRSDC provides a wealth of data on the labour force participation of
disabled Canadians, but no mention of the results achieved by its programs (such as the
Opportunities Fund) to stimulate that participation. Parliament and Canadians should know about
the outcomes achieved by the Fund. The committee recommends therefore:
325
RECOMMENDATION 26
That Human Resources and Skills Development Canada provide information on the
resources allocated to, and the outcomes achieved by, the Opportunities Fund for
Persons with Disabilities in its annual Departmental Performance Reports tabled in
Parliament.
323
Service Canada, Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities,
http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca/eng/of/index.shtml
324
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Tony Dolan.
325
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Summative Evaluation of the Opportunities Fund for Persons
with Disabilities, Final Report, May 2008,
http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/publications_resources/evaluation/2008/ofpd/sp_ah_923_11_09eng.pdf
98
The Council of Canadians with Disabilities also called on the federal government to
expand the Fund to provide greater capacity at the provincial and territorial levels to address
barriers to employment.326
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
In March 2010, the Government of Canada ratified the United Nations Convention on the
Rights of Persons with Disabilities327 intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with
disabilities. As a party to the Convention, Canada is required to promote, protect and ensure the
full enjoyment of human rights by Canadians with disabilities, and to ensure that they have full
equality under the law. The Convention contains an Article (no. 33) that requires ratifying
parties to establish an independent mechanism to ‘promote, protect and monitor implementation’
of the Convention. It specifies that persons with disabilities and their representative
organizations should be actively involved in the monitoring process (33.3).
Monitoring of Canada’s compliance with the terms of the Convention is needed to confirm
that Canada is meeting its obligations and to provide Canadians with the assurance that the rights
of persons with disabilities are being fully protected. The committee recommends therefore:
RECOMMENDATION 27
That the Government of Canada, with provincial and territorial partners, monitor
implementation of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Monitoring should include the active involvement of Canadians with disabilities and
organizations that represent them, as specified in Article 33.3 of the Convention.
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR CANADIANS WITH DISABILITIES
The Federal Government
As noted above, Canada’s Public Service Employment Act328 identifies representativeness
and diversity as being integral to the composition of the federal public service and names four
groups (as defined in the Employment Equity Act) whose representation in the public service
must be taken into account in terms of hiring and retention. Those designated groups are women,
aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minorities. 329
A 2011 report by the Treasury Board Secretariat indicated that the representation of the
four designated groups including persons with disabilities had increased moderately since 2006
326
Evidence, 7 March 2012, Tony Dolan
United Nations, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,
http://www.un.org/disabilities/convention/conventionfull.shtml
328
Department of Justice, Public Service Employment Act, http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/P-33.01/
329
Department of Justice, Employment Equity Act, Section 3, http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/e5.401/index.html
327
99
and that all groups continued to exceed their workforce availability.330 A review conducted that
same year by the Public Service Commission found that over the previous 10 years, the
representation of persons with disabilities in the federal public service had exceeded their
workforce availability.331 However, the review noted that employees with disabilities tended to
be older and closer to retirement.332 The report indicated that the rate of departure from the
public service of persons with disabilities was double their hiring rate for several years, which
could have implications for the future representation of Canadians with disabilities within the
core public service.333 In its annual report to Parliament for 2010-2011, the Commission reported
that while other designated groups were appointed to the public service at a proportion exceeding
their respective workforce availability, this was not the case for persons with disabilities.334
The committee applauds the Government of Canada’s ongoing efforts to create a workforce
that is representative of the Canadian people with particular attention to disadvantaged groups.
As Canada’s largest single employer, the federal public service plays an important role, not only
in ensuring that designated groups are hired in proportion to their workforce availability, but in
setting an example for other Canadian employers. In recommendation 13 of this report, the
committee recommends that the federal government continue its efforts to hire and retain people
with disabilities, women, visible minorities and Aboriginal peoples in proportion to their
workforce availability.
Private Sector Employers
While the Employment Equity Act applies to federally regulated private sector employers,
one witness called for incentives to encourage the hiring and retention of Canadians with
disabilities in workplaces outside the federal public service.335
The committee favors the use of incentives for the purpose of increasing employment for
Canadians with disabilities and recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 28
That the Government of Canada, in partnership with provincial and territorial
governments, continue to identify and implement measures designed to assist
Canadians with disabilities to enter the labour market.
330
Treasury Board Secretariat, Demographic Snapshot of the Federal Public Service, 2011, http://www.tbssct.gc.ca/res/stats/demo11-eng.asp
331
Public Service Commission of Canada, Recruitment of Persons with Disabilities: A Literature Review, May
2011, p. 5. http://www.psc-cfp.gc.ca/plcy-pltq/eead-eeed/rprt/pwd-ph/index-eng.htm#toc17
332
Ibid., p. 7.
333
Ibid., p. 12.
334
Public Service Commission of Canada, 2010-2011 Annual Report, Chapter 3, paragraph 3.63, http://www.psccfp.gc.ca/arp-rpa/2011/chapter3-chapitre3-eng.htm#ch3anc1
335
Evidence, 2 May 2012, Charles Beach.
100
CHAPTER EIGHT: YOUTH AND SENIORS
In dealing with youth, particularly marginalized youth, we need to break away from
the systemic silos within which youth services and programs are being delivered.
Many sectors affect young people’s lives, but rarely do they work together or with
them in a strength-based approach.
Kristopher Wells, Researcher, Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services,
University of Alberta,
Evidence, 17 February 2011
YOUTH
According to Statistics Canada, Canadian youth (defined as people aged 24 and younger)
have been a declining proportion of Canada’s population for the past 40 years.336 In 1971, young
people (including children as well as those 15 to 24 years of age) comprised 48.1% of the
population; by 2010 that percentage had fallen to 29.9%. As of 1 July 2010, there were
approximately 4.4 million Canadians between the ages of 15 and 24.337
Despite their declining proportion of the population, Canadian youth are increasingly
diverse.338 In addition, they experience higher levels of unemployment and underemployment
than the national average and tend to be particularly affected by economic downturns.339
Youth and Social Inclusion
We say that youth need at least one trusted adult in their lives that they can turn to;
hopefully they have a lot more supports. Having one person they can reach out to when
they are having a difficult time, or if they are feeling alone or isolated, can make a world
of difference. That person needs to be accepting, inclusive and nonjudgmental.
Natasha Blanchet-Cohen, Assistant Professor,
Applied Human Sciences, International Institute for Child Rights and Development,
Evidence, 7 March 2012
336
Statistics Canada, Canada Year Book 2011, Catalogue no. 11-402-X, Chapter 5, p. 58,
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-402-x/2011000/pdf/children-enfants-eng.pdf
337
Canadian Council on Social Development, The Progress of Canada’s Children and Youth: Portrait, 2006,
http://www.ccsd.ca/pccy/2006/pdf/pccy_portrait.pdf.
338
Ibid., p. 6.
339
Recent research by the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada, however, has found that youth
employment has experienced a better recovery following the 2008 recession than after previous recessions.
Certified General Accountants Association of Canada, Youth Unemployment in Canada: Challenging
Conventional Thinking? October 2012, p. 20. http://ppm.cga-canada.org/en-ca/Documents/ca_rep_201210_youthunemployment.pdf
101
Natasha Blanchet-Cohen, Assistant Professor with the International Institute for Child
Rights and Development, spoke of how to address the exclusion of youth. She indicated that
“[a]t the centre, it is about bringing forth youth voice, energy and insight and recognizing that
young people can play a critical role in strengthening the social fabric of Canadian society.” But,
she pointed out, youth “also need to be given opportunities to carry out their potential.”340
Ms. Blanchet-Cohen described the inclusion strategy for youth that was part of
YouthScape, a project that was conceived and funded over a four-year period by the J.W.
McConnell Family Foundation. Organizations in five communities – the United Way in Thunder
Bay, Child and Youth Friendly in Calgary (now Youth Central), the HeartWood Centre for
Community Youth Development in Halifax, Boscoville 2000 in Rivière-des-Prairies, and
Youthcore in Victoria – were involved.
YouthScape’s vision was about “imagining how marginalized and diverse youth are
problem solvers instead of problems,” and sought to create a society in which “engagement of
youth is an automatic reflex.”341 Ms. Blanchet-Cohen identified several lessons that can be
drawn from the YouthScape initiative. The first is that reliance on a single method of fostering
youth involvement will not work. As she indicated,
[t]here is a need to support a broad range of approaches to engage
youth. It is not enough just to think of involving youth on boards;
we need to provide them with meaningful opportunities to carry
out their ideas.342
This will require innovation combined with trust. In the case of the YouthScape initiative,
innovation involved “giving money to youth so that they [could] realize their ideas and
projects.”343 This approach, seemingly risky, produced good results.344
RECOMMENDATIONS
Ms. Blanchet-Cohen offered a number of recommendations aimed at bringing youth in
from the margins and encouraging them to become involved in their communities. Akin to other
witnesses, she emphasized a requirement for cross-sector collaboration. She pointed to the need
to break away from systemic silos within which youth services and programs are delivered,
noting that “[m]any sectors affect young people’s lives, but rarely do they work together or with
340
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Natasha Blanchet-Cohen
Ibid.
342
Ibid.
343
Ibid.
344
Ibid.
341
102
them in a strength-based approach.”345 She also called for support for social entrepreneurship and
the provision of youth grants aimed at community development.346
There is a variety of federal government programs that are available for youth who are
unemployed, Aboriginal, disabled or newcomers.347 Because it is important that youth have
access to this information in a format that is readily accessible to them, the committee
recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 29
That the Government of Canada use youth-friendly language in materials intended
to inform the public and enhance the use of social media for that purpose.
Furthermore, the committee is aware that even as Canada emerges from recession, many
young Canadians are faced with a difficult transition from the classroom to a work environment.
Because it is vital that these young people make informed decisions about future career and
education choices, the committee recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 30
That the Government of Canada work with the provinces and territories to support
school-to-work transition programs that increase opportunities in training, co-op,
apprenticeship and education programs, and that increase labour mobility to enter
the workforce, and also consider tax incentives for companies that hire and invest in
young Canadians.
It should be noted that in its report In From the Margins, the committee called for
measures that would reduce drop-out rates among disadvantaged youth (recommendations 17
and 18, Appendix B.I of this report) and recommended that post-secondary student aid programs
be monitored (recommendation 20, Appendix B.I of this report).
SENIORS
For most of Canada’s history, seniors (women and men 65 years of age and older) have
made up a relatively small proportion of the population.348 This has changed; Canada now has a
“greying population”. Beginning in 1981, the numbers of seniors began to grow so that by 2005,
345
Ibid.
Ibid.
347
Information on federal government services for youth can be found at Youth Canada, www.youth.gc.ca
348
In the 1920s and 1930s, seniors made up approximately 5% of the population, In the 1950s, less than 8% of the
population was comprised of those 65 years of age and older. This proportion grew markedly from 1981 to 2005, as
the number of seniors increased from 2.4 million to 4.2 million and their share of the population went from 9.6 % to
13.1%. Statistics Canada, A Portrait of Seniors in Canada, 2006, 2007, Catalogue no. 89-519-XIE, pp. 11–12.
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-519-x/89-519-x2006001-eng.pdf
346
103
they made up 131% of the population. On 1 July 2010, there were 4.8 million Canadian seniors,
or 14% of the population.
In 2011, the first baby boomers (Canada’s largest birth cohort, born between 1946 and
1965) began to turn 65, representing the beginning of a rapid expansion of Canada’s senior
population. Statistics Canada has projected that between 2005 and 2036, the number of Canadian
seniors will increase from 4.2 million to 9.8 million and their share of the population from 13.2%
to 24.5%.349 By as early as 2015, the proportion of seniors will exceed the proportion of youth in
the Canadian population.350
Canada’s seniors are diverse, with significant numbers belonging to groups that are vulnerable
to exclusion. Statistics Canada reports that the proportion of seniors belonging to a visible
minority grew from 2.3% in 1981 to 7.2% in 2001.351 In 2005, 52% of Canadian seniors between
the ages of 65 and 69 were women; due to the shorter life expectancy of men, almost 75% among
those 90 years of age and older were women.352
Seniors and Poverty
Social inclusion of seniors is affected by their levels of income and health status. In 2006,
Statistics Canada reported that the financial situation of Canadian seniors had been steadily
improving over the previous 25 years.353 In particular, lower income seniors had experienced rising
income levels, due in part to the maturation of Canada and Quebec Pension Plans (CPP/QPP) as
well as expanded coverage from private pension plans.
At the same time, after years of decline followed by relative stability, the proportion of
seniors working beyond the standard retirement age of 65 has begun to increase..354
After years of improvement in the economic status of Canadian seniors, poverty among seniors
has become of growing concern, particularly in the aftermath of the 2008 recession. The Conference
Board of Canada has reported that after 20 years during which low-income rates in seniors had
declined, these rates began to rise again between the 1990s and the mid-2000s.355 Peter Cook,
President of Seniors for Seniors told the committee that “many thousands of seniors are
approaching the end of their lives in poverty, and it is [...] sad to hear.”356 In its In From the
349
Ibid., p. 12.
Canadian Institute for Health Information, Health Care in Canada, 2011: A Focus on Seniors and Aging,
December 2011, p. 10, https://secure.cihi.ca/free_products/HCIC_2011_seniors_report_en.pdf
351
Statistics Canada, A Portrait of Seniors in Canada, 2006, p. 25.
352
Ibid., p. 13. As the gap in life expectancy between men and women narrows, the gender composition of Canadian
seniors is expected to become more balanced in the future.
353
Ibid., p. 64.
354
Sharanjit Uppal, “Labour market activity among seniors,” Perspectives, Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 75-001.X,
July 2010,p. 6, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/75-001-x/2010107/pdf/11296-eng.pdf
355
Conference Board of Canada, Elderly Poverty, 2009, http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/Details/society/elderlypoverty.aspx.
356
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Peter Cook.
350
104
Margins report, this committee recognized the important contribution that the CPP/QPP, OAS (Old
Age Security) and GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement) have made to reducing poverty among
seniors and called for an increase in the Guaranteed Income Supplement for low-income seniors to
lift them out of poverty.(See Appendix B.I, recommendation 33).
Seniors in Urban Centres
Seniors have become concentrated in urban centres while their presence in rural areas and
small cities and towns is declining. Between 1981 and 2001, the proportion of seniors living in
census metropolitan areas grew from 53.8% to 60.7%.357 In 2006, in the three largest urban centres
– Toronto, Vancouver and Montréal – seniors made up 11.1%, 12.1% and 13% of the population
respectively. Collectively, almost one-third of Canadian seniors (31.6%) live in one of these three
cities.358 The demographic change receives considerable attention focused primarily on the strain
some believe will be placed on housing, transportation, health and community-support services.359
In 2007, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed Global Age-friendly Cities: A
Guide to help assess the age-friendliness of cities.360 According to the WHO, an age-friendly city
is one that optimizes its opportunities for health, participation and security, and that adapts its
structures and services to the varying needs and capacities of older citizens.
Of the 33 cities involved in the WHO Age-Friendly Initiative, four were located in Canada:
Saanich, British Columbia; Portage La Prairie, Manitoba; Sherbrooke, Québec; and Halifax, Nova
Scotia. Working with municipalities abroad, these cities used the WHO guide to identify key
elements needed to ensure that they are supporting healthy aging.361
From a national perspective, working through the Public Health Agency of Canada, the
federal government supports the Age-Friendly Communities Initiative. The purpose of the
Initiative is to make communities better, healthier and safer places for seniors to live. Included
among its goals are ensuring that public and private transportation is accessible, that streets and
buildings are hazard-free, and that there are opportunities for seniors to participate in civic,
cultural, and employment and volunteer activities in their communities.362
357
Ibid.
358
Ibid.
Gerald Hodge and David L. A. Gordon, Planning Canadian Communities: An Introduction to the Principles,
Practices and Participants, Thompson-Nelson, 5th ed., 2008, p. 388.
360
World Health Organization, Global Age-friendly Cities: A Guide, WHO Press, 2007,
http://www.who.int/ageing/publications/Global_age_friendly_cities_Guide_English.pdf
361
Public Health Agency of Canada, Age-Friendly Communities, http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/sh-sa/ifafiv/2008/initiative-eng.php. In 2007, the federal government also participated in the Federal, Provincial,
Territorial Age-Friendly Rural and Remote Communities Initiative that focused on communities with
populations under 5,000.
362
Ibid.
359
105
Elder Abuse Awareness
According to the Department of Justice, in 2009 police reported that close to 7,900
seniors were victims of violent crime. Thirty five per cent of these crimes were committed by a
family member, 35% were committed by a friend, and 29% were committed by a stranger. The
federal government has responded to concerns about elder abuse (which may involve
mistreatment, physical or verbal abuse, or neglect). In the June 2011 Speech from the Throne,
the Government announced that it would impose tougher sentences on those found guilty of
senior abuse. Subsequently, the federal government introduced legislation to amend the
Criminal Code to take into account elder abuse as an aggravating factor for sentencing
purposes.363 This legislation received Royal Assent on 14 December 2012.
The federal government had also launched a campaign coordinated by the Ministry of State
for Seniors to raise awareness of elder abuse. Peter Cook testified that the elder abuse awareness
program “is a good campaign,” but expressed concerns that “if you are an isolated senior, you do
not become aware of the issues.”364 Results of the 2011Census show that most seniors (92.1%)
aged 65 and over lived in private households while 7.9% lived in nursing homes or residents for
senior citizens.365 These data suggest that it may be challenging to reach independent seniors
with needed program information. The committee takes note of Mr. Cook’s observation, and
recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 31
That as part of its efforts to raise public awareness about elder abuse, the
Government of Canada devote particular attention to reaching seniors who are
living independently or in isolation.
The New Horizons for Seniors Program
In 2004, the federal government launched the New Horizons for Seniors Program that
funds projects led by seniors (or inspired by them) to encourage seniors to volunteer in their
communities. The Program supports projects that are designed to improve seniors’ facilities and
to increase awareness of elder abuse.366 Non-profit organizations, community-based coalitions,
municipal governments, band and tribal councils, and research and educational institutions are
among those who can apply for project funding. In 2012-2013, Human Resources and Skills
Development Canada plans, on the basis of commitments made in the 2011 Speech from the
363
Department of Justice Canada, “Backgrounder: Elder Abuse Legislation,” News Releases, 12 March 2012,
http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/news-nouv/nr-cp/2012/doc_32716.html
364
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Peter Cook.
365
Statistics Canada, “2011 Census of Population: Families, households, marital status, structural type of dwelling,
collectives,” The Daily, 19 September 2012, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/120919/dq120919aeng.pdf
366
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, “New Horizons for Seniors Program,”
http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/eng/community_partnerships/seniors/index.shtml
106
Throne, to focus on providing enhanced funding for the New Horizons for Seniors Program. The
Program will continue to support projects that engage seniors in sharing their knowledge,
experience, and expertise.367 For example, the federal government has provided $675,000 in
funding to the Registered Nurses’ Association to create and disseminate a best-practices
guideline on elder abuse awareness for nurses across Canada.368
Mr. Cook noted, “The health of too many seniors needlessly deteriorates in a system that
relies too much on hospitals and not enough on community.”369
Mr. Cook offered recommendations to address the exclusion of Canadian seniors and help
them maintain an independent, autonomous life style. These included the reduction of funding
for institutionalization and reallocating the funding to help seniors remain in their homes. As Mr.
Cook indicated, Canada should “...take the money out of hospitals, out of institutions and put it
in home care.”370 In recommendation 19 of its report Time for Transformative Change: A Review
of the 2004 Health Accord, the committee called on the federal and provincial/territorial
governments to take steps to integrate continuing home care fully within health-care systems.
(See Appendix B.III)
In his written submission, Mr. Cook called for more public education and public service
campaigns that “emphasize that to be a senior is not a detriment but rather an honor.”371 Along
with other witnesses, Mr. Cook advocated the elimination of silos that separate the panoply of
government programs and services for seniors. He told the committee that:
[g]overnment programs are all siloed so one does not know what
the other one is doing. It is very hard. We have offered seminars in
my business to try to elucidate what issues are out there, but we get
confused. If you do not like this program, wait until next week;
there is another program, but no one seems to know who does or
does not qualify, and it is tough.372
367
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Departmental Report on Plans and Priorities, 2012-2013, p.
37, http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/rpp/2012-2013/inst/csd/csd-eng.pdf
368
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, “Government of Canada marks World Elder Abuse
Awareness Day with a Major Commitment to Elder Abuse Awareness Projects,” 15 June 2012,
http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?mthd=advSrch&crtr.page=1&nid=680619&crtr.lc1D=&crtr.aud1D=14
369
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Peter Cook.
370
Ibid.
371
Seniors for Seniors, Written submission to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and
Technology, 7 March 2012.
372
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Peter Cook.
107
CHAPTER NINE: SEXUAL MINORITIES
Traditionally, sexual minorities have not been included in discussions of multiculturalism
and, by extension, definitions of cultural diversity. Until recent relatively recent history,
sexual minorities have been seen as fugitives or outcasts in our society. These identities
were never to be named in polite company. We only need to look back some 40 years to
realize that before 1969, gays and lesbians were considered to be criminals and social
degenerates in this country.
Kristopher Wells, Researcher, Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services,
University of Alberta,
Evidence, 17 February 2011
INTRODUCTION
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people cross all socio-economic, ethno-racial, age,
gender, (dis)ability, religious, geographical location, educational, and relationship status lines.373
While Statistics Canada has neither the definitive number of people whose sexual orientation is
lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, it does attempt to quantify some estimates based on various
surveys. In 2009, the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) became the first Statistics
Canada survey to include a question on sexual orientation. According to the CCHS, 1.1% of
Canadians aged 18 to 59 consider themselves to be homosexual, and 0.9% of Canadians of the
same age group consider themselves to be bisexual.374 The 2011 Census counted same-sex
couples (married and common-law) and found an increase of 42.4% since the previous (2006)
Census. The number of same-sex married couples had nearly tripled following the first five-year
period during which same-sex marriage had been legalized across Canada.375 Similar to the
findings of the 2006 Census, most same-sex couples were concentrated in Toronto, Montréal,
and Vancouver.
Surveys in the past decade have provided select information on the socio-economic makeup of those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). In a 2008 article, the
authors calculated that gay men in Canada earn on average 12% less, and lesbian women 15%
more, than their heterosexual counterparts.376 The study calculated that bisexual people earn on
373
Nick J. Mule et al., “Promoting LGBT Health and Well-Being Through Inclusive Policy Development,”
International Journal for Equity in Health, 2009, 8:18.
374
Statistics Canada, Gay pride…by the numbers, modified August 2010,
http://www42.statcan.gc.ca/smr08/2011/smr08_158_2011-eng.htm .
375
Statistics Canada, “Portrait of Families and Living Arrangements in Canada: Families, households and marital
status, 2011 Census of Population, Catalogue no. 98-312-X2011001. http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/censusrecensement/2011/as-sa/98-312-x/98-312-x2011001-eng.cfm In 2005, Bill C-38, the Civil Marriage Act, was
adopted, making Canada the third country to legalize same-sex marriage across the country (some provinces
had already done so).
376
Christopher Carpenter, “Sexual Orientation, Work and Income in Canada,” Canadian Journal of Economics,
Vol. 41, No. 4, 2008, p. 1239.
108
average 15to 30% less than heterosexuals, suggesting that bisexual identity in particular may be
associated with socioeconomic deprivation.377 Research indicates that youth identifying with a
sexual minority are at greater risk of homelessness and street involvement than non-sexual
minority youth and that sexual-minority youth are 1.5 to 1.7 times more likely to commit suicide
than their heterosexual peers.378
Victimization and Discrimination
Police data from the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey show that 159 hate crimes were
motivated by sexual orientation in Canada in 2008, roughly double the number in 2007. Crimes
motivated by sexual orientation accounted for approximately 16% of all 2008 hate crimes.379 In
addition to these more general risk factors, sexual minority youth face additional risk factors,
such as a lack of family acceptance and bullying or conflict at school.380 A 2009 national safe
schools climate survey of over 3,500 youth found that 75% reported hearing homophobic
comments on a daily basis in schools, and six out of 10 LGBT students reported being verbally
harassed about their sexual orientation.381 According to a Statistics Canada report, when all
factors all held constant, being gay, lesbian or bisexual significantly increases the odds of being
victimized.382 A 2007 study found that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth, when compared to their
heterosexual peers, were more likely to have experienced physical and sexual abuse, harassment
in school, and discrimination in the community.383
Legal Rights and Protections for LGBT People
The legal rights and protections for gay men and lesbian women in Canada changed
considerably with the coming into effect of the equality rights provision in Section 15 of the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.384 Although sexual orientation was not explicitly
included as a prohibited ground of discrimination, the courts accepted that Section 15 was to be
377
Mule et al. (2009).
Kristopher Wells, “Research Brief on Sexual Minority Youth Health, Wellness, and Safety Concerns,” Institute
for Sexual and Minority Studies, p.4, July 2009,
http://www.ismss.ualberta.ca/documents/people/kriswells/ResearchBriefonSexualMinorityYouthHealthWells200
9.pdf
379
Statistics Canada, “Gay pride…by the numbers,”
380
Kristopher Wells, “No Place for Homophobia in Schools,” Edmonton Journal, 18 October 2010.
381
Catherine Taylor et al., “Youth Speak Up About Homophobia and Transphobia: The First National Climate
Survey on Homephobia in Canadian Schools Phase One Report,” Egale Canada Human Rights Trust, March
2009, p. 4. http://egale.ca/youth-and-safer-schools/national-survey/phase1/
382
Factors held constant by Statistics Canada include: being young, being single, being a student, earning a low
income, living in an urban area, and engaging in 30 or more evening activities per month. Diane L. Beauchamp,
Sexual Orientation and Victimization, 2004, 2008. Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 85F0033M, p. 8 ,
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85f0033m/85f0033m2008016-eng.pdf.
383
Wells (2009), p. 6.
384
For an in-depth analysis of judicial, political and legislative activity regarding the rights of the LGBT community
in Canada, see: Mary C. Hurley, Sexual Orientation and Legal Rights, Publication no. 08-49E, Parliamentary
Information and Research Service, Library of Parliament, Ottawa, 24 February 2010,
http://lpintrabp.parl.gc.ca/lopimages2/prbpubs/bp1000/prb0849-e.asp.
378
109
interpreted broadly, and that “analogous” grounds, i.e., personal characteristics other than those
listed, may also form the basis for discrimination against a group or an individual.
The legal rights of lesbians and gay men in Canada have been the subject of considerable
judicial, political and legislative activity, and in recent years, a broad framework of laws and
policies that support diversity and inclusion has been implemented.385 In 2003, Ontario became
the first Canadian province to allow same-sex marriage. In 2005, Canada became the fourth
country in the world to legalize marriage for same-sex couples nationwide. In the workplace, the
Charter has been interpreted to protect employees from discriminatory practices.386 For example,
when employers offer health benefits that include coverage for a spouse or partner, they must by
law include same-sex partners. Similarly, same-sex couples have the same benefits as opposite
sex common-law couples for income tax, Canada Pension Plan, and Employment Insurance
purposes.
Social Inclusion for Sexual Minorities: What Needs to be done
Kristopher Wells offered suggestions aimed at the social inclusion of sexual minorities. A
feature which sets sexual minorities apart from other minorities is that, as Mr. Wells pointed out,
they are “invisible” minorities, “which means that one cannot readily identify a person as
belonging to this community by simply looking at them or speaking with them.” 387 As a
consequence of this “invisible” status, sexual minorities are frequently left out of programs and
legislation designed to address the challenges faced by other minority groups at risk of exclusion.
It is critical therefore, according to Mr. Wells, “that we talk about the recognition of sexual
minorities as a distinct minority group, as we do with cultural, linguistic, religious or ethnic
communities.”388 He recommended that a key focus should be on their inclusion and integration
in all federal and civic programs and policies, as well as legislation, designed to support and
protect minorities.389 “Ultimately,” Mr. Wells told the committee, “people need to see
themselves included in law and legislation.” He added that inclusion in law and legislation is
“particularly important for the transgender and transsexual community whom, research indicates
are amongst the most marginalized and vulnerable groups in our society.”390
Sexual minorities require the same recognition in government policies and legal protection
as other minorities vulnerable to exclusion. In Recommendation 11 of this report, the committee
385
Christine Silva and Anika Warren, Building LGBT Inclusive Workplaces: Engaging Organizations and
Individuals in Change, Catalyst, 2009,
http://www.catalyst.org/system/files/Building_LGBT_Inclusive_Workplaces_Engaging_Organizations_and_Indi
viduals_in_Change.pdf
386
See, for example, Canadian Heritage, Sexual Orientation and Human Rights, http://www.pch.gc.ca/pgm/pdphrp/canada/sxrnt-eng.cfm
387
Evidence, 17 February 2011, Kristopher Wells.
388
Ibid.
389
Ibid.
390
Ibid.
110
calls for measures that it expects will lead to greater understanding and protection of sexual
minorities. In addition, the committee recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 32
That the Government of Canada recognize sexual minorities as distinct minority
groups like other cultural, linguistic, religious, and ethnic communities in all federal
programs and policies designed to support minorities; and
That the Government of Canada include identity and gender expression in the hate
crime provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada as aggravating circumstances to be
taken into consideration at the time of sentencing.
Lastly, Mr. Wells and Professor Bramadat emphasized the need to move beyond tolerance
to acceptance, recognition and celebration, not just with regard to sexual and religious minorities,
but in a broader sense to everyone. Mr. Wells pointed out that:
[t]olerance is an often used yet incredibly power-laden concept.
To tolerate someone means that I choose to put up with them and
invite them to the table without having to interrogate any of my
own values or beliefs. Tolerance is a shallow form of inclusion. In
a truly inclusive, multicultural and pluralistic society, we need to
move beyond tolerance to acceptance, appreciation and hopefully
to the celebration of diversity and difference.391
391
Evidence, 17 February 2011, Kristopher Wells.
111
CHAPTER TEN: BUILDING SAFER COMMUNITIES
[I]nclusive communities ensure both individual and broad community
safety and security so that no one feels at risk in their homes or moving
around the neighborhood and city.392
[I]f you plan to try and make urban places safe and inclusive for
the most marginalized of the population, you will indeed make
them safe for everybody – safe and inclusive.393
INTRODUCTION
During the committee’s first meeting on social inclusion, a witness stated that “inclusion is
about feeling part of things, and feeling part of things means that you are connected to others;
you are not isolated.”394 Social inclusion occurs in large measure via the public spaces of
Canadian communities; parks, schools, libraries, recreation facilities, public transit facilities, and
the streets of our cities. If Canadians do not feel safe in these and other spaces, the goal of social
inclusion will not be achieved fully. This is particularly so when one considers that those who
are most at risk of exclusion – such as seniors, women, and people with disabilities – are also
among the most vulnerable to crime in our society.
As a consequence, there is a strong link between social inclusion and cohesion, and the
need for citizens to feel safe in their communities. The presence of crime disrupts the
connections between people, isolating them and jeopardizing social cohesion.
CRIME LEVELS IN CANADA
Each year since 1962, the Canadian Centre for Crime Statistics (the Centre) at Statistics
Canada has released data on crime in Canada. These statistics are presented for Canada as a
whole; they are also broken down by province/territory and by Census Metropolitan Areas. The
data are based on crimes “known to, and substantiated by, police services,”395 drawn from the
Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Survey. Beginning with its report for 2008, the Centre began to
include information on the volume and severity of police-reported crime.
392
A characteristic of an inclusive city and community, selected by participants during the 11 meetings held by the
Laidlaw Foundation in 2002. Cited in Peter Clutterbuck and Marvyn Novick, Building Inclusive Communities:
Cross Canada Perspectives and Strategies, Federation of Canadian Municipalities and The Laidlaw Foundation,
April 2003, p. 7 http://cdhalton.ca/pdf/Clutterbuck_Novick_Paper_Inclusive_Communities.pdf
393
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Caroline Andrew.
394
Evidence, 3 February 2011, Fran Klodawsky.
395
Mia Dauvergne and John Turner, “Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2009,” Juristat, Statistics Canada
Summer 2010, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2010002/article/11292-eng.htm
112
For 2009, Statistics Canada reported that police-reported crime in Canada – in terms of
both volume and severity – had dropped.396 This is consistent with a declining trend in the
numbers of reported crimes. For 2010, Statistics Canada found that this trend had continued,
with both the volume and severity of crime down by 5% and 6%, respectively, from 2009 levels.
The volume of crime was reported to have dropped to its lowest level since the 1970s while the
Crime Severity Index fell to its lowest point since those data were first been recorded in 1998. 397
Once again, these same overall trends emerged in Statistics Canada’s 2011 report on policereported crime statistics. These data show that crimes reported to the police in 2011 consisted of
two million Criminal Code offences in 2011, roughly 110,000 fewer than the number reported in
2010.398
These assessments, however, are based on aggregations of crime data at the national level
and while average national crime rates have declined, they remain high at the local level in
certain instances;crime is concentrated in specific areas rather than spread evenly across
Canada.399
Statistics Canada also gathers crime data through its General Social Survey on
Victimization (GSS) which it conducts every five years – these data are self-reported from a
representative sample of Canadians 15 years of age and older. It is common for the GSS to
produce higher rates of crime than the UCR Survey because not all incidents are reported to
police. The 2004 GSS, for example, indicated that roughly one-third (34%) of incidents were
reported to police. As Heidi Illingworth, Executive Director of the Canadian Resource Centre for
the Victims of Crime, reminded the committee, police-reported crime statistics tell only a partial
story about Canadian crime rates. Ms. Illingworth testified that “[A]ccording [...] to the 2009
GSS, 69 per cent of violent victimizations, 62 per cent of household victimizations, and 71 per
cent of personal property thefts were not reported to the police.”400 However, regardless of crime
levels, whether reported or not, from a victim’s perspective (and those close to victims), any
criminal act is still one criminal act too many.
396
Mia Dauvergne and John Turner (2010).
Shannon Brennan and Mia Dauvergne, “Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2010,” Juristat. 2011,
Statistics Canada catalogue no 85-002-X, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2011001/article/11523-eng.pdf.
398
Shannon Brennan, “Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2011,” Juristat, 24 July 2012, p. 5, Catalogue no.
85-002-X, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2012001/article/11692-eng.pdf
399
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Daniel Sansfaçon.
400
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Heidi Illingworth; also: Samuel Perreault and Shannon Brennan “Criminal
victimization in Canada, 2009,” Juristat, Summer 2010, Statistics Canada, p. 4, Catalogue no. 85-002-X,
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2010002/article/11340-eng.htm, p. 4.
397
113
Perceptions of Crime
Your chances of being a victim are not that great, but there are huge sectors in our
society for whom the fear of crime is a very rational dimension of their everyday life,
and that undermines their sense of well-being, their sense of use of their community.
Professor Ross Hastings,
Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa,
Evidence, 14 March 2012
Most Canadians feel safe in their communities. In 2009, Statistics Canada found that 93%
of all Canadians 15 years of age and older were satisfied with their personal safety from crime.401
All told, over eight in 10 Canadians reported that they were not worried when home alone in the
evening (83%) and 90% indicated that they felt safe walking alone in their neighbourhoods at
night.402
Men were more likely to have higher levels of satisfaction with their personal safety.
Ninety per cent of men, for example, reported that they felt safe at home compared with 76% of
women. Over seven in 10 men (73%) said they did not worry for their personal safety when
using public transit while just over four in 10 women (42%) expressed the same level of
satisfaction.
Canadians felt less safe using public transportation in their communities, with fewer than 6
in 10 (58%) saying that they were not at all worried when waiting for or using public
transportation at night.403 Over nine in 10 men and over eight in 10 women reported feeling very
safe or reasonably safe walking alone in their neighbourhoods at night.
Canadians living in western Canada tended to have lower levels of satisfaction, a possible
reflection of rates of crime and victimization that tend to be higher in western provinces. These
variations also appear at the municipal level. While most Canadians living in Census
Metropolitan Areas expressed satisfaction with their personal safety from crime, the three
CMA’s reporting among the lowest levels of satisfaction (Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Calgary)
were located in western Canada.
The results of Statistics Canada’s 2009 survey were reflected in a survey conducted by
Environics Research Group in 2011.404 The survey found that fewer than half (46%) of
Canadians believe that crime rates are on the rise (down 6 percentage points since 2010), while
401
Shannon Brennan, “Canadians’ perceptions of personal safety and crime, 2009,” Juristat, Statistics Canada,
December 2011, Catalogue no. 85-002-X, p. 5, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2011001/article/11577eng.pdf .
402
Ibid.
403
Ibid., p. 8.
404
Environics Research Group Canada, “Focus Canada, 2011 – Highlights Report on Crime and Justice,” News &
Insights, 27 January 2012, http://www.environics.ca/news-and-insights?news_id=116. Environics reports that
the survey results are accurate to within +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
114
the same proportion believed that crime is falling; this trend was most noticeable in Ontario,
Saskatchewan, and Alberta. Concerns about rising crime rates were more widespread among
Canadians living in Atlantic Canada and Manitoba. Reports of crime victimization were slightly
higher than the national average in Saskatchewan (13%) and British Columbia (9%) and among
those aged 18 to 29 (11%). Among those who reported having been the victim of a crime, just
over 7 in 10 (72%) indicated that they had reported the incident to the police.
Nonetheless, a significant number of Canadians believe that crime rates in their
communities are neither declining nor on the rise; instead, they perceive that local crime rates are
unchanged. As Julie McAuley, Director of the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, testified,
“62 per cent of Canadians, when they were asked in 2009 through the General Social Survey,
stated they felt crime in their neighborhood had remained the same.”405
CRIME AND CANADIANS VULNERABLE TO EXCLUSION
Social exclusion may be also linked to increased risk of victimization. Studies have
argued that street youth, for example, are likely to be victims of crime due to
experiences of social exclusion in terms of restricted access to housing, employment and
[BOX] “Social exclusion may be also linked to increased risk of
public spaces.
Daniel Sansfaçon, Director, Policy Research and Evaluation, National Crime Prevention
Centre, Public Safety Canada,
Evidence, 8 March 2012
We are seeing that areas have high crime rates where you have people living in
situations of social disadvantage, family break-up, young single males and transiency.
People from Aboriginal populations are [...,] disproportionately in those groups, as are
the mentally ill.
Irwin Waller, Full Professor,
Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa,
Evidence, 14 March 2012.
Many who are among the most vulnerable to social exclusion are also the most susceptible
to acts of crime. Canadians who are already marginalized are in effect forced further onto the
margins and kept there by the presence of crime that is directed toward them. In particular,
Aboriginal Canadians, women, visible minorities (who include immigrants among their number),
sexual minorities, and religious minorities, are often the targets of criminal acts, including hate
crimes. Furthermore, as Heidi Illingworth testified, crime victims themselves (regardless of
membership in a vulnerable group) all too often become socially excluded.406
405
406
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Julie McCauley.
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Heidi Illingworth.
115
Many of our clients become socially isolated as a result of being victimized. Their
friends and family members do not understand the trauma they endured in some cases
and expect them to get over it quickly and get on with their lives.
Heidi Illingsworth, Executive Director,
Canadian Resource Centre for the Victims of Crime,
Evidence, 8 March 2011400
In the case of members of communities already at risk of exclusion, becoming a crime
victim can thus lead to a form of double exclusion.
Urban Aboriginal People
Canadian Aboriginal peoples are more apt than the non-Aboriginal population to be the
victims of crime. For example, at the provincial level in 2009, 37% of Aboriginal people –
almost 322,000 individuals – reported that they were victims of crime compared with 26% of the
non-Aboriginal population.407 In 2004, Aboriginal Canadians were three times more likely to
have been the victims of sexual assault, robbery or physical assault (319 versus 101 incidents per
1,000 population).408
407
Samuel Perreault, “Violent victimization of Aboriginal people in the Canadian provinces, 2009,” Juristat,
Statistics Canada, 11 March 2011, Catalogue no. 85-002-X, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002x/2011001/article/11415-eng.htm
408
Cited in The Environics Institute, Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study, p. 96.
116
Chart 6: Self-reported non-spousal violent Aboriginal victimizations,
Canada’s ten provinces, 2009
†
Reference category * significantly different from reference category (p < 0.05) F too unreliable to be
published 1. Includes robbery and excludes all incidents of spousal sexual and physical assault. Includes
incidents that occurred during the 12 months preceding the survey.
Source: Statistics Canada, General Social Survey, 2009 Cited in Samuel Perreault, (2011),
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2011001/article/11415-eng.pdf
Despite the overrepresentation of Aboriginal peoples among the victims of crime, the
majority (89%) are satisfied with their personal safety and Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal
peoples share similar perceptions about crime.409 In spite of feeling safe in their communities,
however, Aboriginal people were more likely than non-Aboriginal people to report having taken
some steps to protect themselves from crime. Forty-three per cent, for example, said they had
changed their daily routines and/or activities, or avoided certain people or places, to protect
themselves from crime.410
While most urban Aboriginal people who have had contact with the criminal justice system
believe they were treated fairly, they have little confidence in the system itself. Surveys have
found that among urban Aboriginal people with serious involvement (either as a victim, witness,
arrested or charged with a crime) with the criminal justice system, close to six in 10 felt they had
409
410
Perreault, (2011).
Ibid.
117
been fairly treated.411 However, regardless of feeling they had been dealt with fairly, the majority
responding to this survey said they had little confidence in the criminal justice system and were
in favor of creating a separate system for Aboriginal people.412 More than half of respondents
had little (33%) to no (22%) confidence in the criminal justice system.413
Women
There is clear evidence that the fear of violence is stronger in women. [...] The
fear results in changes in behavior that restricts women’s participation in urban
areas. The question is not the rate of violence, but the question of mode of
behavior. That means that women do not go out at night and restrict their
activities.
Caroline Andrew, Director,
Centre on Governance, University of Ottawa,
Evidence, 15 February 2012
Testimony that “evidence that feeling safe in one’s neighborhood is of much greater
concern and impact for women than it is for their male peers” reflects data that show that women
are overrepresented among victims of certain types of crime.414 Women are particularly
vulnerable to criminal harassment, commonly known as stalking. This form of criminal conduct
is repeated over time and “causes victims to reasonably fear for their safety.”415
Sixty-nine per cent of the victims of criminal harassment were harassed in their own
homes, or in another residence. Eleven per cent of incidents took place in an outdoor public
location (street, road, highway, or parking lot), and 4% took place at school or university. The
rest – 16% – occurred in commercial or corporate areas, transit areas and other public or nonprofit institutions.416
411
The Environics Institute, Urban Aboriginal Peoples Study –Main Report, p. 98,
Ibid., p. 99-100.
413
Ibid., p. 99.
414
Evidence, 2 February 2011, Fran Klodawsky.
415
Shelly Milligan, (2011), p. 1.
416
Ibid., pp.4, 6.
412
118
Chart 7: Criminal harassment, by census metropolitan area, 2009
Note: Rates are calculated on the basis of 100,000 population.
Source: Statistics Canada, Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Uniform Crime Reporting Survey, cited in
Milligan (2011),http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-005-x/2011001/article/11407-eng.htm
The statistics may underrepresent the actual numbers of women who are the targets of
criminal activity. Irwin Waller, of the Department of Criminology at the University of Ottawa
and President of the Intergovernmental Organization for Victim Assistance, indicated that
“[m]ore than 90 per cent of the women who are sexually assaulted in this country do not report to
the police.”417
Given the right of women to feel safe and secure in the communities where they live, there
needs to be an emphasis placed on efforts to reduce their vulnerability to assault, both by former
offenders and others. The committee therefore recommends:
417
Evidence, 15 March 2012, Irvin Waller.
119
RECOMMENDATION 33
That the Government of Canada support awareness and education programs to
combat sexual assault and harassment, including cyber-bullying.
Sexual Minorities
In Canada, the latest report from the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (2008)
identifies that lesbians, gays, and bisexuals are amongst the top three targeted groups
in Canada for hate and bias crimes. Hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation were
also identified as the most violent in nature of all those reported. It is also important to
note that approximately only 1 in 10 hate crimes are ever reported to law enforcement.
Kristopher Wells, Researcher,
Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, University of Alberta,
Evidence, 17 February 2011
Violence directed at sexual minorities has been a longstanding issue of concern in
Canada. In 2008, a study by Statistics Canada found that lesbians and gay men were almost 2.5
times as likely to be victims of violence, including sexual and physical assault, as heterosexual
persons, and that bisexual persons were over four times more likely to be victimized.418 The
survey also found that:


Gays, lesbians and bisexuals expressed lower levels of satisfaction with police
performance than their heterosexual counterparts. For example, fewer gays, lesbians
and bisexuals felt that the police were doing a good job of treating people fairly
compared to heterosexuals (42% of gays/lesbians and 47% of bisexuals versus 60%
of heterosexuals); and
The proportion of gays, lesbians and bisexuals who felt they had experienced
discrimination was about 3 times higher than that of heterosexuals. Furthermore,
78% of gays and lesbians who experienced discrimination believed it was because
of their sexual orientation compared to 29% of bisexuals and 2% of heterosexuals.
According to police data from the UCR Survey, hate crimes motivated by sexual
orientation in 2009 were up 18% in 2009 from 2008. Crimes motivated by sexual orientation
accounted for approximately 13% of all hate crimes reported in 2009. Seventy-four per cent of
the hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation in 2009 were violent in nature.419
418
419
Beauchamp, (2008), p. 8.
Statistics Canada, “Gay Pride ... by the numbers.”
120
When asked if the police were doing a good job at supplying information to the public on
ways to reduce crime, 42% of gays and lesbians and 38% of bisexuals responded positively,
compared to 51% of heterosexuals. Furthermore, 58% of gays and lesbians and 52% of bisexuals
perceived the police as doing a good job at being approachable compared to 66% of
heterosexuals. There was no difference between the views of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, and
the views of the rest of the population with regard to the criminal courts or prison system.420
Immigrants and Visible Minorities
We know that the more we go out into minority communities, particularly those that
might have had a difficult relationship with the police service as in the example of
people coming to Canada from a war-torn, lawless country, they do not interface
with the police service in the same way.
Kristopher Wells, Researcher,
Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, University of Alberta,
Evidence, 17 February 2011
Data gathered by Statistics Canada for 2004 show that visible minorities experienced rates
of violent crime similar to those experienced by non-visible minority Canadians, and that older
visible minorities (25 years of age and older) experienced lower rates of crime than their
counterparts in the non-visible minority population.421 However, visible minorities are apt to feel
less safe in public places and underserved by law enforcement officials. Statistics Canada
reported that:




420
421
About 47% of visible minority females and 39% of males reported that they would
use public transportation alone after dark more often if they felt safer, compared to
29% and 22% of non-visible minorities;
Visible minorities were less likely than non-visible minorities to rate the police as
doing a good job with tasks that were related to police accessibility and attitudes
such as: being approachable and easy to talk to, supplying the public with
information on ways to reduce crime and treating people fairly;
Visible minorities were more likely than non-visible minorities to feel that loitering,
people sleeping on the streets, harassment and attacks motivated by racial
intolerance and prostitution posed a problem in their neighborhoods; and
The proportion of visible minorities who felt they had experienced discrimination
was twice that of non-visible minorities. Overall, 81% of visible minorities who felt
Beauchamp, (2008).
Perreault (2011).
121
that they had experienced discrimination believed that it was because of their race
or ethnic origin.422
Canadians with Disabilities
[T]he issue of violence against persons with disabilities [...] tends to be [...] an issue
for persons with fairly severe disabilities, where they feel vulnerable in society. [...]
For women, especially, there have been reported cases of people who feel a sense of
vulnerability. [...] [I]n some larger cities people with disabilities do feel a sense of
vulnerability and of being the object of attack.
Tony Dolan, Chairperson,
Council of Canadians with Disabilities,
Evidence, 7 March 2012
As noted above, the 2006 Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (PALS) indicated
that more than 4.4 million Canadians, or 14% of the total population, had at least one physical or
mental condition that restricted their daily activities;423 as the population ages, it is anticipated
that this number will increase. Using data gathered by the General Social Survey (GSS) on
Crime Victimization of 2004, the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics at Statistics Canada
reported that in 2004:


The rate of criminal victimization, including sexual assault, robbery and physical
assault, was two times higher for persons with activity limitations than for persons
without limitations (147 compared to 101 incidents per 1,000 persons).
The personal victimization rate, which is violent victimization or theft of personal
property, for persons with mental or behavioral disorder, was four times higher than
the rate for persons with no mental disorder.424
422
Ibid., p. 6.
Statistics Canada, “Participation and Activity Limitations Survey,” The Daily (2007).
424
Samuel Perreault, Criminal Victimization and Health: A Profile of Victimization among Persons with Activity
Limitations or Other Health Problems,. Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Profile Series, Statistics Canada,
May 2009, Catalogue no. 85F0033M, no. 21, p. 6 http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85f0033m/85f0033m2009021eng.pdf
423
122
Chart 8: Rate of victimization, by disability status, 2004
Notes: Rates include offences among spouses. In all the crime categories, the differences are statistically
significant.
Source: Perreault (2009) , p. 8
Disabled Canadians may feel less secure than non-disabled people due to their physical or
mental vulnerabilities, and higher rates of criminal victimization. The GSS found that in 2004
25% of those with a disability did not feel safe when walking alone in their neighborhood
compared with 14% of those without a disability. In addition, disabled persons were more likely
to be fearful when they are alone at home at night (26% versus 19% of non-disabled Canadians)
and to stay home at night rather than venture outside because they were afraid to do so alone
(37% versus 29%).425
Disabled victims of crime are less likely than other Canadians to be satisfied with police
response.426 Disabled persons generally were also less likely to have a favorable opinion of the
justice system at large. For example, 46% (versus 35% of non-disabled Canadians) rated
Canadian courts poorly in terms of the courts’ ability to render justice quickly.
425
426
Ibid., p. 13.
Ibid.
123
CRIME AND ITS VICTIMS
A barrier to greater community involvement, which is fundamentally what inclusion is
about, particularly for groups that are vulnerable to exclusion – seniors, disabled
Canadians, immigrants, visible minorities and women – is crime and the fear of crime.
Chief Dale McFee, President,
Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police,
Evidence, 8 March 2012
Crime, whether against property or individuals or against public order (so called
“victimless” crimes such as the consumption of illicit drugs or prostitution) imposes significant
costs on individuals and their communities. Costs borne by victims and those close to them are
particularly onerous. Of the estimated $70 billion cost of crime in 2003, the majority of these
costs - $47 billion, or 67% - were borne by victims.427 These costs have gone up. In her
testimony, Heidi Illingworth emphasized that the cost of crime falls on the shoulders of victims:
According to the Department of Justice, the cost of crime in 2008
is estimated to be $99.6 billion, a majority of which, $68.2 billion
or 68 per cent is borne directly by the victims. Victim costs include
tangible losses such as damaged or stolen property, loss of income
and productivity, and health care services, as well as intangible
cost such as pain and suffering and loss of life.428
Government Support for Victims
Senior levels of government recognize that victims must be given greater attention. In
1988, federal, provincial and territorial governments agreed to the Canadian Statement of Basic
Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime, which was subsequently updated in 2003.429 Since
that time, the federal government has undertaken several initiatives with regard to crime victims.
In 2007, the federal government created the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims
of Crime.430 The Ombudsman was given the mandate to promote and facilitate access to federal
programs and services for crime victims and raise awareness of victims’ needs and concerns
among criminal justice personnel and policy makers. The Ombudsman reports directly to the
Minister of Justice. The Department of Justice has also created a Policy Centre for Victim Issues
that:
427
The Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, Annual Report, April 2007- March 2008, p. 6,
http://www.victimsfirst.gc.ca/pdf/ar0708-ra0708.pdf
428
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Heidi Illingworth, p. 84.
429
Department of Justice, “The Canadian Statement of Basic Principles of Justice for the Victims of Crime”
http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/pcvi-cpcv/pub/03/princ.html
430
Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, http://www.victimsfirst.gc.ca/
124
 assists victims and their families understand their role in the criminal justice system and
the laws, services and assistance available to support them;
 ensures that the views of victims are taken into consideration in the development of
federal legislation and policies; and
 increases awareness about the needs of victims and how to address those needs.431
More recently, the Government of Canada introduced amendments to the Canada Labour
Code and the Employment Insurance Act to provide support to parents of children who have died
or disappeared as the probable result of crime.432
Canadian Police Services: Recruitment and Retention of Groups at Risk of Exclusion
…in spite of concerted efforts to increase diversity in police
services in Canada, women, members of visible and ethnic
minority groups, as well as Aboriginal peoples, remain
significantly underrepresented, compared to their representation in
the communities being policed.433
[A] significant proportion of people simply do not believe the
police will solve their problems. When you add young Aboriginal
males, young Black males or young Asian males in certain sectors
of the city, they have little or no reason to believe that is where
they go for solutions; they take care of themselves.434
In policing, recruitment strategies must inform, attract, and select the best
and brightest candidates - ensuring representation of the population in
terms of gender, and culture.435
As noted above, many Canadians most at risk of social exclusion lack faith in local police
services and the criminal justice system. As a possible consequence, a significant amount of
crime committed in Canada goes unreported to the police. When crime is not reported, not only
does it mean that a crime goes unsolved, it also complicates efforts to allocate resources to areas
431
Department of Justice, Policy Centre for Victim Issues, http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/pi/pcvi-cpcv/index.html
Bill C-44, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code and the Employment Insurance Act and to make
consequential amendments to the Income Tax Act and Income Tax Regulations. The Act received Royal Ascent
on 14 December 2012.
http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&DocId=5942516
433
Law Commission of Canada, 2006, cited in Geoffrey Li, “Private security and public policing,” Juristat,
December 2008, Statistics Canada, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2008010/article/10730-eng.htm
434
Evidence, 15 March 2012, Ross Hastings.
435
Police Sector Council , “Recruitment and Retention,” HR Practices Centre
http://www.policecouncil.ca/pages/hr.html
432
125
in which they are most needed. These challenges can be partially addressed by taking steps to
ensure that police forces in Canada more closely resemble the communities they serve.
In his testimony to the committee, Professor Waller asserted that “gendering policing
makes a difference to whether women report or not. If you have a lot of women police officers,
you have a better chance of reporting.”436 In its report on Canadian police resources in 2011,
Statistics Canada reported that across Canada, the numbers of female police officers has
continued to increase. There were 285 more female officers in 2011 than in 2010, part of a
consistently rising trend. For example, in 2001, women made up 14% of all police officers in
Canada; by 2011, that proportion had grown to 20%.437 While this progress is welcome, women
in Canadian police forces are still vastly out of proportion with their numbers in Canada. In
2011, Statistics Canada indicated that women and girls made up just over half – 50.4% – of the
total population.438
In 2006, Statistics Canada reported that the percentage of visible minorities in Canadian
police forces had been steadily increasing, from 3% in 1996, to 4% in 2001, rising to 6% in
2006.439 In contrast, in 2006 visible minorities made up approximately 16% of the population
and their numbers are projected to grow, most choosing to live in one of Canada’s largest cities.
In response, municipal police forces are stepping up efforts to recruit visible minorities into their
ranks.440
Canadian police forces are actively engaged in efforts to reach out to communities that are
most vulnerable to crime. As part of these efforts, police forces are focusing recruitment and
retention efforts on women and members of minority communities with the result that police are
becoming more representative of the communities they serve.
The committee wishes to encourage these efforts in the belief that they will lead to an
increase in reported crime and, most importantly, to the reduction and prevention of crime.
Therefore, the committee recommends:
436
Evidence, 15 March 2012, Irvin Waller.
Statistics Canada, Police Resources in Canada 2011, December 2011, Catalogue no. 85-225-X,
http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-225-x/85-225-x2011000-eng.pdf
438
Covadonga Robles Urquijo and Anne Milan, “Female Population,” Women in Canada: A Gender-based
Statistical Report, July 2011, p. 9. Catalogue no. 89-503-X, http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/89-503x/2010001/article/11475-eng.pdf
439
Li (2008).
440
See, for example, Toronto Police Service, “More minority police,”
http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=1219
437
126
RECOMMENDATION 34
That the Government of Canada support efforts by Canadian police forces to
enhance the recruitment and retention of women and members of Canadian
minority communities in proportion to their labour market availability.
Federal Government Crime Prevention Initiatives
What Canadians want is for all orders of government to work better together, work
smarter together and to rethink and reinvest in policies and programs that keep our
communities safe and stop crime from happening in the first place.
Karen Leibovici, Federation of Canadian Municipalities,
Evidence, 14 March 2012
Interest in municipal and community mobilization for crime prevention by the federal
government began to gather momentum in the 1980s and 1990s, particularly in relation to
community policing and community safety strategies. In 1994, the federal government initiated
the National Strategy on Community Safety and Crime Prevention, which assisted communities
in developing and implementing community-based solutions to crime.441 In 1998, the National
Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) was introduced to provide a policy framework for
implementing crime prevention interventions across Canada.
Administered by Public Safety Canada’s National Crime Prevention Centre (NCPC), the
NCPS works to reduce crime by addressing known risk factors and identifying effective and
cost-efficient ways to prevent crime in high-risk populations.442 Managed in collaboration with
the provinces and territories, municipal and Aboriginal police forces, the NCPS provides a policy
framework for implementing crime prevention intervention across Canada. To achieve the
Strategy’s goal of reducing crime, the NCPC focuses on two key streams of activities:


community funding to support projects that deliver social crime prevention
measures aimed at those most at risk of offending; and
building and sharing practical knowledge of successful crime prevention
measures, and promoting their use by stakeholders.443
In 2008, the federal government increased the funding to the National Crime Prevention
Centre and crime prevention programming.444 The NCPC administers three funding programs:
441
Wanda Jamieson, “Factors Related to Successful Mobilization of Communities for Crime Prevention,” IPC
Review, Vol. 2, March 2008, p. 12. http://www.sciencessociales.uottawa.ca/ipc/pdf/5_IPCR2%20%20Jamieson.pdf
442
Department of Public Safety Canada, Supporting the Successful Implementation of the National Crime
Prevention Strategy, 2009, p. 1. http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/res/cp/res/_fl/ssincps-amosnpc-eng.pdf
443
Ibid., p. 4.
127
the Crime Prevention Action Fund, the Northern and Aboriginal Crime Prevention Fund, and the
Youth Gang Prevention Fund.
The Crime Prevention Action Fund provides funding to assist communities and
organizations in developing and implementing crime prevention and knowledge transfer
initiatives. The Northern and Aboriginal Crime Prevention Fund provides funding to support
culturally sensitive initiatives that foster the development and implementation of crime
prevention approaches in Aboriginal communities, both on-and-off-reserve and in the North. The
Youth Gang Prevention Fund (discussed in Chapter 6) invests in communities where youth
gangs are an existing or emerging threat and supports initiatives that clearly target youth in gangs
or at greatest risk of joining gangs.
In its Departmental Performance Report for 2010-2011, Public Safety Canada indicated
that it had funded 143 projects in 78 communities, including 19 projects that were exclusively
dedicated to addressing youth street gangs. Funding amounting to $37.5 million over five years
was also allocated for 41 new projects. The Department reported that, in total, over 15,000 at risk
children and youth were reached by projects funded under the Strategy and that many of these
projects were delivered in cooperation with provinces, territories, municipal police forces and the
RCMP, and community-based organizations.445
Daniel Sansfaçon of the National Crime Prevention Centre testified that “[t]he vast
majority of these projects involve interventions that target the most at-risk populations in order to
prevent them from following a long-term offending trajectory.”446 Irvin Waller, however, was
critical of the National Crime Prevention Centre, telling the committee that he did not think the
re-testing that the National Crime Prevention Centre is doing is needed because “we have more
than enough evidence,” adding that “[t]he NCPC is basically retesting things that have been
proven empirically to work in Canada and elsewhere.”447
Smart Policing: Prevention and Intervention, Enforcement and Incarceration
The committee’s witnesses spoke of approaches to addressing crimes that involve a
combination of strategies and better collaboration and coordination between stakeholders. Chief
McFee testified that no one single approach to confronting crime works by itself. Instead, he
called for a strategy that combines:
...hard on crime – enforcement and incarceration [with] soft on
crime – prevention and intervention. Both [...] require tough
decisions and both are absolutely mandatory to maximize returns. I
444
Ibid., p. 1.
Public Safety Canada, Departmental Performance Report, 2010-11, http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/dpr-rmr/20102011/inst/psp/psp02-eng.asp
446
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Daniel Sansfaçon.
447
Evidence, 15 March 2012, Irvin Waller.
445
128
believe in a balance between the views, or should I say, being
“smart on crime,” or “smart on community safety.448
Irvin Waller made a similar observation, stating that “...combined balanced approaches that
involve smart policing, rehabilitation and prevention” are needed in order to deal effectively with
crime.449 He argued that such an approach would not require a change in the numbers of police,
but instead about using police “more smartly.”
Collaboration
..in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, we found that 27 per cent of our calls were criminal
in nature. Out of these 27 per cent, 5 per cent led to an actual criminal charge.
However, this leaves 73 per cent of all calls to be an area which we define as antisocial
behavior, behavior that if left unchecked or without accountability often leads to
criminal behavior. Antisocial behavior is often related to addictions, domestic violence,
disturbances, housing, mental health, et cetera. When I think of those issues and look
deeper, I have
to ask
myself,
many
of these issues
police
[BOX]
“...in
Prince“How
Albert,
Saskatchewan,
we would
found that
27 be
% considered
of
experts in?”
The
answer
is,
most
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none.
our calls were criminal in nature. Out of these 27 %, 5 % led to an
actual criminal charge. However, this leaves 73 % of all calls
to be
Chief
Dale McFee,
an area which we define as antisocial
behavior,Association
behavior that
if left of Police,
Canadian
of Chiefs
Evidence, 8 March 2012
Throughout all phases of the committee’s hearings on social inclusion, witnesses stressed
that complex social issues are not amenable to solution by one entity or sector working alone.
This was no different when the committee spoke with witnesses about finding effective ways to
make Canadian communities safer and less vulnerable to crime.
Community-based holistic approaches to preventing and combating crime and
victimization are most successful when developed through intergovernmental and
community-based partnerships which can be accomplished through social
development, notably by investing in all aspects of community infrastructure, like
shelter, libraries, recreation centres, while also addressing the complex root causes of
crime.
Karen Leibovici, Federation of Canadian Municipalities,
Evidence, 14 March 2012.
448
449
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Dale McFee.
Evidence, 15 March 2012, Irvin Waller.
129
Early Intervention
Witnesses emphasized the importance of collaborative early intervention to prevent crime
from happening, and in particular, the need to intervene with youth who are at risk of engaging
in criminal activity. Daniel Sansfaçon stressed that early intervention would save the justice
system a significant amount of money, testifying that:
[T]he kinds of preventative interventions we are speaking about
will cost anywhere between $5,000 and $8,000 on average per year
to deliver for [...] at-risk children and youth. It is a very minimal
amount when you consider what would otherwise be the costs of
them entering into the justice system, of causing victimization, and
ending up eventually in the federal system if nothing is done to
prevent that.450
In perhaps no other area is collaboration more necessary than when it comes to efforts to
prevent crime through early intervention. Chief McFee told the committee that:
The majority of [the] 73% of calls [received by his local police
force] are predictable; if they are predictable, then most often they
are preventable. [...], if they are to be preventable, we must move
towards a structured approach, an approach that gives all agencies
– law enforcement, health, education, social services, et cetera –
the ability to see the whole picture and respond at a local or
regional level at an early intervention point.451
The committee’s witnesses were in broad agreement that the best way to prevent crime is
through early intervention that involves of community service providers, including police, social
workers, and teachers. Thus a key to making Canadian communities safer involves everyone
working in collaboration and removing or reducing the silos that stand in the way of effective
prevention, intervention, and enforcement.
THE COST OF BUILDING SAFER COMMUNITIES
Collaborative approaches to community safety promise not only to be the most effective
way of responding to crime, they also have the potential to reduce policing costs which are
becoming the largest and fastest growing costs to municipal governments.
Irvin Waller argued that the federal government should be devoting more financial
resources to crime prevention, an approach that might resolve some of the challenges faced by
municipalities that are confronted with rising police costs. He told the committee that there is:
450
451
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Daniel Sansfaçon.
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Dale McFee.
130
unlimited empirical evidence to suggest that if we invested the
equivalent of 5 per cent of what is currently going into mainly
reactive systems – the police, courts, and Correctional Services – at
the federal level, [...] and every level [of government], that we
could achieve large reductions [in crime].452
Professor Waller referred to a recommendation contained in a Report tabled by the House
of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and the Solicitor General in February 1993 that
called on the federal government to spend a greater percentage of what it spends on policing and
corrections on crime prevention.453 He argued that such expenditure “... will help control rising
policing costs and rising prison costs.” Because crime prevention stops crime before it happens,
avoids victimization, and is a cost-effective means of reducing crime, the committee
recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 35
That the Government of Canada increase the share of its current criminal justice
budget that is devoted to crime prevention.
Better control over policing costs can also be brought about by the smart policing approach
of the kind advocated by Chief McFee who told the committee that the Canadian Association of
Chiefs of Police is “not suggesting a new investment; instead, we are suggesting a reinvestment.
[...] there are significant opportunities for reinvestment with the existing economy based largely
on the duplication of services.”454
Federal Government Coordination and Other Roles
As noted above, the federal government is actively involved in a variety of initiatives
designed to make Canadian communities safer. In particular, the government has devoted more
attention to the needs of crime victims and has placed a greater emphasis on crime prevention
while it has maintained and strengthened efforts to enforce the law and to apply sanctions to
those who contravene it.
Professor Waller called for federal leadership through the establishment of a crime
reduction board modeled after an initiative that took place in Alberta and has inspired a similar
452
Evidence, 15 March 2012, Irvin Waller
House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and the Solicitor General, 12 th Report, Third Session, Thirtyfourth Parliament, Crime Prevention in Canada: Toward a National Strategy, 23 February 1993.
http://www.socialsciences.uottawa.ca/ipc/pdf/reports_4-2-2.pdf
The Committee’s third recommendation read: “The Committee recommends that a share of the monies forfeited
as proceeds of crime be allocated to crime prevention activities and that the federal government allocate 1% a
year of the current federal budget for police, courts and corrections to crime prevention over a five year period.
At the end of five years, Canada should spend 5% of the current federal criminal justice budget on crime
prevention.”
454
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Dale McFee.
453
131
initiative in Saskatchewan. Such a board would bring down crime levels but would also have
“the potential for controlling policing costs,” and “would make for a much better and safer place
for those people who live in our cities.”455 In 2012, Public Safety Canada took a step in this
direction, leading a federal-provincial-territorial Assistant Deputy Minister Crime Prevention
Committee. The committee has been directed to recommend ways to “advance evidence-based
policies and practices for effective crime prevention and reduction.”456
The committee welcomes this development and recommends that Public Safety Canada
take note of the following roles for the Crime Prevention Committee listed by Professor Waller:
providing leadership to federal action; collaborating with the provinces and other relevant
entities to agree and implement a national strategic plan and long term framework; gathering and
analyzing practical knowledge in order to foster widespread application of effective and cost
efficient programs; developing national standards and ways to foster practices and guidelines that
meet those standards; and monitoring achievements in reducing crime and harm to victims and
making recommendations for additional actions.457
RETURNING TO THE COMMUNITY
Once an offender has served her or his time in a correctional facility, it essential that their
rehabilitation continue in manner that supports reintegration. As Chief McFee pointed out
“[t]here are people who need to go to jail, but you do not forget about them. You rehabilitate.”458
Rehabilitation and reintegration also must occur in a manner that guarantees community safety.
As Ms. Illingworth told the committee, at her centre, “we talk to the victims [...] on a monthly
basis. They are concerned about the offender coming back into the community, where they live
very close to them.”459 She suggested that some of this concern could be alleviated if offenders
were better able to enter the labour market following release
Successful efforts to rehabilitate offenders and to reduce recidivism contribute to
community safety and eventually reduce costs associated with policing and incarceration. The
committee therefore recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 36
That the Government of Canada increase supports for offenders to decrease
recidivism and victimization by offering small incentives for offenders to receive
further education and training while incarcerated in order to increase employment
options upon release into the community;
455
Evidence, 15 March 2012, Irvin Waller
Public Safety Canada, Departmental Performance Report 2011-12, p. 25,
http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/abt/dpr/dprmt-prfrm/2011-2012/_fl/dpr2012-eng.pdf
457
Irvin Waller, “A Crime Reduction Board for Canada,” submission to the Standing Senate Committee on Social
Affairs, Science and Technology, submitted 14 March 2012.
458
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Dale McFee
459
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Heidi Illingworth
456
132
That the Government of Canada make mandatory alcohol and substance abuse
programs for addicted inmates while incarcerated in federal institutions and then
follow up in the community with drug enforcement testing during reintegration;
and
That the Government of Canada facilitate and increase access to mental health
counseling and programs for offenders to increase successful reintegration in the
community.
David Hulchanski, Associate Director of the Cities Centre at the University of Toronto,
cited the conclusions of a report commissioned by the Government of Ontario entitled Review of
the Roots of Youth Violence, which identified poverty as a contributing factor towards criminal
activity in youth.460 Professor Hulchanski told the committee that “poverty does not directly
cause violence [...] However, if not ameliorated, poverty and low-income areas [can] nonetheless
play a central role in generating alienation, a lack of hope or opportunity, self-esteem, a sense of
having no future and other immediate risk factors.”461 Thus, by working to reduce poverty,
governments at all levels can indirectly prevent crime and reduce levels of criminal activity.
Heidi Illingworth suggested ways in which municipal governments could contribute
towards safe and effective reintegration for former offenders:




install outreach programs in community centres to raise awareness and educate
individuals about victimization and personal safety measures;
implement programs to help community members locate and access public funding
for financial aid if they have been the victims of crime;
have representatives of victims’ services accompany the police at crime scenes to
provide assistance to victims on the spot; and that
all governments promote and publicize the importance of reporting criminal activity
as well as available community and government resources.
Public Transit: Enhancing Safety and Mobility in Canadian Cities
An efficient and safe transit system is an essential component of municipal infrastructure
that serves to promote and enhance community safety. This is particularly so with regard to
groups at risk of exclusion such as seniors, Canadians with disabilities, and those with limited
incomes. Alain Mercier, of the Canadian Urban Transit Association, informed the committee that
“about 40% of Canadians do not own a car,” and that “about 35% of Canadians do not own a
driver’s license.” Mr. Mercier went on to cite the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)
which reports that “the average cost of owning, acquiring and operating a car in 2011 was about
460
Government of Ontario, Ministry of Children and Youth Services, Review of the Roots of Youth Violence, 2008,
http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/topics/youthandthelaw/roots/index.aspx
461
Evidence, 15 March 2012, David Hulchanski.
133
$20,000.” In contrast “[t]he cost of a year’s worth of transit passes for unlimited use might
average between $1,000 to 1,200 per year.”462
Mr. Mercier testified that for those who have no other option, public transit “is an essential
service. Many studies have shown that without public transit these people are excluded from
employment and access to medical, educational and recreational opportunities.” He also cited a
report by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities which found that recent immigrants are
“much more likely than Canadian-born residents to use public transit to commute to work. This
was proven to be true even after controlling for age, gender, income and distance to work.” Mr.
Mercier concluded by asserting that “[t]he bottom line [...] is that improved public transit means
a more inclusive society”463 a statement that was supported by Caroline Andrew who told the
committee that “[p]ublic transportation is absolutely crucial as a social inclusion” measure.464
Mr. Mercier told the committee that the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) and
the Federation of Canadian Municipalities have taken the position that “municipal tax programs
by themselves are fairly regressive as a tax policy, and mobility in cities today depends largely
on municipal tax contributions.” Therefore, the CUTA has recommended the following measures
to the federal government:



a long-term strategy for infrastructure financing;
a larger share of the gas tax for municipalities “That is, that there be dedicated
funding for mobility out of the federal gas tax. That represents a one-cent
contribution towards creating mobility in Canadian cities.” and,
allowing employers to have a tax credit for paying employee contributions for
public transit. “[T]oday you get your parking spot from your employer and there is
no tax penalty, but if your employer pays your transit pass, you have to pay tax on
that.”465
Apart from these recommendations, Mr. Mercier called for a national transit policy
framework built upon a partnership of all levels of government to “provide the basic foundation
of urban development and design, investment, tax policy, and research; and to optimize the role
urban transit can play in ensuring the best possible levels of social inclusion.”466
The federal government supports municipal transit in several ways. The government
provides federal funding for which transit project are eligible through the Gas Tax Fund Transfer
Payment Program to provinces, territories, municipalities, other public entities and First Nations
for environmentally sustainable infrastructure. The transfers amount to $2 billion per year
Canada-wide and are distributed according to population. Approximately $1 billion of the Gas
462
Evidence, 15 February 2012, Alain Mercier.
Ibid.
464
Evidence, 15 February 2012, Caroline Andrew.
465
Evidence, 15 February 2012, Alain Mercier.
466
Ibid.
463
134
Tax Fund Transfer Payments have been committed to transit projects since 2006.467 The Budget
Act of 2011 contained a provision that permits the continuation of the Gas Tax Fund Transfer
Payment Program beyond 2014 in an amount not exceeding $2 billion per year, subject to the
terms and conditions approved by the Treasury Board.468
Another way in which the federal government has supported public transit in Canada is
through the provision of a tax deduction for transit users who buy a monthly pass.469 The initial
provision was contained in Budget 2006 and the eligibility was expanded in Budget 2007 to
include the cost of passes of shorter duration.
Given that municipal public transit provides low-cost access to employment, reduces social
isolation, and contributes to community safety, enhancements should be made to federal support
to transit. The committee recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 37
That the Government of Canada encourage the provinces and territories to identify
and develop urban transit strategies;
That the Government of Canada give tax-exempt status for employer-provided
transit benefits. This would complement the current federal tax credit for transit
pass purchases and encourage employers to support transit commuters financially;
and
That the Government of Canada consider additional allocations from the Gas Tax
Fund specifically to transit capital investment.
467
House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Study on Transit in
Canada, 2012, p.7.
http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/hoc/Committee/411/TRAN/Reports/RP5301556/tranrp01/tranrp01-e.pdf
468
Justice Canada, Statutes of Canada 2011, An Act to implement certain provisions of the 2011 budget as updated
on June 6, 2011 and other measures, p.212, http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/hoc/Bills/411/Government/C-13/C13_4/C-13_4.PDF .
469
Government of Canada and Canadian Urban Transit Association, “Tax credit for public transit passes,” last
modified 2008, http://web.archive.org/web/20130123094059/http://www.transitpass.ca/
135
CHAPTER ELEVEN: THE INCOME GAP AND MOVING UP THE INCOME LADDER
INTRODUCTION
Rates of low income are common among groups at risk of social exclusion and can result in
lack of resources needed for full participation in community life. As the committee learned from
its study of poverty, housing and homelessness, the constant effort to secure enough money to
pay for the necessities of life leaves little time to build the social capital that forms the
foundation for meaningful, successful engagement. In many instances, community participation
may also impose financial costs which are beyond the means of those of limited income. Against
this background, recent debates have focused on income inequality.
Although rising income inequality has been a concern for academics and policy makers for
several years, it has become more prominent in the minds of many Canadians following the
global financial crisis of 2008 and the advent of the “Occupy” movement beginning in early
2010.470 Evidence of this growing public concern can be found in polling results released in
March 2012 which found that the growing gap between rich and the rest of society has become
the top priority of Canadians, ahead of issues such as taxes and debt.471
Like social inclusion, income inequality is about all of us. As noted by the Conference
Board of Canada, “…high inequality can diminish economic growth if it means that the country
is not fully using the skills and capabilities of all its citizens or if it undermines social cohesion,
leading to increased social tensions. Second, high inequality raises a moral question about
fairness and social justice.”472 As well, most observers recognize that extreme income inequality,
even where the least well-off are still making economic gains, can undermine the sense of social
cohesion necessary in a democratic society.473
In their 2009 book entitled The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, British
epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett argue that the quality of life is worse for
everyone in societies in which there are wide disparities between those at the top of the income
470
Patrick Aldrick, “Davos WEF [World Economic Forum] 2011: Wealth inequality is the ‘most serious challenge
for the world,” The Telegraph, 26 January 2011,
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/davos/8283310/Davos-WEF-2011-Wealth-inequality-is-themost-serious-challenge-for-the-world.html
471
Ekos Research Associates, “A Divided Public Poses Deep Budget Challenges: Burgeoning Concerns with
Inequality,” 5 March 2012, http://www.ekos.com/admin/articles/FG-2012-03-05.pdf
472
Conference Board of Canada, Canadian Income Inequality: Is Canada Becoming More Unequal?, July 2011.
http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/hot-topics/caninequality.aspx
473
For example, see Mark Cameron, “Why Canadians Should Care About Income Inequality”
http://www.politiquessociales.net/IMG/pdf/Cameron_Canada_2020.pdf ; Action Canada, Prospering Together:
Addressing Inequality and Poverty to Succeed in the Knowledge-Based Economy, Task Force Report, February
2012, pp. 4–8, http://www.actioncanada.ca/en/pdf/AC-TF1-Prospering-Together-EN-Complete-web.pdf ; and
Conference Board of Canada, Canadian Income Inequality: Is Canada Becoming More Unequal?, July 2011,
http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/hot-topics/caninequality.aspx .
136
scale and those at the bottom.474 Following close study of the data, they conclude (among other
things) that: “[t]he evidence shows that reducing inequality [as measured by income disparities]
is the best way of improving the quality of the social environment, and so the real quality of life,
for all of us.”475 Income inequality, according to Wilkinson and Pickett, is an indicator of the
degree of hierarchy in societies and, as they observe, social and health problems become more
common further down the social hierarchy and are more common in more unequal societies.476
MEASURING INCOME INEQUALITY
There are two principal methods of assessing income inequality. The first is to compare the
incomes of a given percentage of top income earners with the incomes of an equivalent
percentage of those at the bottom. Another frequently used method is to measure income
inequality across the whole of society using more sophisticated methods such as the Gini
coefficient which, in this instance, can assess the extent to which the distribution of income
deviates from a perfectly equal distribution. Gini coefficients have a range between 1 and 0.
Applied to the distribution of income, a Gini coefficient of 1 would indicate that one person in a
society has all of the income and all the rest, none. In contrast, a coefficient of 0 would mean that
everyone has exactly the same income. Since neither condition exists in any real-world situation,
Gini coefficients lie somewhere between 0 and 1.
Income Inequality in Canada
[I]t is a huge cultural change to see the total earnings of our society going to the top 1
per cent increase from about 7 per cent 20 or 30 years ago to 12 or 13 per cent now….
The top one-tenth of 1per cent of top earners earned about 2 per cent of all income in the
entire country in 1980 and earns almost 5 per cent now.
Miles Corak, Professor of Economics,
Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa,
Evidence, 2 May 2012
With one exception, analysts from across the political spectrum in Canada are in agreement
that there is a widening gap between Canada’s highest income earners and those who earn the
least.477
474
Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, 2010
Ibid., p. 29.
476
Ibid., p. 27. Wilkinson and Pickett also assert that income inequality is the only available indicator of hierarchy
that can be used to make comparison s between countries.
477
According to a 2009 study by Chris Sarlo of the Fraser Institute (“The Economic Well-Being of Canadians: Is
there a Growing Gap?,” Studies in Social Policy, May 2009, p.2,
http://www.fraserinstitute.org/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=4053) the share of consumption spending for
475
137
Chart 9: Income inequality, as measured by the Gini Coefficient
(National adjusted after-tax household income)
As shown in Chart 9, Canada reduced inequality in the 1980s, with the Gini index reaching
a low of 0.281 in 1989. Income inequality rose in the 1990s, but has remained around 0.32 in the
2000s. Although income inequality has generally increased over the last 35 years, it tends to
fluctuate along with economic activity, as households with high incomes tend to be more
exposed to stock market volatility than low income households.478 Furthermore, as Miles Corak
told the committee, income inequality “varies a good deal” across Canada, with a higher fraction
of earnings going to the very top 1% in Alberta, followed by Ontario, and British Columbia, and
much less so in the other provinces.479
Table 5 provides a different perspective on income inequality by illustrating the change in
market income over time by income quintiles. From 1976 to 2009, two-thirds of Canadians
experienced a decline in their real market income. While the wealthiest quintile of the population
added 27.5% to its average market income and the next wealthiest quintile added 6.9% to its
average market income, the remaining three quintiles saw their their market income reduced..
top-to-bottom income quintiles, argued by the author to be a more accurate indicator of relative well-being than
income, has moved towards the higher-income scale only slightly over the last 35 years. As well, the author
questions the reliability of reported incomes, since they likely exclude significant revenues obtained through the
underground economy.
478
Some notable comparisons between income inequality and fluctuations in economic activity are provided by:
Conference Board of Canada, Canadian Income Inequality: Is Canada Becoming More Unequal?, July 2011;
Emmanuel Saez and Michael R. Veall, “The Evolution of High Incomes in Northern America: Lessons from
Canadian Evidence,” in The American Economic Review, Vol. 95, No. 3, June 2005, pp. 831-849; and Marc
Frenette, David A. Green, and Garnett Picot, “Rising Income Inequality in the 1990s: An Exploration of Three
Data Sources,” in Dimensions of Inequality in Canada, David A. Green and Jonathan R. Kesselman (Eds.), 2006,
pp. 65-100, http://publications.gc.ca/Collection/Statcan/11F0019MIE/11F0019MIE2004219.pdf..
479
Evidence, 2 May 2012, Miles Corak.
138
Table 5 – Change in market income since 1976 (All family units)
Quintile
Lowest
Second
Third
Fourth
Highest
Market Income ($)
1976
2009
3,900
3,300
26,500
22,200
48,800
45,400
71,400
76,300
127,100
162,100
Change
$
-600
-4,300
-3,400
+4,900
+35,000
%
-15.4
-16.2
-7.0
+6.9
+27.5
Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM, Table 2002-0701, cited from Action Canada, Prospering Together: Addressing
Inequality and Poverty to Succeed in the Knowledge-Based Economy, Task Force Report, February 2012, p.8.
Many studies point to the fact that, in Canada and across the world, globalization and
technological progress is widening the disparity in labour earnings between the very rich and
very poor.480 With globalization of production, jobs in manufacturing in Canada have decreased
in favor of other countries with relatively lower average wage rates (e.g. to countries in Asia).
Along with decreasing demand in Canada for lower skilled manufacturing jobs, wage rates and
employment in this sector have also been decreasing. At the same time, wage rates and
employment levels have increased for workers in highly-skilled occupations, especially in the
information technology field, along with global growth in demand for these jobs. In testimony,
committee witnesses identified similar causes for income inequality.
Miles Corak identified three principal causal factors that explain growing Canadian income
inequality. The first of these is a mismatch between the skills, education, and work experience,
principally among younger Canadians, and the requirements of a rapidly evolving, globalized
economy.
At the same time that numbers of Canadians do not have the right skill sets to take
advantage of changes in a globalized economy, a smaller group of mostly older Canadians does
have the skills that are in demand and as a consequence is doing well.
The third element identified by Professor Corak “has to do with what has happened at the
very top. These are the famous 1 per cent ...In fact, even [...] one tenth of 1 per cent have seen
very significant gains in their economic well-being, however you measure it, in terms of wages
480
For example, see Charles M. Beach, Canada’s Hollowing-Out Inequality Rise in an I.T. World, Written
submission to the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, 2 May 2012; Lars
Osberg, “Long Run Trends in Income Inequality in the United States, UK, Sweden, Germany and Canada: A
Birth Cohort View,” in Eastern Economic Journal, Vol. 29, Issue 1 (Winter 2003), pp. 121–142; Peter Hoeller,
Isabelle Joumard, Mauro Pisu, and Debbie Bloch, Less Income Inequality and More Growth – Are They
Compatible?: Part 1. Mapping Income Inequality Across the OECD, OECD Economic Department Working
Papers No. 924, 10 January 2012.
139
or other sources of income, and that has changed quite significantly over the last 20 or 30
years.”481
Charles Beach agreed, telling the committee that the increase in inequality “is largely
driven by a substantial increase in inequality in workers’ earnings in the labour market,” and “is
associated with increased polarization of earnings and hollowing out of formerly middle classtype jobs, a dramatic rise in top incomes, and widening differentials in earnings or gaps in
earnings between low-skilled and high-skilled workers.”482
The Impact of Taxes and Transfers on Income Inequality
In general, research has indicated that personal income taxes and government transfers (e.g.
social assistance, employment insurance, child benefits, and old age security) have helped to
reduce income inequality in Canada.483 Evidence suggests that more recently, however, the tax
and transfer system is not reducing income inequality as much as it did prior to 1994. This can be
observed by taking the difference between the Gini indices for adjusted market income and
adjusted income after taxes and transfers, as shown in Chart 10.
Chart 10: Impact of taxes and transfers on inequality
(Difference between Gini indices of adjusted market income and
adjusted income after taxes and transfers)
Source: Library of Parliament calculations using data from Statistics Canada, CANSIM Table 202-0709, cited from
the Conference Board of Canada, Canadian Income Inequality: Is Canada Becoming More Unequal?, July 2011.
481
Evidence, 2 May 2012, Miles Corak.
Evidence, 2 May 2012, Charles Beach.
483
For example, see Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Divided We Stand: Why
Inequality Keeps Rising, Country Note: Canada, December 2011,
http://www.oecd.org/els/socialpoliciesanddata/49177689.pdf .
482
140
Various explanations have been offered as to why the tax and transfer system has become
less effective in reducing income inequalities in Canada since the mid-1990s. In general, though,
most studies agree that the tax system has become less progressive along with reduced marginal
income tax rates and the introduction of new tax expenditures. More importantly, it has been
widely suggested that the effectiveness of the transfer system has been reduced through the
erosion of social assistance benefits and the introduction of stricter eligibility requirements for
federal and provincial income maintenance programs (e.g. employment insurance).484
The Potential Consequences of Income Inequality
...we do not want social unrest. We do not want to reach that stage. I think that is why
we need the conversation starting now to address income inequalities and other forms
of inequalities [...]. To get there, we need to start looking at the issue of social
exclusion on all the issues we are talking about. Otherwise, we will get to the stage
where there will be social unrest.
Avvy Go, Director,
Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic,
Evidence, 7 March 2012
[T]he literature identifies a number of points of political inefficiencies as to why we
should be concerned about increases in inequality. That increase may be associated
with increased social conflict, violence and crime that would reduce security of
property rights, and capital investment may be less attractive. It is not that people who
may be willing to make investment will not do so, they will just prefer not to do it in,
for example, Argentina, and they will put it somewhere else. Those are the kinds of
arguments that one should be quite concerned about.
Charles Beach, Professor of Economics,
Queen’s University,
Evidence, 2 May 2012
Some observers note that income inequality, should it continue to grow, will have dire
social consequences that will affect all of society. According to a study that forecasts future
outcomes based on current trends in income inequality, by 2025 (under a worst-case scenario)
the opportunity and income gap between rich and poor, Canadian-born and recent immigrant,
and manager and employee will continue to widen, and the number of disenfranchised will have
484
For example, see Marc Frenette, David A. Green, and Garnett Picot, “Rising Income Inequality in the 1990s: An
Exploration of Three Data Sources,” in Dimensions of Inequality in Canada, David A. Green and Jonathan R.
Kesselman (Eds.), 2006, pp. 65–100; Ken Battle, Michael Mendelson, and Sherri Torjman, The Modernization
Mantra: Toward a New Architecture for Canada’s Adult Benefits, Caledon Institute of Social Policy, 2006;
Action Canada, Prospering Together: Addressing Inequality and Poverty to Succeed in the Knowledge-Based
Economy, Task Force Report, February 2012; and OECD, Divided We Stand: Why Inequality Keeps Rising,
Country Note: Canada, December 2011
141
grown to become the more populous group.485 Unemployment, underemployment and
disengagement will have given rise to an “us versus them” attitude. Marginalized groups will
have become organized and vocal; increasingly, Canadians will vote in the streets through
disruptive protests and general strikes.486
Middle-Income Canadians
An increasing share of wealth concentrated in fewer hands, and a narrowing gap between
the lowest paid and those in middle incomes has produced a phenomenon that has been labeled
the “hollowing out” of the middle class. In his written submission, Charles Beach indicated that
the income share of the bottom quintile, or 20% of Canadian families “really hasn’t changed
much since the late 1970s, the middle three quintile (i.e., middle 60 per cent) shares have
generally declined or lost out, and the big winners over this period have been the families in the
top quintile share of the distribution.”487
While Professor Beach acknowledged that “work from the late 1990s, done around 2000,
showed that there has been some decline in the proportions of families in the middle regions of
the income distribution – not as much as in the U.S. – and a corresponding increase towards the
upper end,” he argued that in Canada, the issue of a “declining” or “hollowing out” of the middle
class is “a bit of a false one.” Instead, he indicated that:
The evidence shows that what is a more important change is that if
you look at the average incomes of families’ households in the
middle region of the distribution; they have been losing out relative
to what has been going on at the top end of the distribution. They
just have less income resources to send their kids to school, pay off
mortgages [...] than was the case a generation ago.488
485
Deloitte and the Human Resources Professionals Association, CanadaWorks 2025: The lost decade,
unsustainable prosperity or the northern tiger?, CanadaWorks 2025, April 2012, p. 11,
http://www.deloitte.com/assets/DcomCanada/Local%20Assets/Documents/Consulting/ca_en_con_CanadaWorks2025Report_032112.pdf
486
Ibid.
487
Charles Beach, “Canada’s Hollowing-Out Inequality Rise in an I.T. World,” Written submission to the Standing
Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, 2 May 2012, p. 5.
488
Evidence, 2 May 2012, Charles Beach
142
Impact on Canadian Cities
There is a sorting process going on of more rigid divisions among people in Canada on
the basis of socio-economic status. It was always there, rich and poor, but now it is more
rigid and dramatic.
David Hulchanski, Professor and Associate Director,
Cities Centre, University of Toronto,
Evidence, 14 March 2012
The changes that are taking place in income and wealth distribution are having an impact
on the social geography of Canadian cities. David Hulchanski told the committee that:
For 15 to 20 years, urban planners, sociologists and others have
been saying that something is happening to cities. Cities have
always been divided. There have always been high- and lowincome areas and ethnic enclaves. Those are facts. However, now
the divisions are more pronounced. The areas of low-income are
more numerous and low income and poverty is greater than in the
past, and the wealth in the well-off areas is even greater.489
Professor Hulchanski has recently completed studies of Montréal and Vancouver, in which
he and his research team have found that, similar to the situation in Toronto, the middle-income
group is shrinking and geographic segregation between upper-, middle-, and lower-income
citizens is growing.490
Economic Mobility
...there are real systematic pockets of people who no longer feel
that they are a part of the big game and that they are going to move
forward.491
If you look at the statistics on social mobility among the kinds of
people who are in the bottom of the quadrant, none of those people
move up, unless they are lucky enough to be an athletic star or a
music star.492
Canada [...] does relatively well: moderate levels of inequality, but
a great deal of mobility through time. A child’s outcome in life is
not determined by his or her family background. Poor people can
489
Ibid.
Laurie Monsebraaten, “Tackling the income gap in Canadian cities,” The Toronto Star, 8 July 2012,
http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1223391--tackling-the-income-gap-in-canadian-cities
491
Evidence, 15 March 2012, Ross Hastings.
492
Ibid
490
143
escape poverty, and rich people are not necessarily guaranteed to
have children that will grow up to be rich in return. That is a sense
of the labour market rewarding talents and energies.493
To the extent that income inequality is intensifying along with polarization toward either
end of the income scale, the ability to move up the income ladder becomes more important. As
long as the gap remains bridgeable and access to higher income levels is feasible, then income
inequality may be socially acceptable. As Charles Beach explained:
If all workers systematically progress along a given age-earnings
trajectory over their careers, there is less social concern about any
degree of earnings inequality in the economy. But if workers are
largely stratified within lower, middle, and upper regions of the
distribution throughout their careers, the degree of earnings
inequality carries a much greater degree of social concern.494
Beach adds that mobility in the labour market is good for the economy because it provides
incentives and rewards for advancement as well as penalties for not keeping up. In this regard,
Miles Corak explained that a certain amount of inequality is important “...both as an incentive
and as an opportunity to increase your economic well-being, and it also has spillovers for
economic growth and productivity in our society.”495 However, if income gaps become
pronounced, and there is diminished opportunity to move from lower to higher incomes,
inequality becomes problematic. Professor Corak added a caveat: “A certain amount of
inequality in a society and in a labour market is a good thing, but only a certain amount. At a
certain point, inequality starts eroding opportunity.”496
Economic mobility can exist for individuals within their own lifetime (intragenerational
mobility) or from one generation to another (intergenerational mobility). To what extent is
current income inequality overcome or compensated for by the ability of Canadians to better
their economic circumstances? Evidence presented to the committee suggests that while
intragenerational economic mobility in Canada is currently problematic, intergenerational
mobility remains comparatively robust. Professor Corak highlighted the importance of
opportunity in the context of intergenerational mobility, testifying that it is:
a type of gradient...The extent to which your earnings in adulthood
are associated with your parents’ earnings reflects a whole series of
gradients, how your children get a start in life, how healthy they
are is all associated with family income background... [T]hat is a
493
Evidence, 2 May 2012, Miles Corak.
Charles Beach, “How Has Earnings Mobility in Canada Changed,” in David A. Green and Jonathan R.
Kesselman, editors, Dimensions of Inequality in Canada, University of British Columbia Press, 2006, p. 102.
495
Evidence, 2 May 2012, Miles Corak.
496
Ibid.
494
144
nice indicator of inclusion [...] because it is a marker of our
capacity to invest in our children and to let them become all that
they could be. If we all feel there is that possibility, then to some
extent we can live with the type of inequalities that we face.497
In his research, Professor Corak has compared generational earnings mobility in Canada
and the United States and has found that Canada is up to three times more mobile than its
neighbor to the South.498 While citizens in both countries place a high value on economic
mobility and individual effort, differences in the role of families, labour markets and public
policies explain why there is more mobility in Canada. In particular, Corak finds that public
policies in Canada compensate for inequalities in family background and the labour market to a
greater extent than in the United States.499
In terms of intergenerational economic mobility, Professor Corak indicated that as long as
parents are able to obtain the right skills and training for their children, there would be
opportunities to benefit from changes in the economy and to move up the income ladder. As he
told the committee,
when the labour market is more polarized, and [...] there are bigger
returns to having skills, there is a greater incentive and an
opportunity for relatively well-to-do parents to focus very much on
their children, and they have the wherewithal to do that. Some
groups in society can start moving ahead.500
Professor Corak was optimistic, telling the committee that he did not feel that the recent
recession:
will erode the life chances of children and the best way of seeing
that is in contrast with the United States. If a household goes
through a permanent layoff, it suffers a permanent reduction in its
economic well-being. It is hard to recover from having a job in a
good, solid unionized manufacturing sector and your earnings will
497
Ibid.
Miles Corak, Chasing the Same Dream, Climbing Different Ladders: Economic Mobility in the United States and
Canada, The Pew Charitable Trusts, 2009,
http://www.pewtrusts.org/uploadedFiles/wwwpewtrustsorg/Reports/Economic_Mobility/EMP_Chasing%20the%
20Same%20Dream_Full%20Report_2010-1-07.pdf?n=7500 ; and Miles Corak, Lori Curtis, and Shelly Phipps,
“Economic Mobility, Family Background and the Well-Being of Children in the United States and Canada,”
Dalhousie University, March 2010, http://ftp.iza.org/dp4814.pdf.
499
Ibid.
500
Evidence, 2 May 2012, Miles Corak.
498
145
forever be diminished. That did not happen as much in Canada as
it did in the U.S.501
A polarized labour market, however, also has disadvantages, because of the stress it places
on families, and the impact that has on families’ ability to help better their children’s future
economic prospects.
RECOMMENDATIONS
[T]here will not be one magic bullet [...] to address these problems
[the causes of income inequality].502
In debates about income inequality, some have suggested increasing taxes on top income
earners and enhancing transfers to those at the bottom of the income distribution as a potential
solution. In some instances, those who favor this approach have implied that increases in the
former could finance enhancements to the latter. However, there is as yet no consensus as to
whether such an approach would make a significant difference.
While Miles Corak suggested that some tax exemptions for upper income earners such as
the exemption for capital gains from the sale of a principal residence could be eliminated or
scaled back,503 both he and Professor Beach stressed that an emphasis should be placed on
addressing the underlying causes of growing income disparities. Professor Beach argued that
Canada should seek to take advantage of changes in the global economy by making adjustments
to training and education:
It would not make sense [...] to try to fight the changes that are
going on. They are much bigger than Canada, and it makes sense
to try to ensure that our workers are well placed and can advance
and take benefits from these ongoing changes. We should facilitate
that.504
Professor Beach identified three policy directions that should be taken to reduce inequality.
The first would be to develop and adhere to sound macroeconomic policy. He told the committee
that the “single biggest factor in dealing with inequality issues is to ensure, through monetary
and fiscal policy, that the economy is well run and the unemployment rate is brought down in the
long run.”505 Secondly, governments should focus on education, training, and upgrading skills,
particularly soft skills. The third policy area which governments should turn to is fostering
flexibility of labour market adjustment.
501
Ibid.
Ibid.
503
Evidence, 2 May 2012, Miles Corak.
504
Evidence, 2 May 2012, Charles Beach.
505
Ibid.
502
146
In terms of a focus on education, Professor Beach indicated that governments should
publicize the benefits of post-secondary education (both at the university and community college
level) to ensure that youth develop a better awareness of medium-to-long-term opportunities.506
In particular, Professor Beach testified that attention should be paid to the role of community and
technical colleges in preparing students for labour market participation, indicating that
“[c]olleges are considerably more responsive to labour market needs, particularly blue collar
needs, than universities.” He added that colleges need to work more closely with universities to
provide a smoother transition from the secondary to post-secondary levels, thus giving students a
broader range of educational options that better fit their skills and interests.507 These suggestions
were in alignment with recommendation 1 in the committee’s report Opening the Door, which
can be found at Appendix B.II of this report.
Professor Corak made similar suggestions, testifying that Canada “can certainly work at the
low end of the wage distribution. We can develop more skills that will allow people to move up
the value-added chain at the lower end.”508 However, Corak argued that these measures would be
insufficient by themselves, indicating that Canada needs to “work at the top end as well,”509 and
suggesting, for example that taxes for those at the upper end of the income scale be increased by
eliminating or reducing certain capital gains tax exemptions.510
To assist those at the bottom of the income scale, Miles Corak also suggested that the
Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB) be expanded. Introduced by the Government of Canada in
2007, the WITB is a refundable tax credit that benefits Canadians 19 years and older whose
annual employment income exceeds $3,000 (too low to be subject to income tax) but falls below
a given upper level. The Tax Benefit is intended to assist low-income earners and to provide an
incentive to other Canadians to enter the labour force. Budget 2009 increased the initial levels to
expand the number of low-income Canadians who benefit from the measure. In 2010, the federal
government reported that WITB was providing $1.1 billion annually in benefits to low-income
Canadians.511
After reviewing the evidence presented by its witnesses, the committee believes that one of
the most effective means of addressing income inequality in Canada is through continuing
improvements to education and fostering a better alignment between the educational choices
made by Canadians and the medium-to-long term needs of the labour market. These
improvements combined with better information made available to young Canadians prior to
choosing both the kind of post-secondary educational institute and combination of programs best
suited to their needs and abilities, offer the best promise to those seeking to move up the income
506
Ibid.
Ibid.
508
Evidence, 2 May 2012, Miles Corak.
509
Ibid..
510
Ibid.
511
Department of Finance, Budget 2010, Chapter 3.1, http://www.budget.gc.ca/2010/plan/chap3a-eng.html
507
147
ladder as well as make a meaningful and lasting contribution to the overall economic health of
the nation as a whole.
At the same time, measures already taken by the federal government have proven effective
in enhancing the financial status of Canadians at the lower end of the income scale. The
committee agrees that these efforts to improve the circumstances of low-income earners should
continue and therefore recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 38
That the Government of Canada consider increasing the value of the Working
Income Tax Benefit (WITB) and move toward widening eligibility for the WITB to
include all households with earned income below the after-tax low income cut-off
(LICO).
The income tax system is one of the most powerful instruments available to the federal
government to provide incentives and redistribute wealth. In some instances, tax expenditures are
used to encourage growth in certain sectors of the economy. The federal government, for
example, currently offers a tax credit to encourage employers to hire apprentices.512
Canada has had an income tax regime at the federal level for over 90 years. During that
time, income tax law and regulations have become increasingly complex.
As indicated above, the income tax system has become less effective in reducing income
inequalities in Canada since the mid-1990s. In some instances, the income tax system benefits
the well-off while there is no equivalent benefit to the disadvantaged. At the same time, nonrefundable income tax credits such as the Disability Tax Credit are available only to those with
taxable incomes. These credits are thus of no assistance to those at the bottom of the income
distribution who pay no income tax.
The most recent review of this regime, the Royal Commission on Taxation (Carter
Commission), reported its findings 46 years ago, in 1966. Given its complexity and its declining
role in reducing income inequality, the time has come for a public, in-depth review of the income
tax system. The committee recommends:
RECOMMENDATION 39
That the Government of Canada initiate a review of the Income Tax Act and its
application to ensure progressivity and fairness.
512
Canada Revenue Agency, “Apprenticeship Job Creation Tax Credit”, http://www.craarc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/rtrn/cmpltng/ddctns/lns409-485/412/jctc-eng.html
148
That in conducting this review, the Government of Canada pay particular attention
to the role of the tax system in reducing income inequality, improving the
circumstances of low-income Canadians, and stimulating job creation.
149
APPENDIX A – LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS
RECOMMENDATION 1
That the Government of Canada initiate research that will lead to the development of a set of
indicators to measure levels of social inclusion and social cohesion in Canada:
a)
b)
c)
That the Government of Canada, using these indicators, establish goals for social
inclusion and social cohesion in those areas which fall within its responsibilities as set
forth under the Canadian Constitution;
That the Government of Canada use these indicators, when appropriate, in the design and
evaluation of its policies, programs and activities; and
That the Government of Canada measure, at regular intervals, the extent to which its
policies, programs, and activities are achieving the social inclusion and social cohesion
goals it has established, and report the results to the Parliament of Canada.
RECOMMENDATION 2
That the Government of Canada work in partnership with other levels of government to provide
support over the long term for initiatives that have, as their objective, enhanced social inclusion
and social cohesion; and
That the Government of Canada support efforts by provincial and territorial ministers of
education to implement and integrate the importance of social inclusion and acceptance into their
educational systems.
RECOMMENDATION 3
That the Government of Canada enhance the availability of the full suite of pre-arrival services
provided to immigrants prior to their departure for Canada.
RECOMMENDATION 4
That permanent residents and their dependents between the ages of eighteen and fifty-four, and
members of the family class of permanent residents within the same age range be assessed for
their skills in one of the two official languages following arrival in Canada;
a)
That based on this assessment, those tested be directed to an appropriate level of
language training under the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC)
Program;
b)
That enrolment in the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Program
be strongly encouraged for all those falling below a predetermined level of linguistic
ability; and
c)
That the Government of Canada continue to make improvements to the Language
Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Program. In particular, such improvements
should take into consideration those language skills that are work-specific and that
150
enhance the ability of newcomers to interact with Canadians in ways that facilitate
community involvement.
RECOMMENDATION 5
That the Government of Canada employ campaigns explaining the importance of community
engagement and to promote volunteerism among immigrant communities.
RECOMMENDATION 6
Where warranted, such as for immigrant women who stay at home to care for young children,
that immigrants be granted admission to the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada
program up to five years following arrival regardless of acquisition of Canadian citizenship.
RECOMMENDATION 7
That Citizenship and Immigration Canada expand the number of Language Instruction for
Newcomers to Canada (LINC) Program sites equipped with child care facilities for pre-school
children.
RECOMMENDATION 8
That the Government of Canada initiate efforts to expand the Local Immigration Partnership
model beyond the province of Ontario.
RECOMMENDATION 9
That the Government of Canada work with the provincial and territorial governments and
municipalities to support programs that identify neighbourhoods at risk and to help provide
services and infrastructure to overcome negative effects of enclaves arising from poverty.
RECOMMENDATION 10
That the Government of Canada work in partnership with provincial, territorial and municipal
levels of government to promote civic awareness among new Canadians. Such programs should
emphasize both the rights and responsibilities of citizens vis-à-vis their communities.
RECOMMENDATION 11
That, as part of the pre-departure services, prospective immigrants be advised when their
academic or other credentials do not meet the standards required by Canadian employers.
RECOMMENDATION 12
That the Government of Canada support initiatives that empower members of minority
communities to become better represented in federal boards, commissions, and in public office.
RECOMMENDATION 13
That the Government of Canada encourage the provinces and territories to develop a national
comprehensive educational policy to challenge and address underlying structural issues such as
racism, religious and sexual intolerance, and bullying in schools and society.
151
RECOMMENDATION 14
That the Government of Canada continue actions to combat racism and discrimination as set
forth in Canada’s Action Plan against Racism.
RECOMMENDATION 15
That the Government of Canada accelerate equitable hiring and staffing processes for visible
minorities and other designated groups as called for under the federal Public Service
Employment Act, and
That the Government of Canada invite employers in federally regulated industries to hire and
retain members of the four groups designated under the Employment Equity Act in proportion to
their workforce availability.
RECOMMENDATION 16
That the Government of Canada enhance efforts to communicate information regarding the
Youth Gang Prevention Fund to national Aboriginal organizations and consult with those
organizations regarding the design and opportunities available under the program, with a view to
enhancing its overall effectiveness.
RECOMMENDATION 17
That in developing and delivering the Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth (CCAY)
Program, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the National Association of
Friendship Centres work together to ensure that local Aboriginal communities are given a
prominent role in shaping the Program to respond to community needs.
RECOMMENDATION 18
That the Government of Canada, in partnership with national Aboriginal organizations and other
levels of government, expand the Urban Aboriginal Strategy beyond the thirteen municipalities
where it is already in operation.
RECOMMENDATION 19
That the Government of Canada work with national Aboriginal organizations and other levels of
government to bring about better coordination and distributional fairness within community
steering committees established under the Urban Aboriginal Strategy.
RECOMMENDATION 20
That the Government of Canada continue to work in partnership with Aboriginal Friendship
Centres to support transition services for Aboriginal peoples moving to Canadian cities.
152
RECOMMENDATION 21
That the Government of Canada continue to place an emphasis, in all federal government
employment programs or initiatives, on making sure that there are skills training and
employment opportunities for Aboriginal youth.
RECOMMENDATION 22
That the Government of Canada continue to work with private sector partners to stimulate efforts
to open up employment and skills training opportunities for Aboriginal youth in all sectors of the
Canadian economy.
RECOMMENDATION 23
That the Government of Canada, along with provincial/territorial governments, place additional
emphasis on working with national Aboriginal organizations to support the development of
Aboriginal entrepreneurs, with a focus on new and existing Aboriginal businesses through such
activities as business assessments, business and marketing plans, and mentoring for business
owners; and
That the Government of Canada, in partnership with national Aboriginal organizations, place
additional emphasis on developing Aboriginal human capital, through such measures as
arranging full access for Aboriginal peoples for skills development and training specific to their
businesses, and the provision of business skills training that would assist Aboriginal
entrepreneurs to own and manage a successful business.
RECOMMENDATION 24
That the Government of Canada explore, with provincial and territorial governments, its
involvement in the Aboriginal Affairs Working Group.
RECOMMENDATION 25
That the Government of Canada review core funding under the Aboriginal Friendship Centre
Program and, where warranted, adjust funding to appropriate levels.
RECOMMENDATION 26
That Human Resources and Skills Development Canada provide information on the resources
allocated to, and the outcomes achieved by, the Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities
in its annual Departmental Performance Reports tabled in Parliament.
RECOMMENDATION 27
That the Government of Canada, with provincial and territorial partners, monitor implementation
of UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Monitoring should include the
active involvement of Canadians with disabilities and organizations that represent them, as
specified in Article 33.3 of the Convention.
153
RECOMMENDATION 28
That the Government of Canada, in partnership with provincial and territorial governments,
continue to identify and implement measures designed to assist Canadians with disabilities to
enter the labour market.
RECOMMENDATION 29
That the Government of Canada use youth-friendly language in materials intended to inform the
public and enhance the use of social media for that purpose.
RECOMMENDATION 30
That the Government of Canada work with the provinces and territories to support school-towork transition programs that increase opportunities in training, co-op, apprenticeship and
education programs, and that increase labour mobility to enter the workforce, and also consider
tax incentives for companies that hire and invest in young Canadians.
RECOMMENDATION 31
That as part of its efforts to raise public awareness about elder abuse, the Government of Canada
devote particular attention to reaching seniors who are living independently or in isolation.
RECOMMENDATION 32
That the Government of Canada recognize sexual minorities as distinct minority groups like
other cultural, linguistic, religious, and ethnic communities in all federal programs and policies
designed to support minorities; and
That the Government of Canada include identity and gender expression in the hate crime
provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada as aggravating circumstances to be taken into
consideration at the time of sentencing.
RECOMMENDATION 33
That the Government of Canada support awareness and education programs to combat sexual
assault and harassment, including cyber-bullying.
RECOMMENDATION 34
That the Government of Canada support efforts by Canadian police forces to enhance the
recruitment and retention of women and members of Canadian minority communities in
proportion to their labour market availability.
RECOMMENDATION 35
That the Government of Canada increase the share of its current criminal justice budget that is
devoted to crime prevention.
154
RECOMMENDATION 36
That the Government of Canada increase supports for offenders to decrease recidivism and
victimization by offering small incentives for offenders to receive further education and training
while incarcerated in order to increase employment options upon release into the community;
That the Government of Canada make mandatory alcohol and substance abuse programs for
addicted inmates while incarcerated in federal institutions and then follow up in the community
with drug enforcement testing during reintegration; and
That the Government of Canada facilitate and increase access to mental health counseling and
programs for offenders to increase successful reintegration in the community.
RECOMMENDATION 37
That the Government of Canada encourage the provinces and territories to identify and develop
urban transit strategies;
That the Government of Canada give tax-exempt status for employer-provided transit benefits.
This would complement the current federal tax credit for transit pass purchases and encourage
employers to support transit commuters financially; and
That the Government of Canada consider additional allocations from the Gas Tax Fund
specifically to transit capital investment.
RECOMMENDATION 38
That the Government of Canada consider increasing the value of the Working Income Tax
Benefit (WITB) and move toward widening eligibility for the WITB to include all households
with earned income below the after-tax low income cut-off (LICO).
RECOMMENDATION 39
That the Government of Canada initiate a review of the Income Tax Act and its application to
ensure progressivity and fairness.
That in conducting this review, the Government of Canada pay particular attention to the role of
the tax system in reducing income inequality, improving the circumstances of low-income
Canadians, and stimulating job creation.
155
APPENDIX B – RECOMMENDATIONS FROM PREVIOUS REPORTS
I.
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM IN FROM THE MARGINS: A CALL TO ACTION ON
POVERTY, HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS
RECOMMENDATION 1
The committee recommends that the federal government adopt as a core social policy poverty eradication
goal that all programs dealing with poverty and homelessness are to lift Canadians out of poverty rather
than make living within poverty more manageable and that the federal government work with the
provinces and territories to adopt a similar goal.
RECOMMENDATION 2
The committee recommends that provincial governments increase current limits on assets for qualifying
applicants for the first six to 12 months, to allow those relying on social assistance for short periods of
time to retain the assets they need to re-engage in the labour force and regain their economic footing.
RECOMMENDATION 3
The committee recommends that federal government modify all federal income security programs, e.g.,
Employment Insurance, to better protect Canadians in low-income households who experience short-term
gaps in income.
RECOMMENDATION 4
The committee recommends that the federal government establish with the provinces a goal that
individuals and families, regardless of the reasons for their need, receive incomes totaling at least aftertax LICOs.
RECOMMENDATION 5
The committee recommends that the federal government publish a Green Paper by 31 December 2010, to
include the costs and benefits of current practices with respect to income supports and of options to
reduce and eliminate poverty, including a basic annual income based on a negative income tax, and to
include a detailed assessment of completed pilot projects on a basic income in New Brunswick and
Manitoba.
RECOMMENDATION 6
To demonstrate a federal commitment to adequate minimum wages, the committee recommends that the
federal government reinstate a federal minimum wage at $10/hour, indexed to the Consumer Price Index,
and that suppliers of goods and services to the federal government be required to pay its employees at
least that amount.
RECOMMENDATION 7
The committee recommends that the federal government develop a new program to insure against income
losses due to long-term employment interruption that covers those who are not included under the
Employment Insurance Act.
156
RECOMMENDATION 8
The committee recommends that the federal government amend the Employment Insurance Act to provide
benefits for a longer period to workers who become unemployed after a long attachment to the workforce,
and that the longer benefit period not be based solely on regional unemployment rates.
RECOMMENDATION 9
The committee recommends that the two-week waiting period for Employment Insurance benefits be
removed for people who are taking compassionate or parental leave funded through the EI program.
RECOMMENDATION 10
The committee recommends that the federal government re-engineer the Employment Insurance program
to allow adjustments to anticipated economic downturns, rather than be based solely on recent but past
experience.
RECOMMENDATION 11
The committee recommends that the federal government amend the EI program to extend its parental
insurance benefits to self-employed individuals, with premiums assessed similar to those being paid by
employees who access this benefit.
RECOMMENDATION 12
The committee recommends that the federal government expand EI sickness benefits over time to 50
weeks, to provide appropriate support for eligible beneficiaries experiencing medium-term illnesses or
disabilities.
RECOMMENDATION 13
The committee recommends that the federal government include reinstatement of experience rating for
consideration in any redesign or substantial modification to the EI program.
RECOMMENDATION 14
The committee recommends that the federal government make EI-funded training available to those who
have contributed to the EI fund over time, but are not eligible for benefits.
RECOMMENDATION 15
The committee recommends that the federal government permit the inclusion of advanced language
training and training that could equip those with credentials from other countries to qualify for Canadian
recognition be permitted within training funded through the EI program.
RECOMMENDATION 16
The committee recommends that the federal government coordinate a nationwide federal/provincial
initiative on early childhood learning.
157
RECOMMENDATION 17
The committee recommends that federal funding programs and allocations emphasize and support
initiatives that keep disadvantaged youth enrolled and engaged in schools, including effective counselling,
after-school programs, homework clubs, and youth centres.
RECOMMENDATION 18
The committee recommends that the federal government, in conjunction with the Council of Ministers of
Education, encourage and support actions to reduce the drop-out rate, including the establishment of
targets and time-lines, with regular reporting on progress.
RECOMMENDATION 19
The committee recommends that federal government, in conjunction with the Council of Ministers of
Education, encourage and support actions to reduce the drop-out rates among Aboriginal students, onreserve or off-reserve, including the establishment of targets and time-lines, with regular reporting on
progress.
RECOMMENDATION 20
The committee recommends that the federal government monitor and report on new post-secondary
student aid programs, including comparisons with affordability and debt load results of the programs that
have been replaced.
RECOMMENDATION 21
To redress the under-representation of low-income people from some groups, e.g., Aboriginal people and
people with disabilities, among students in post-secondary education, the committee recommends that the
federal government offer additional tax support for post-secondary education targeted to these students
and their families.
RECOMMENDATION 22
The committee recommends that the federal government sustain strong financial support for adult and
family literacy programs, with a special priority given to groups over-represented among high-school
non-completers.
RECOMMENDATION 23
The committee recommends that federal and provincial governments collectively amend existing income
security programs to provide secure funding to training participants for long enough periods to ensure
opportunities for secure employment at adequate incomes.
RECOMMENDATION 24
The committee recommends that the federal government set aside a fixed percentage of training positions
(to match the percentage established for federal employment equity targets) for persons with disabilities
in all renewing and new labour market agreements.
158
RECOMMENDATION 25
The committee recommends that the federal government explicitly identify immigrants as a population to
be targeted in training programs, including training to reduce language and other barriers to the labour
market in all renewing and new labour market agreements.
RECOMMENDATION 26
In recognition of poverty’s effect on health, the committee recommends that the federal government
instruct its central agencies to allocate resources to prevent and address negative health outcomes
associated with poverty and unemployment.
RECOMMENDATION 27
The committee recommends that the federal government work with provincial and territorial governments
and appropriate other stakeholders to develop a national pharmacare program, building on progress
underway in some provinces.
RECOMMENDATION 28
Recognizing the importance of local contexts with respect to identifying and implementing programs to
reduce poverty, the committee recommends that federal policy initiatives seek and support local voluntary
sector and municipal agencies as active partners in design and delivery of federal government initiatives
at the community level.
RECOMMENDATION 29
To facilitate support for local approaches and solutions to complex social and economic problems, the
committee recommends that the federal government explore and implement additional Urban
Development Agreements among federal, provincial and municipal governments, in concert with
community-identified leaders and priorities.
RECOMMENDATION 30
The committee recommends that the federal government establish a fund to allow groups overrepresented among the persistently low-income to have legal representation in law reform cases with
respect to their human rights.
RECOMMENDATION 31
In recognition of both Canadian obligations under international human rights law, and their importance in
claiming access to appropriate programs and services, the committee recommends that the federal
government explicitly cite international obligations ratified by Canada in any new federal legislation or
legislative amendments relevant to poverty, housing and homelessness.
RECOMMENDATION 32
The committee recommends that the federal government analyze gender-based differences in benefits to
men and women when designing and implementing new tax measures.
159
RECOMMENDATION 33
The committee recommends that the federal government increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement for
seniors to ensure that economic households are not below the poverty line as defined by the low income
cut-off levels, and that intergovernmental collaboration ensure that such increases do not result in the loss
of eligibility for provincial/territorial subsidies or services for seniors.
RECOMMENDATION 34
Recognizing the important contribution the National Child Benefit (NCB) can make to reducing child
poverty, the committee recommends that the NCB be raised, incrementally and predictably, to reach
$5,000 (in 2009 dollars) by 2012.
RECOMMENDATION 35
The committee recommends that the federal government commit to a schedule of longer term planned
increases to the Working Income Tax Benefit to bring recipients at least to the LICO line.
RECOMMENDATION 36
The committee recommends that just as the federal government invests in "shovel-ready" physical
infrastructure to combat recession with their provincial counterparts, so too should "shovel-ready" social
infrastructure be targeted for investment, specifically housing, income security, and social agencies,
whose ability to serve can be quickly enhanced through increased and accelerated investment in the
Canada Social Transfer.
RECOMMENDATION 37
The committee recommends that the federal government provide sustained and adequate funding through
the Affordable Housing Initiative to increase the supply of affordable housing.
RECOMMENDATION 38
The committee recommends that the federal government issue a White Paper on tax measures to support
construction of rental housing in general and affordable rental housing in particular, including the
donation of funds, lands or buildings for low-income housing provision.
RECOMMENDATION 39
The committee recommends that the federal government clarify the mandate of Canada Lands
Corporation to favour use of surplus federal lands for development of affordable housing and to expedite
planning processes to facilitate this use.
RECOMMENDATION 40
The committee recommends that the federal government support the work of local and provincial nonprofit housing developers by making housing programs longer term to accommodate five-year
development cycles and ten-year planning cycles, and to permit more effective planning at the local and
provincial levels.
160
RECOMMENDATION 41
To assist tenants facing discrimination in housing, the committee recommends the explicit identification
of civil legal aid as an element to be supported by the Canada Social Transfer.
RECOMMENDATION 42
The committee recommends that the federal government extend the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance
Program as a permanent program, increase the budget allocations for this program, and amend eligibility
requirements to take into account differential costs for repairs in different communities across Canada,
and projects converting housing units for affordable rental accommodation.
RECOMMENDATION 43
The committee supports the use of rent supplements to provide faster access to affordable housing and
recommends that the federal government, with provincial housing authorities, private landlords’
associations and non-profit housing providers, assess the impact of portable housing allowances on rents.
RECOMMENDATION 44
The committee recommends that the federal government, in collaboration with provincial governments,
representatives of municipal governments, First Nation organizations, and other housing providers,
develop a national housing and homelessness strategy to include:







priorities established by and for each provincial and territory with respect to meeting existing needs
for affordable and secure housing;
a 10-year commitment of funds from the federal government, to include similar commitments from
provincial and territorial governments that will receive these funds;
annual reporting on how the money is being spent, with particular attention to the number of people
housed who could not afford to secure housing in the private market;
a specific focus, with targets and funding commitments, with respect to meeting the needs for
affordable housing for urban Aboriginal peoples;
a simpler, more integrated application process for funds, cutting across programs related to housing
funded at the federal level;
the integration of the Homelessness Partnering Initiative, with an expanded mandate and budget to
support combined local housing and homelessness plans and the initiatives identified in them; and
a thorough evaluation at the end of the 10-year period to assess achievements and continuing gaps.
RECOMMENDATION 45
The committee recommends that federal funding focussed on homelessness be sustained until a combined
strategy on housing and homelessness is developed to guide federal investment.
161
RECOMMENDATION 46
The committee recommends that the federal government, with provincial and territorial governments and
health researchers across Canada, provide funding for physical health services for people who are
homeless.
RECOMMENDATION 47
The committee recommends that the Homelessness Partnering Strategy be expanded to play a greater
coordinating role within the federal government, engaging all departments and agencies with a mandate
that includes housing and homelessness, especially for those groups over-represented among those in
need.
RECOMMENDATION 48
The committee recommends that the federal government provide financial incentives to encourage
communities already supported through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy to use a 10-year time
horizon in adjusting and renewing their community plans.
RECOMMENDATION 49
The committee recommends that the federal government continue to provide direct funding for and
continued support of related research and knowledge dissemination about a “housing first” approach to
eliminating homelessness.
RECOMMENDATION 50
The committee recommends that the federal government, at the next meeting of the Federal-ProvincialTerritorial Ministers of Labour, take a leadership role in encouraging a harmonization of provincial and
territorial workers’ compensation programs.
RECOMMENDATION 51
The committee recognizes the importance of support services for persons with disabilities entering jobs,
and that these supports are often lost when employment earnings begin. Therefore, the committee
recommends that provincial and territorial governments extend these supports for up to 12 months
following employment to persons with disabilities leaving social assistance, and that these governments
negotiate with employers to provide these supports indefinitely for those earning low incomes.
RECOMMENDATION 52
The committee recommends that the Government make the Disability Tax Credit refundable.
RECOMMENDATION 53
The committee recommends that the federal government develop and implement a basic income
guarantee at or above LICO for people with severe disabilities.
RECOMMENDATION 54
The committee recommends that provincial and territorial governments use the savings realized in social
assistance spending with the introduction of the basic income guarantee for people with severe disabilities
162
to redesign and enhance delivery of disability supports to all persons with disabilities, regardless of the
source of their incomes.
RECOMMENDATION 55
The committee recommends that the federal government sustain and increase the funding for the
Opportunities Fund for persons with disabilities, with a clear mission to address barriers to the labour
force.
RECOMMENDATION 56
The committee recommends that all provincial and territorial governments amend their social assistance
legislation to exempt savings under the Disability Savings Plan from any asset depletion requirements
with respect to qualifications for or benefits from social assistance and social services programs.
RECOMMENDATION 57
Until mainstream training programs provide training opportunities for persons with disabilities
proportionate to their representation in the population, the committee recommends that the federal
government extend and expand funding for such training through the Labour Market Agreements for
Persons with Disabilities.
RECOMMENDATION 58
The committee recommends that federal government work with provincial governments and social
housing providers to take the necessary steps to provide larger housing units to larger families.
RECOMMENDATION 59
The committee recommends that the federal government develop a tax credit for employers who hire
newcomers for their first job in their field or area of expertise.
RECOMMENDATION 60
The committee recommends that the federal government reduce the immigration sponsorship period from
10 years to three years similar to the regulations pertaining to conjugal sponsorship, and make a
commensurate reduction in the residency requirement for entitlement to a monthly pension under the Old
Age Security Act.
RECOMMENDATION 61
The committee recommends that the federal government extend eligibility for the resettlement assistance
program for refugees to two years for regular cases and to four years for joint assistance sponsorships.
RECOMMENDATION 62
The committee recommends that the federal government establish a repayment schedule and loan
forgiveness program for travel loan repayment by government-sponsored refugees, that takes into account
the time needed to integrate and the household income upon employment.
163
RECOMMENDATION 63
The committee recommends that the federal government accelerate its work with provincial governments
and other relevant agencies to complete and implement a framework leading to the recognition of
qualifications from other countries, and report annually to Parliament on its progress.
RECOMMENDATION 64
The committee recommends that the federal government support bridging programs, especially for
immigrants with professional qualifications from their countries of origin, through immigrant settlement
funds and agreements.
RECOMMENDATION 65
The committee recommends that the federal government provide on-going subsidies to off-reserve, nonprofit Aboriginal housing providers for new and existing units to ensure increased supply of affordable
housing.
RECOMMENDATION 66
The committee recommends that the Urban Aboriginal Strategy be used as a platform for greater
investment and collaboration in addressing the poverty and housing problems facing urban Aboriginal
peoples.
RECOMMENDATION 67
The committee recommends that the federal government continue and expand targeted funding and
programming for training and employment supports for urban Aboriginal peoples, and their organizations,
where appropriate.
RECOMMENDATION 68
The committee recommends that the federal government require an Aboriginal working group to identify
priorities for urban Aboriginal people and designated funding for this purpose within all federal funding
to communities to address housing and homelessness.
RECOMMENDATION 69
The committee recommends that the federal government review and revise grants and contributions
reporting requirements among federal departments and agencies to enhance horizontal and vertical
coordination of reporting and encourage multi-year funding among federal granting agencies, where
problems that programs are addressing are persistent and longer term.
RECOMMENDATION 70
The committee recommends that the federal government recognize and stabilize the contribution of
voluntary sector organizations with respect to poverty, housing and homelessness, by budgeting adequate
support for these organizations to accomplish not only the delivery of government-funded services, but
also the community-building activities that only this sector can provide.
164
RECOMMENDATION 71
The committee recommends that federal government use grants and contributions to fund communitybased organizations to provide innovative solutions, to share innovation, and where appropriate to
replicate successful community-based initiatives involved in poverty reduction, housing affordability, and
supporting homeless people.
RECOMMENDATION 72
The committee recommends that federal and provincial governments, acting internally, bilaterally and/or
multilaterally, review current policies and programs and new initiatives in the context of eliminating and
avoiding both gaps and duplication, through a whole-of-government approach to poverty, housing and
homelessness issues.
RECOMMENDATION 73
The committee recommends that the federal government continue and expand support to
Statistics Canada for the collection, analysis and more affordable dissemination of data important
to the evaluation and improvement of social programs with respect to poverty, housing and
homelessness.
RECOMMENDATION 74
The committee recommends that the federal government continue to support knowledge
exchange with respect to poverty, housing and homelessness.
165
II.
SELECT RECOMMENDATIONS FROM OPENING THE DOOR: REDUCING BARRIERS
TO POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION IN CANADA
RECOMMENDATION 3
The committee recommends that the federal government work with the Council of Ministers of
Education, Canada, to improve the information about post-secondary education to Canadians,
including primary and secondary school students and their parents, and that the information
provided include the following:



The costs and benefits of obtaining a post-secondary diploma or degree;
The information about financial assistance, including eligibility criteria as well as the
terms of loan repayment and repayment; and
An overview of the complete range of educational programs available, including trade
schools, apprenticeships, and college and university programs.
RECOMMENDATION 7
The committee recommends that the Government of Canada work with First Nations to improve
educational outcomes for students on reserve, by building on actions that have proven successful
such as concluding tripartite agreements, to ensure that supports for First Nations students,
including on reserve school funding, focuses on the shared goal of improved educational
outcomes.
RECOMMENDATION 8
The committee recommends that the federal government evaluate its aid to Aboriginal postsecondary programs and institutions, including skills training, and consult with organizations that
represent Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal post-secondary institutions in order to determine
whether or not the allocation to ISSP is adequate to develop a funding method for the Program
that is based on the genuine financial needs of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal post-secondary
institutions.
RECOMMENDATION 9
The committee recommends that the 2% cap on funding increases for post-secondary education
programs administered by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada in effect since
1996-be reviewed immediately such that the funds allocated to the Post-Secondary Student
Support Program reflect the real needs of Aboriginal Students and are administered through an
open, transparent and fully accountable distribution mechanism.
166
RECOMMENDATION 10
The committee recommends that the federal government invite national Aboriginal
organizations, Aboriginal student groups, and Aboriginal students to formally participate in an
evaluation of the Post-Secondary Student Support Program through an advisory committee.
RECOMMENDATION 11
The committee recommends that the federal government consider ways to ensure Métis and nonstatus First Nations have access to post-secondary training, and include consideration of the
creation of a national scholarship and bursary fund for Métis and for non-status First Nations.
167
II.
SELECT RECOMMENDATION FROM TIME FOR TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGE:
A REVIEW OF THE 2004 CANADA HEALTH ACCORD
RECOMMENDATION 19
That the federal, provincial, and territorial governments develop and implement a strategy for
continuing care in Canada, which would integrate home-, facility-based long-term, respite and
palliative-care services fully within health-care systems. The strategy would establish clear
targets and indicators in relation to access, quality and integration of these services and would
require governments to report regularly to Canadians on results.
168
APPENDIX C – WITNESSES
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
As an individual
Fran Klodawsky, Associate Professor,
Carleton University
Ratna Omidvar, President
Maytree Foundation
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Canada West Foundation
Centre for Immigration Policy Reform
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Robert Vineberg, Senior Fellow
Martin Collacott, Spokesperson
Deborah Tunis, Director General,
Integration
Ben Henderson, Chair, Standing Committee
on Social-Economic Development
David Harris, Director
Garnett Picot, Senior Analyst,
Social Analysis Division
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
INSIGNIS Strategic Research Inc.
Statistics Canada
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Zheng Wu, Professor of Sociology,
University of Victoria
Stephanie Gaudet, Associate Professor,
Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology,
University of Ottawa
John Reilly,
Office of Diversity and Inclusion
As Individual
City of Edmonton
Thursday, February 10, 2011
As an individual
Lori Wilkinson, Associate Professor,
Dept. of Sociology, University of Manitoba
Manley McLachlan, President
Randy Garon, Provincial Manager,
Skilled Trades Employment Program
James Bissett,
Member of the Advisory Board
Corinne Prince-St-Amant, Director General,
Foreign Credential Referrals Office
Jean-François LaRue, Director General,
Labour Market Integration
BC Construction Association
Center for Immigration Policy Reform
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Human Resources and Skills Development
Canada
169
Thursday, February 17, 2011
As an individual
Paul Bramadat, Director,
Centre for Studies in Religion and Society,
University of Victoria
Kristopher Wells, Researcher, Institute for
Sexual Minority Studies and Services,
University of Alberta
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Assembly of First Nations
Rick Simon, Regional Chief, Nova Scotia
and Newfoundland
Betty Ann Lavallée, National Chief
Randy Martin, National Bilateral Director
Allan MacDonald, Director General, Office
of the Federal Interlocutor
Denis Carignan, Director, Office of the
Federal Interlocutor, Saskatchewan
David Chartrand, Vice-President
Jane Badets, Director General, Census
Subject Matter, Social and Demographic
Statistics Branch
Cathy Connors, Assistant Director, Social &
Aboriginal Statistics
Congress of Aboriginal Peoples
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Metis National Council
Statistics Canada
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Congress of Aboriginal Peoples
Jerry Peltier, National Advisor
Dwight Dorey, National Vice Chief
Angela Mojak, National ASETS Advisor
Leona Carter, Director, Aboriginal Relations
Office, Community Services
Jeffrey Cyr, Executive Director
Larry Cachene, Chief,
Yellow Quill First Nation
City of Edmonton
National Association of Friendship Centres
Saskatoon Tribal Council
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
As individuals
Caroline Andrew, Director, Centre on
Governance, University of Ottawa
Dr. Sandeep Kumar Agrawal, Graduate
Program Director, School of Urban and
Regional Planning, Ryerson University
Peggy Taillon, President & CEO
Katherine Scott, Vice-President, Research
Alain Mercier, Board Member
Canadian Council on Social Development
Canadian Urban Transit Association
170
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Tony Dolan, Chairperson
Vangelis, Nikias, Project Manager
Natasha Blanchet-Cohen,
Assistant Professor,
Applied Human Sciences
Avvy Go, Director
Council of Canadians with Disabilities
International Institute for Child Rights and
Development
Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian
Legal Clinic
Seniors For Seniors
Peter Cook, President
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
Public Safety Canada
Dale McFee, President
Daniel Sansfaçon, Director, Policy,
Research and Evaluation, National Crime
Prevention Centre
Julie McAuley, Director, Canadian Centre
for Justice Statistics
John Turner, Chief of Analysis, Canadian
Centre for Justice Statistics
Mia Dauvergne, Senior Analyst, Canadian
Centre for Justice Statistics
Heidi Illingworth, Executive Director
Statistics Canada
Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of
Crime
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
As individuals
David Hulchanski, Professor and Associate
Director, Cities Centre, University of
Toronto
Irvin Waller, Full Professor, Department of
Criminology, University of Ottawa
Ross Hastings, Professor, Department of
Criminology, University of Ottawa
Karen Leibovici, First Vice-President
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
As individuals
Charles Beach, Professor of Economics,
Department of Economics,
Queen's University
Miles Corak, Professor of Economics,
Graduate School of Public and International
Affairs, University of Ottawa
171
APPENDIX D – PROMISING PRACTICES
Over the course of this study, the committee asked witnesses to identify practices that
show the promise of advancing social inclusion and cohesion. These practices demonstrate some
common characteristics, among them, collaboration among stakeholders, initiative and
innovation, and a focus on local efforts that involve the participation of those who are themselves
at risk of social exclusion. The following are among the practices reported by witnesses:
The City of Edmonton’s Diversity Reviews
A major inclusion challenge involves the non-participation of excluded groups in decisionmaking bodies such as boards of directors and institutions. To counteract this form of exclusion,
some municipalities conduct diversity audits of their voluntary bodies. This is done, for example,
by the City of Edmonton which reviews its voluntary boards and commissions to evaluate the
extent to which members of excluded groups are involved in membership. John Reilly of the
City of Edmonton’s office of Diversity and Inclusion testified that Edmonton “recognized that
we want to do a better job of connecting with groups that are not necessarily represented on
those boards and commission groups.513”
Centretown Citizens’ Ottawa Corporation (CCOC), Ottawa
Professors Fran Klodawsky and Caroline Andrew identified the Centretown Citizens’
Ottawa Corporation (CCOC) as a promising practice. The CCOC is a non-profit housing
corporation that was formed in 1975 with $500 in the bank. It now owns approximately 1,800
units located in more than 50 properties. The Corporation has a broad-based governance
structure and encourages its tenants (who have mixed incomes, cultural backgrounds, and come
from all age groups) to participate in its community structures. Its core principle is that everyone
should have control over their housing.
The CCOC represents an illustration of the achievements that can result from an inclusive
decision-making and planning process. It also serves as an example of one of the means that can
be used in order to build bonding and bridging social capital, helping its residents and volunteers
develop skills that are useful in numerous other arenas.514
Social and Economic Immigrant Integration
During its hearings devoted to the social and economic inclusion of immigrants, the
committee’s witnesses identified many promising practices. The following sections present these
examples arranged according to those that encourage social inclusion, social inclusion specific to
immigrant women, and economic inclusion. The final section provides examples of initiatives
that seek to accomplish both social and economic inclusion.
513
514
Evidence, 9 February 2011, John Reilly, p. 31.
Centretown Citizens’ Ottawa Corporation http://ccochousing.org/
172
Social Inclusion
The Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, Toronto (TNO)
TNO is a community based, multicultural centre. TNO provides a wide variety of programs
and services including information and referral, a family violence program, women’s
counselling, settlement services and language training for newcomers, employment assistance,
youth services and community information workshops and seminars. Professor Sandeep Kumar
Agrawal told the committee that the “TNO has been very active in deciphering the needs and
wants of the community. It has been able to deliver a number of programs geared towards
women whose husbands may work elsewhere [---] or kids who need help with the English
language...”515
The Coalition of Community Health and Resource Centres, Ottawa (CCHRC)
The CCHRC is a coalition of 14 multi-service health and resource community centres in
Ottawa. Coalition members recognize the importance of responding to diverse needs and of
focusing attention on those in their communities who are most vulnerable and at risk. This
promising practice was identified by Caroline Andrew, who told the committee that the Coalition
has been “flexible about changing demographics and changing programs.”516
Multicultural Liaison Officer (MLO) Program, Ottawa
The MLO Program was pioneered by the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services
Organization (OCISO) in 1991. The Program’s objective is to address the settlement and
integration needs of immigrant and refugee children and their families in local schools. Liaison
Officers work with teachers, school administrators, children and parents to help them take the
needs of immigrant and refugee children into account. The Program has now spread to all major
Ontario cities and has won awards from Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Canadian
Council on Race Relations. Caroline Andrew testified that the MLO Program “was an Ottawa
innovation saying we needed to couple specific workers who knew about immigration with the
school system. It is now a very successful program going into both libraries and schools.” 517
Immigrant Women
City for All Women, Ottawa
Professors Klodawsky and Andrew pointed to City for All Women, Ottawa as a promising
practice. Professor Klodawsky indicated that City for all Women is a community-based group
whose “aim is to strengthen the capacity of the full diversity of women and the City of Ottawa to
515
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Sandeep Kumar Agrawal, p. 24: The Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office,
http://www.thorncliffe.org/
516
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Caroline Andrew, p. 141; The Coalition of Health and Community Resource Centres,
http://www.coalitionottawa.ca/coalition/coalition-eng/default.asp
517
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Caroline Andrew, p. 30.
173
work in partnership to create a more inclusive city and promote gender equality In one of this
organization's projects, women from a wide variety of backgrounds received training as focus
group facilitators. One of their assignments was to lead group discussions about recreation
programs within the city. As a result, city staff who was working to prepare a new recreation
master plan were able to draw on insights from residents who had not previously been heard
from on these matters.”518
Provision of Child Support Services
Stéphanie Gaudet gave the example of the Mile-End neighbourhood in Montréal where a
school at which child-care services are offered have been opened to immigrant women with
children on Saturdays. She told the committee that:
“The decision was made to open the neighbourhood school on
Saturday mornings, and the social stakeholders, social workers groups
take care of the children. That enables the children to play, while the
women cope with incredible obligations. The ones who work often
have jobs with unusual schedules and very heavy family
responsibilities. First, they have to be freed of their children and,
second, offered a place where they can receive services, and they also
have to be helped to understand the organizations in which they could
get involved. That has to be done in their daily lives. It has to be much
more informal in the sense that they will not necessarily go and get
involved in political organizations or in the municipalities and so on;
they do not necessarily have the time to do that. But I think this has to
be done in actual life; opportunities have to be created where they can
be helped, but with their children. Ultimately, child care is the barrier
to engagement.”519
Professor Gaudet identified schools as ideal locales for fostering greater social inclusion for
immigrant women with children, an observation in which Mr. Reilly of the City of Edmonton
concurred, particularly if childcare services are provided.
Economic Inclusion of Recent Immigrants
Witnesses identified the following examples of promising practices that promote the
appropriate inclusion of immigrants in the Canadian economy at the municipal level:
Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC), Edmonton
John Reilly identified the Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council (ERIEC) as a
promising practice. The Council, created by the City of Edmonton in cooperation with the
518
519
Evidence, 2 February 2011, Fran Klodawsky; Evidence, 8 March 2012, Caroline Andrew, p. 19.
Evidence, 9 February 2011, Stéphanie Gaudet
174
Edmonton Economic Development Corporation) works to ensure that immigrants are able to find
jobs that match their education and work experience.520
City of Edmonton – Recruitment of Immigrants for City Jobs
Edmonton’s Human Resources Department operates immigrant internship and mentorship
programs that have helped increase the number of recent immigrants working for the City and
have helped newcomers find employment commensurate with their education and work
experience.521
The Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) – Canadian Immigrant
Integration Program
The Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC), with funding from the
Government of Canada, has developed the Canadian Immigration Integration Program (CIIP).
The CIPP prepares newcomers for economic integration in Canada prior to departure from their
countries of origin. The Program began as a pilot project in 2007, and is now a three-year
initiative being delivered during 2010. Deborah Tunis informed the committee that the “ACCC is
working on attempts to do individual needs assessments and to be straight with newcomers
overseas about some of the challenges they will face.”522
Assisting Local Leaders with Immigrant Employment Strategies (ALLIES)
Funded by the Maytree and J.W. McConnell Family Foundations, Assisting Local Leaders
with Immigrant Employment Strategies, or ALLIES, supports local efforts in Canada to adapt
and establish programs that advance appropriate employment for skilled immigrants. ALLIES
brings together stakeholders to develop these programs and gives funding and other resources to
immigrant employment councils that are led by local employers. The councils also include
community organizations, post-secondary institutions, assessment service providers, labour,
immigrant professional associations and representation from all three levels of government.523
Deborah Tunis, of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, identified ALLIES as a promising
practice, stating that “Ms. Omidvar's work with ALLIES [...] with Immigrant Employment
Strategies, to secure representation on boards is terrific work.”524
S.U.C.C.E.S.S. - Active Engagement and Integration Project, Vancouver
The Active Engagement and Integration Project is the first overseas project from
S.U.C.C.E.S.S. With funding from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the project supports the
520
Evidence, 9 February 2011, John Reilly; Edmonton Regional Immigrant Employment Council,
http://www.eriec.ca/
521
City of Edmonton, Human Resources, http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/city_organization/humanresources.aspx
522
Evidence, 3 February 2011, Deborah Tunis; Canadian Association of Community Colleges, Canadian
Immigration Integration Program, http://www.newcomersuccess.ca/index.php/en/about-ciip
523
Assisting Local Leaders with Immigrant Employment Strategies (ALLIES), http://maytree.com/integration/allies
524
Evidence, 3 February 2011, Deborah Tunis
175
settlement, adaptation and integration of skilled workers, members of the family class, and livein caregivers from South Korea and Taiwan into Canadian Society. The project includes predeparture services such as group orientation, workshops, and active engagement case
management. Client resources include: a support line, referrals, a resource centre, and a virtual
resource centre. After clients have attended orientation sessions prior to their departure for
Canada, they are given links to workshops on topics such as labour market employment, foreign
credential recognition, health and medical services, and education and training they may need to
bring their employment skills up to Canadian requirements.
Debora Tunis indicated that Citizenship and Immigration Canada has “funded SUCCESS
for the last three years and have committed to funding for 2011-12. The preliminary things I
have been seeing are very promising in terms of getting the settlement service providers in
Canada connected and understanding the needs of newcomers before they arrive.”525
The Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC), Toronto
John Reilly identified the Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council as a
promising practice. TRIEC helps develop relationships amongst major corporate leaders and
public institutions where there is a need for highly educated and highly skilled workers. Then it
begins to develop intelligence and research work on the kinds of labour force opportunities we
have, in terms of the people living in the city.
Toronto Regional Immigrant Employment Council – Mentoring Partnership
Mr. Reilly identified the Mentoring Partnership, a program delivered by the Toronto
Region Immigrant Employment Council, as an example of a promising practice. The Mentoring
Partnership brings together recent skilled immigrants and established professionals in
occupation-specific mentoring relationships.
Now operating for over five years in the Greater Toronto Region, the Mentoring
Partnership has facilitated over 5,000 mentoring relationships between skilled immigrants and
established Canadian professionals. Since the launch of the program, over 50 organizations have
offered The Mentoring Partnership to their staff as an opportunity to enhance their leadership and
coaching competencies, and develop their cross-cultural skills.
The Skilled Trades Employment Program (STEP), British Columbia
Mr. Randy Garon, Provincial Manger of the Skilled Trades Employment Program, and Mr.
Manley McLachlan, President of the British Columbia Construction Association, provided the
committee with details of the STEP (the Program) initiative. In 2006, the Canadian Construction
Sector Council (CSC) and the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) created the
Immigrant Skills Training Employment Program (ISTEP) as a pilot with funding from the
federal government’s Foreign Credential Recognition (FCR) Program. ISTEP was aimed at
skilled immigrants who were seen as an underutilized and underrepresented labour pool that
525
Ibid.; S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Active Engagement and Integration Project, http://aeip.successbc.ca/
176
would help resolve the labour shortages that existed in the B.C. construction industry in 2006.
ISTEP used job coaches, or Trade Employment Specialists, with experience in construction
trades and who knew what employers were looking for. The coaches would then locate, screen,
and perform trades assessments on potential employees, whom they would either place in jobs or
refer to other agencies for additional training. Once an immigrant was placed in a job, the coach
would continue to act as a liaison between employee and employer. The Program operated
between 2006 and 2010, achieving 4,962 points of contact win employers and finding
construction employment for 1,051 immigrants. ISTEP has since become the Skilled Trades
Employment Program which operates under a provincial Labour Market Agreement. Mr.
McLachlan testified that the Program is a “fully expandable model that can be expanded
incrementally into existing infrastructure, without duplicating overhead costs for expansion.”526
Social and Economic Inclusion of Immigrants
Frequently, measures to facilitate the inclusion of recent immigrants accomplish both goals
of achieving better social and economic integration. The City of Edmonton is one of the leaders
in this respect.
Multicultural Health Brokers Co-operative Ltd., Edmonton
The Multicultural Health Brokers Cooperative Ltd is a group of 54 health brokers that
represent 22 cultural and linguistic communities in Edmonton and serves 2,000 families in
Edmonton yearly. The brokers own the Cooperative and assist their clients in making
connections with Canada’s health, social services, education, justice, immigration and
employment support systems.
Mr. Reilly told the committee that the Co-operative “was originally designed to help
support immigrant access to the health sector, but they now provide supportive access to all
kinds of different projects and programs.” Mr. Reilly indicated, in addition, that this co-operative
as the kind of non-profit organization that could provide specialized support to immigrant
women with children.527
Initiatives by the City Edmonton
The City of Edmonton determined that immigration and settlement was a strategic priority
in 2005.528 In 2007, the city adopted an Immigration and Settlement Policy to provide guidance
to its departments and to serve as the basis for collaborative work with community organizations.
The city has established an Office of Diversity and Inclusion and tasked it with creating
programs to attract and retain immigrants. The Office has as its goals to:
a)
Have a workforce broadly reflective of the community;
526
Evidence, 10 February 2011, Manley McLachlan; The Skilled Trades and Employment Program (STEP),
http://www.stepbc.ca/
527
Evidence, 9 February 2011, John Reilly; Multicultural Health Brokers Co-op, http://mchb.org/
528
John Reilly, Municipal Roles in Immigrant Integration: The Edmonton Experience, 2009.
http://canada.metropolis.net/publications/odc09_pdfs/JohnReilly_ODC09.pdf [email protected]
177
b)
c)
d)
Identify and address barriers within organizational systems;
Attract and retain a talented workforce skilled at working in an inclusive and
respectful manner with one another and the community; and
Create processes, policies plans, practices programs and services that meet the
diverse needs of those [the City] serves.529
Programs implemented by the City include:
a)
b)
c)
d)
a grants and space rental subsidy to support groups for newly arrived immigrants;
an Immigrant Internship Program530;
the publication of a newcomer guide to services; and
a recognition program that honours immigrant contributions to the economic, social
and cultural life of the city.531
The City has worked with the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC),
local employers and others in the community to create the Edmonton Region Immigrant
Employment Council (ERIEC) in 2008.532
Edmonton has also added municipal staff to support capacity-building with immigrant and
refugee groups and engage in policy and program planning.533 In addition, the City has
developed a detailed Diversity and Inclusion Framework and Implementation Plan to guide the
development of a diverse and inclusive workforce in its own departments. Besides drawing upon
the talent and experience of recent immigrants, the goal of the plan is to create a workplace that
is representative and reflective of the communities served by the City.
John Reilly identified several initiatives taken by Edmonton to “support the social,
economic and political integration of immigrants.” He indicated that these efforts are paying off:
“The number of immigrants choosing Edmonton as their destination city is increasing, and
feedback from our immigrant communities shows that these communities have a deep
appreciation for the engagement that [the City is] providing at the community level.”534.
Initiatives mentioned by Mr. Reilly included:
529
City of Edmonton, Office of Diversity and Inclusion,
http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/city_organization/office-of-diversity-and-inclusion.aspx,.
530
John Reilly indicates that the human resource consultant hired by the City to create a workforce more reflective
of the population has hosted eight interns in Edmonton’s Human Resources Branch and Transportation
Department. Several interns now have permanent positions with the City. Reilly, 2009, p. 157.
531
Federation of Canadian Municipalities, 2009, p. 15.
532
John Reilly, Municipal Roles in Immigrant Integration: The Edmonton Experience 2009, p. 157.
533
Federation of Canadian Municipalities, 2009, p. 15.
534
Evidence, 9 February 2011, John Reilly
178
Immigration and Settlement Policy
The first of its kind in Canada, the City of Edmonton’s Immigration and Settlement Policy
draws on best practices already in place in Toronto and has influenced the creation of a similar
policy in Calgary (Welcoming Community Policy).535
Move to Edmonton Website
Edmonton Economic Development Corporation’s “Move to Edmonton” website has
attracted over one hundred thousand visitors in its first year of operation.536 The site provides
information on educational and employment opportunities in Edmonton and first hand accounts
by people who have moved to the city. Maps of the city, videos, and contact information are also
included.
City of Edmonton – Immigrant and Settlement Community Gatherings
Every two years, the City of Edmonton hosts an Immigration and Settlement Community
Gathering which brings together more than 150 participants. Mr. Reilly told the committee that
the Gatherings are a consistent forum where immigrants become familiar with City services and
provide feedback on how to improve and make City services more available and accessible. He
labeled this initiative as the “most successful” of all of the measures taken by Edmonton.
According to Mr. Reilly, the City
“made a clear commitment in the ethno-cultural and immigrant
groups we engaged with in the early going who asked for some
kind of ongoing way to connect with the city's administration and
with our political leaders. That is why we developed our
Immigration and Settlement Community Gatherings.”537
The Newcomers’ Guide
The City of Edmonton publishes a 32-page Newcomers Guide in nine languages with
information relevant to recent immigrants, and operates the Citizen and New Arrival Information
Centre at City Hall. The Centre and the City’s 3-1-1 information service provide a telephone
based language interpretation line that can provide service in more than 170 languages and our
libraries are emerging as important hubs where newcomers seek information on their new
homes.538
535
City of Edmonton, Immigration and Settlement Policy,
http://www.calgary.ca/docgallery/bu/cityclerks/council_policies/csps034.pdf
536
City of Edmonton, Move to Edmonton, website: http://www.edmonton.com/moving-to-edmonton.aspx
537
Evidence, 9 February 2011, John Reilly; City of Edmonton, Immigrant Settlement Community Gatherings,
http://sohi.ca/events/details/immigration_and_settlement_community_gathering/
538
City of Edmonton, Newcomer’s Guide, http://www.edmonton.ca/for_residents/programs/newcomers-guide.aspx
179
Visibile Minorities
John Reilly identified a practice that helps combat and reduce discrimination and racism
directed towards members of Canada’s visible minority communities.
Canadian Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination/
Racism Free Edmonton
As Jean-Claude Icart, Micheline Labelle, and Rachad Antonius observe, cities and
metropolises in Canada and other countries “have clearly sensed a need to develop their own
policies” to combat the inequalities, racism, and discrimination that can often accompany
growing diversity.539
The City of Edmonton is a member of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities against
Racism and Discrimination and implemented the Racism Free Edmonton initiative, a partnership
of 14 institutions and organizations working toward the elimination of racism and creation of a
more culturally inclusive city. The City receives federal support for this initiative through
Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Mr. Reilly told the committee that
“[t]he Racism Free Edmonton partners’ commitment to creating full
inclusion of all of the city’s multicultural communities has helped
stimulate an important dialogue among immigrants and First Nations,
Métis, Inuit and other non-status Aboriginal people about the impacts
of racism on their respective communities.”540
The Canadian Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination (CMARD)
has over 42 member cities and municipalities. The Coalition is an initiative launched in 2007 by
the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and is part of
an international commission, also formed by UNESCO. The Canadian Coalition receives support
from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities as well as the Canadian Race Relations
Foundation, the National Association of Friendship Centres, and several provincial human rights
commissions.541
Religious Minorities
Teaching Ethics and Religious Culture in Quebec Schools
Following several years of consultation with teachers, academic experts, and parents, and
field testing in five elementary and three secondary schools, Québec’s Ministère de l’Éducation,
du Loisir et du Sport introduced a mandatory Ethics and Religious Culture Program into all
elementary and secondary schools in the province. Under the Course, students are encouraged to
539
Jean-Claude Icart, Micheline Labelle, and Rachad Antonius, Indicators for evaluating municipal policies aimed
at fighting racism and discrimination, Centre for Research on Immigration, Ethnicity and Citizenship, Université
du Québec à Montréal, February 2005, p. 1, http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001496/149624e.pdf.
540
Evidence, 10 February 2011, John Reilly, p. 8; Racism Free Edmonton, http://racismfreeedmonton.ca/
541
Alberta Human Rights Commission, “Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination,”
http://www.albertahumanrights.ab.ca/about/partnerships/CMARD.asp
180
“understand the phenomenon of religion by practicing, in a spirit of openness, dialogue that is
oriented toward contributing to community life.”542 Dr. Bramadat identified this Course as a
promising practice, telling the committee that it:
“is an illustration of open secularism because Quebec has many
concerns about religious diversity in the public arena, especially in
the official context of the public arena; yet it is the province, the
culture, the nation, if you will, that has adopted the most interesting,
rigorous, experimental approach to dealing with what I would call
the real problem of religious illiteracy, and it is a real problem.”543
Aboriginal Canadians
Economic Inclusion and Business Development
The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB)
Dwight Dorey told the committee that the CCAB has “a large membership of successful
Aboriginal businesses [...] they provide a role model to young entrepreneurs for all the
Aboriginal communities, and it is one that they are having [...] some success with.”544 The CCAB
brings together businesspeople from the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities to share
and enhance mutual knowledge of effective business practices.
Service Delivery
The Yellow Quill First Nation
The Yellow Quill First Nation, part of the Saskatoon Tribal Council, has opened offices in
Regina where it is dealing with a range of issues. Larry Cachene, Chief of the Yellow Quill First
Nation, stated that “[W]e need to start engaging our Aboriginal people in the city to take part in
learning and training that is available....“ He added that Yellow Quill is “fortunate with social
workers that are coming from our community that are helping in our urban office
development.”545 The committee believes that this is an excellent example of Aboriginal
Canadians relying on their own initiative and resources to develop community reliance and is
therefore identifying it as a promising practice that warrants emulation.
Municipal Governments
“Assimilation is not something we try to do. We try to integrate.”546
542
Québec, Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir, et du Sport, “Ethics and Religious Culture,”
https://www7.mels.gouv.qc.ca/DC/ECR/primaire/index_en.php?page=pres
543
Ibid, p. 19.
544
Evidence, 2 February 2012, Dwight Dorey
545
Evidence, 2 February 2012, Larry Cachene.
546
Evidence, 9 February 2012, Leona Carter
181
City of Edmonton Initiatives
The City of Edmonton is engaged in a number of promising practices that have, as their
goal, better social and economic inclusion for its Aboriginal citizens. Prior to the mid-1990s
there was limited municipal engagement with Edmonton’s Aboriginal peoples. In the mid1990s, Edmonton City Council appointed the first Edmonton urban Aboriginal affairs
committee. Leona Carter testified that
“[t]his strong commitment from our elected officials continues
through our mayor and council today. This commitment led to a
collaborative initiative to engage the Aboriginal community in a
meaningful dialogue process and subsequent groundbreaking
relationship building and new ways of working together.”547
The City of Edmonton’s commitment to working with the Aboriginal community is
embodied in a declaration by the City Council, Strengthening Relationships between the City of
Edmonton and the Urban Aboriginal Peoples Agreement issued in 2006, which was used as the
basis for the City’s Urban Aboriginal Accord.548 Subsequently, the City has established a human
resources Aboriginal outreach consultant position, a tripartite Aboriginal workforce participation
initiative, and an Aboriginal Relations Office, the first municipality in Canada to have such an
office. Edmonton has included indigenous concepts in the city’s strategic plans, The Way Ahead
of 2009,549 and The Way We Live, the City’s 10-year strategic plan that focuses on the municipal
government’s role in creating and fostering a diverse and inclusive city.550 According to
testimony from Leona Carter
“The city’s administration priorities include improved relationships
with the Aboriginal community, improved hiring and retention of
Aboriginal people in the city workforce, improved delivery of city
mandated services to Aboriginal people and supportive community
development initiatives, supportive council-appointed Edmonton
Aboriginal Affairs Committee and supportive councils of Aboriginal
initiatives.”551
Ms. Carter emphasized the importance of collaborative and cooperative efforts between the
City, Aboriginal groups and other levels of government in bringing about successful social and
economic inclusion for Edmonton’s Aboriginal citizens. She told the committee that the City has
“worked closely, and we think well, with administration counterparts in both Alberta Aboriginal
547
Evidence, 9 February 2012, Leona Carter.
City of Edmonton, Edmonton Urban Aboriginal Accord,
http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/documents/UrbanAboriginalAccord.pdf
549
City of Edmonton, The Way Ahead: City of Edmonton Strategic Plan 2009-2015 (updated 2011),
http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/city_vision_and_strategic_plan/the-way-ahead.aspx
550
City of Edmonton, The Way We Live: Edmonton’s People Plan,
http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/city_vision_and_strategic_plan/the-way-we-live.aspx
551
Evidence, 9 February 2012, Leona Carter.
548
182
relations and the Office of the Federal Interlocutor.”552 She also pointed to the UAS as an
important element in the work the City is doing with Aboriginal people living there, stating that
“The Urban Aboriginal Strategy on community consultations, joint
planning, collaborations with the Aboriginal community and
collaborations with governments with the Aboriginal community and
collaborations of governments with the community on issues of the
magnitude experienced by the Aboriginal community is fundamental
to making progress.”553
Relationships between the City of Edmonton and Aboriginal peoples continue to grow. In
2007 and in 2011, Edmonton hosted the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards. And on 6
July 2012, the City entered into a formal agreement with the Confederacy of Treaty No. 6 First
Nations under a Memorandum of Cooperation and Dialogue designed to strengthen the City’s
working relations with First Nations within, and in proximity to, its municipal boundaries.554
Flying Eagle Program
The Flying Eagle Program is provided free of charge by the City of Edmonton to children
aged 6-12 at the city’s parks and recreation facilities. The Program teaches children about
Aboriginal culture and heritage. Karen Leibovici, Edmonton City Counselor and former VicePresident of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities told the committee that the Flying Eagle
Program “focuses on leadership, recreation and communities’ service.”555
Canadian Youth
“...engagement sustains promising practices. [...] engagement is a shift and a different way
of working with youth because we often see youth as being a problem that you need to fix,
especially marginalized youth, as being victims. However, when you take the view that youth
have views – they have gone through these experiences; they have been on the streets; adults
cannot speak on their behalf – you are taking on more of an engagement approach. It is a
paradigm shift because we are not used to working with youth that way.”556
Professor Blanchet-Cohen identified several promising practices for promoting greater
youth inclusion and involvement. These included:
552
Ibid.
Ibid.
554
The City of Edmonton, “Historic Agreement Between the Confederacy of Treaty No. 6 First Nations and City of
Edmonton,” 06 July 2012, http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/news/2012/historic-agreement-betweenthe-confederacy-of-treaty-no-6-first-nations.aspx
555
Evidence,15 March 2012, Karen Leibovici, p. 2: The Flying Eagle Program,
http://www.edmonton.ca/for_residents/programs/flying-eagle-program.aspx.
556
Ibid.
553
183
City of Victoria Youth Council, Legal Literacy Project
In 2007, following consultations with local youth, the City of Victoria Youth Council
(CVYC) found that many young people did not understand their rights and the youth justice
system and that the relationship between youth and the city’s police were suffering as a result. In
response, the CVYC worked with the University of Victoria to create a participatory research
project, the Youth Legal Literacy Team. Professor Blanchet-Cohen told the committee that the
youth “work with police to create practical guidelines for homeless youth to understand their
rights and responsibilities when stopped by the police. The pocket-sized pamphlets produced by
the project have been largely distributed. It is small but helpful.”557
YouthScape Project, Béluga, Rivière-des-Prairies
Béluga is a project in which adults and young people work together to create a shared
vision for their neighborhood. It aims to support young people in “developing their capacity as
significant contributors to building a more resilient community.” The project brings together
“...several mainstream institutions connected to YouthScape, including schools, a library and a
local cultural center, have experimented with forms of youth decision making to be more
inclusive of the cultural diversity among youth. The trust developed through successful youth-led
projects has reduced racial and intergenerational tensions in the neighborhood.”558
Environmental Youth Alliance, Vancouver
The Environmental Youth Alliance (EYA) seeks to engage youth in positive change to
improve community and environmental health. The EYA involves children and youth in five
programs, multiple community projects and a volunteer program. In 1991 EYA received nonprofit status and in 1993 began to engage youth in issues involving urban living. By 2011, EYA
had reached over 300,000 young people through workshops, training, and community
volunteerism.559
Apathy is Boring
Apathy is Boring was conceived in 2004 by three young adults – a dance choreographer, a
filmmaker, and a photographer/graphic designer --who were concerned that Canadian youth were
becoming disengaged from the democratic process. Apathy is Boring, a non-partisan initiative,
began with a ‘Get out the Youth Vote’ project for the 2004 federal General Election. It has since
used art and technology to educate youth about democracy, increase youth voting rates, and
increase youth engagement in their communities. Apathy is Boring has received support from
Heritage Canada and Telefilm Canada. 560
557
Ibid., p. 46; City of Victoria Youth Council Campaign for Legal Literacy,
http://youthcoreprogram.ca/?action=spark_projects&spark_id=48
558
Ibid.; YouthScape Project Béluga, Rivière-des-Prairies, http://www.youthscape.ca/Communities_Montreal.html
559
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Natasha Blanchet-Cohen; Environmental Youth Alliance, http://www.eya.ca/splash.php
560
Ibid; Apathy is Boring, http://www.apathyisboring.com/en
184
Canadian Seniors
“In our Toronto office alone, we get 100 to 150 people a week, aged 50 plus, calling
looking for work.”561
Two initiatives, both developed by Peter Cook, impressed the committee as being
promising practices with regard to bringing seniors in from the margins and engaging them in
useful and productive ways that benefit not only seniors, but the communities in which they live.
Seniors for Business
Seniors for Business, founded by Mr. Cook in 1989, finds white collar jobs for seniors over
50. Mr. Cook told the committee that as of March 2012, Seniors for Business has “eight offices,
and we are a multimillion dollar business.”562 In further testimony, Mr. Cook added that Seniors
for Business employs
“about 1,000 junior seniors [...] There are engineers and chartered accountants...They are
from different walks of life. They are at home. They are bored to tears. They want something to
do. [...] I want to expand and employ more people. It is a win-win-win. Junior seniors have
something to do, the senior seniors are looked after and in the middle is our business.”563
Seniors for Seniors
Seniors for Seniors was established by Peter Cook in 1985 to engage younger seniors (50
years of age and older) in providing a variety of services for older seniors (60 years of age and
older), many of whom experience mobility problems. Services offered include home cleaning,
companionship, drivers, yard work and lawn care, house sitting, and overnight care. Since 1985,
Seniors-for-Seniors has branched out from its original Toronto location and now has branches in
nine centres, including Halifax and Truro, Nova Scotia. Each office is independently owned and
operated.564
Sexual Minorities
Edmonton Police Services’ Outreach Activities Community Liaison Committees
Kristopher Wells, a current member of the City of Edmonton’s Police Chief’s Community
Advisory Council, identified a number of initiatives undertaken by the Edmonton Police Services
to reach out and build relationships with the city’s minority communities, including the LGBT
community.
Mr. Wells pointed to the Edmonton Police Services’ Community Liaison Committees as a
means of facilitating the social inclusion of diverse groups. The Sexual Minorities Liaison
Committee (SMLC) is one of such committees, and has worked with the Edmonton Police
561
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Peter Cook.
Ibid.
563
Ibid., Peter Cook.
564
Seniors for Seniors, http://www.seniors4seniors.ca/
562
185
Service since 1992 to promote public safety and security needs of Edmonton’ s LGBT
community. The SMLC treats all inquiries with confidentiality and has created a Facebook page
to facilitate communication. The committee assists members of that community to report crimes
against them, and to get police support and service.565
Edmonton Police Service Hate Crimes Unit
Mr. Wells told the committee that the Edmonton Police Service “has established a hate
crimes unit, one of the few specialized units in Canada, and the police service has targeted
working with minority communities.”566 The Hate Crime Unit promotes human rights, safety,
security and inclusiveness and works to build sustainable partnerships with communities to build
trust and prevent hate crimes from occurring. The Unit produces hate crimes brochures in
Chinese, French, Hindi and Punjabi. It also works closely with the Police Service’s Sexual
Minorities Liaison Committee (see above).
Edmonton Police Service’s Unit on Diversity, Equity and Human Rights
The Edmonton Police Service has created a specialized unit on diversity, equity and human
rights. The Edmonton Police Service’s Chief’s Committee has given the Unit the task of
assisting the Edmonton Police Service in achieving its vision of a safe and vibrant city, created in
partnership with the community through innovative and responsive policing. The Unit focuses on
education and professional development for the Edmonton Police Service, community
development, and fair, equitable and inclusive workplace practices. 567
Alberta Teachers' Association Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Committee
The Alberta Teachers’ Association’ Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Committee
promotes diversity, equity and human rights in Alberta’s schools. The Diversity, Equity and
Human Rights Committee has subcommittees on sexual orientation and gender identity, as well
as on Aboriginal education, intercultural education, and gender equity.
Mr. Wells told the committee that “[i]f people know other gays or lesbians chances are
those people will become more accepting and inclusive of them.”568 The Alberta Teachers’
Association supports the establishment of gay/straight alliance groups in schools to create
awareness, and offers workshops on a range of diversity issues, including bullying and cyber
bullying, and sexual orientation and gender identity.
565
Edmonton Police Service, Sexual Minorities Liaison Committee,
http://www.edmontonpolice.ca/AboutEPS/CommunityInitiatives/ChiefsCAC/SMLC.aspx; also:
http://www.edmontonpolice.ca//~/media/EPS%20External/Files/CAC/Brochure%20%20%20SMLC%20%2020
11.ashx
566
Ibid., p. 28; Edmonton Police Service Hate Crime Unit:
http://www.edmontonpolice.ca/CommunityPolicing/OrganizedCrime/HateBiasCrime.aspx
567
Edmonton Police Service, Equity, Diversity and Human Rights, http://www.edmontonpolice.ca/edhr
568
Evidence, 17 February 2011, Kristopher Wells.
186
Engaging partners from other sectors is a key to fostering successful efforts to bring
marginalized groups into the mainstream. As Mr. Wells indicated about initiatives taken in
Edmonton to include sexual minority youth, “[w]e have created those programs largely with the
success of community partners. This partnership has been important to us.”569 Mr. Wells pointed
to the Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Committee as an example of working with those
directly affected apart from teachers, school boards, students and parents and bringing about the
participation of corporate citizens in its activities.570
Camp FYrefly
“Instead of looking at these youth, our big focus is being ‘at risk,’
such as what would happen if we looked at them as fundamentally
being ‘at promise.’ How would the questions change if we changed
the foundation or lens? Recognizing that every young person out
there has inherent talents and gifts to give to a community, our job
is to help find ways for them to bring those gifts forward.”571
Camp FYrefly is a four-day summer leadership camp and resiliency-building program in
Edmonton Alberta for approximately 50 sexual minority youth from across Canada. Youth
attending the camp return to their communities with capacity-building skills. The upper-case ‘Y’
represents an acronym – fostering Youth, resiliency, energy, fun, and leadership.572 The camp is
in its 9th year and has expanded to Saskatchewan with plans to expand to Southern Alberta and
Ontario in the future. Kristopher Wells explained that following attendance at the camp, youth
know that they are not alone when they go back to their communities and that there is a “network
of support out there that they could always reach back into.”573
City of Edmonton Sexual Minority Youth Intervention and Outreach Project
In 2008, the City of Edmonton, the United Way and the Edmonton Community Foundation
jointly funded the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services to develop a multi-year,
sexual minority youth intervention and community outreach project. The project has three major
goals: to engage an outreach worker, to support Edmonton’s Youth Understanding Youth (a
volunteer grassroots community organization that provides social and support services to LGBT
569
Ibid.
The Alberta Teachers’ Association, Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Committee,
http://www.teachers.ab.ca/For%20Members/Professional%20Development/Diversity%20and%20Human%20Ri
ghts/Pages/Index.aspx
571
Evidence, 17 February 2011, Kristopher Wells.
572
Ibid.
573
Ibid; Camp FYrefly, http://www.fyrefly.ualberta.ca/
570
187
youth), and to develop a sexual-minority youth needs assessment and mentorship project in
partnership with Big Brothers and Big Sisters Society of Edmonton.574
Safer Communities
During the committee’s hearings on building safer communities, witnesses offered the
following examples of promising practices:
Programme de suivi intensif de Montréal – Gangs de rue
The Programme de suivi intensif de Montréal – Gangs de rue is supported by the National
Crime Prevention Centre with total funding of $7.4 million over five years. The program is a
multidisciplinary effort that involves the coordination of various service providers with the goal
of reducing gang delinquency among 15 – 25 year olds. It integrates prevention, crime
suppression and intervention approaches and is delivered by the Centre jeunesse de Montréal –
Institut universitaire in partnership with the Québec Ministry of Public Safety, the City of
Montréal, the Direction of Public Prosecution Service of Québec, the City of Montréal Police
Service, and Québec Correctional Services. Family involvement is integral to the program and
the youth, family, and project staff meets three to four times weekly. Program participants spend
20 to 40 hours per week in activities related to the program, including school, professional
training, employment skills development, job searching, volunteer work and recreational
activities. 575
Mr. Sansfaçon indicated that, working together, various service providers involved in the
Program had managed to overcome privacy concerns using memoranda of understanding and
protocols in order to share information with one another. He told the committee that “...because
they work together, they are capable of being effective and efficient in delivering the
interventions that are needed to the right people and at the right time.” He added that under
initiatives such as this “[y]ou wrap the services around these vulnerable populations and provide
the right intervention at the right time [thereby] increasing the chances of being successful.”576
Prince Albert Regional Intersectoral Committee (Hub Program), Prince Albert,
Saskatchewan
The Hub Program is a partnership between service providers including representation from
federal and provincial agencies, local police service, First Nations, and schools with the goal of
providing social service delivery through collaboration.577
574
Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, “Sexual-Minority Youth Intervention and Community
Outreach Project,” http://www.ismss.ualberta.ca/youthoutreach.htm
575
Public Safety Canada, “Programme de suivi intensif de Montréal – Gangs de rue,
http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/prg/cp/ythgng/cpa03-gdr-eng.aspx
576
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Daniel Sansfaçon.
577
Prince Albert Regional Intersectorial Committee, http://www.srsd119.ca/ric/
188
Stop Now and Plan (SNAP), Toronto, Ontario
Toronto. SNAP is a strategy that was initially developed in Toronto in 1970 as a means of
curbing aggressive and disruptive classroom behaviour that could eventually lead to future
contact with the police. The strategy works with parents and children 12 years old and younger
to help them regulate and channel angry feelings. SNAP is now being used by over 90
organizations in Canada, the United States, and Australia.578
REACH Program, Edmonton, Alberta
REACH Edmonton Council of Safe Communities is a community-based initiative made up
of 83 organizations and 126 citizens with the goal of making Edmonton safer within one
generation. Dr. Waller testified that REACH “involves leadership, so someone saying we are
going to reduce crime and not just react to crime. It involves bringing police and social agencies
and schools and housing people together to look at what needs to be done. It involves using data.
It involves investing.” Similar efforts are being undertaken in: Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Regina,
and the Peel Region. Dr. Waller stated that “[w]e need to see this coast to coast. [...] this needs to
go along with things like Housing First and other general programs that will somehow reduce the
gaps in advantage and disadvantage.”579
Violence Reduction Action Plan, City of Edmonton, 2011
The Violence Reduction Action Plan was developed by REACH Edmonton (above).
Initiatives in the Plan target high risk populations and focus on prevention, intervention,
suppression, and information/engagement. Each focus area has been given a goal along with the
action or actions intended to achieve it and the name of the entity responsible for spearheading
the effort.580
Community Mobilization Project, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
The Community Mobilization Project in Prince Albert began in 2011, and brings together
police, health and social services agencies to reduce crime. In the year since the Project has been
active, crime in St. Albert has fallen by 12%, there have been fewer social services intakes, and
fewer emergency room visits.581 The idea to initiate the Project came after a visit to Glasgow,
Scotland. Chief Dale McFee told the committee that “[w]hen we took our multi-agency team of
11 to Glasgow, Scotland, with our business plan, we found an area that had 15 key indicators that
were the same as ours and at five years of success.”582
578
Stop Now and Plan, http://www.stopnowandplan.com/index1.php
Evidence,15 March 2012, Irvin Waller, p. 30; REACH Edmonton, http://www.reachedmonton.ca/
580
City of Edmonton, REACH Report: REACH Edmonton Council for Safe Communities,
http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/city_organization/reach-report.aspx
581
Winnipeg Free Press, “Saskatchewan pilot project on crime reduction getting attention from others,” 20 April
2012, http://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/city_organization/reach-report.aspx
582
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Dale McFee.
579
189
Project Prevention and Intervention Toronto (PIT) Program, Toronto, Ontario
The Project Prevention and Intervention Toronto Program is supported by Public Safety
Canada’s National Crime Prevention Centre’s Youth Gang Prevention Fund (YGPF) and is
delivered by the City of Toronto’s Social Development, Finance and Administration Division
with support from the University of Toronto’s Centre for Criminology. The project began in
September 2008 and
“...has developed and implemented an integrated, targeted,
evidence-based community program to prevent and reduce the
proliferation of gangs in certain neighborhoods in Toronto,
particularly vulnerable neighborhoods. This includes such
initiatives as proper risk assessment of these youth, intensive
group-based training opportunities that will support the
development of pro-social skills, practical supports for the family
of participating youth to assist them in reducing risk factors, and
building protective factors that will eventually contribute to their
positive social inclusion.” 583
Algonquin College, Ottawa, Victimology Program, Ottawa, Ontario
Heidi Illingworth identified the Victimology Program as a promising practice. She told the
committee that the program is “a graduate certificate program for people who intend to work
with victims of crime. It is a one-year certificate program that teaches about trauma, what people
go through and how they should be dealt with in the community setting.”584
The Fourth R Program
Irvin Waller told the committee that the Fourth R Program is “the only one identified by
the WHO as effective in reducing violence against women. This is the sort of thing you should
be recommending from coast to coast.”585 Primary funding for the Program has been provided by
the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation and the Crooks family, and is an example of how
stakeholders outside government can contribute to reducing community violence.
LiveSAFE in Winnipeg
LiveSAFE in Winnipeg, under the leadership and coordination of the City of Winnipeg,
seeks to strike a balance between enforcement and crime prevention by bringing together
partners in the areas of housing, urban planning, education, citizen engagement, business and
583
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Daniel Sansfaçon; Public Safety Canada, “Project Prevention and Intervention Toronto
(PIT) Program,” http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/prg/cp/ythgng/cpa09-ppitp-eng.aspx
584
Evidence, 8 March 2012, Heidi Illingworth; Algonquin College , Victimology,
http://www2.algonquincollege.com/ppsi/program/victimology/
585
Evidence, Irvin Waller, p. 17; The Fourth R: Relationship Based Violence Prevention,
http://www.youthrelationships.org/research_consulting/national_implementation.html
190
other levels of government.586 Dr. Waller pointed to LiveSAFE in Winnipeg, telling the
committee that“[W]e know that we can reduce violence and property crime upwards of 50 per
cent within a three- to five-year period. Winnipeg reduced car theft by over 85 per cent within a
three-year period.”587
Neighborhood Empowerment Teams, Edmonton, Alberta
The Edmonton Police Service, the Family Centre and the United Way work in partnership
to reduce and prevent crime. According to its website a typical N.E.T. team is made up of a City
of Edmonton Community Capacity Builder, an Edmonton Police Service Constable and a Youth
Capacity Builder from The Family Centre, offering a diverse mix of social, policing and youth
services to the community.588 Karen Leibovici told the committee that NETs
“go into neighborhoods that have issues with regard to capacity and that are high crime
areas, and they work with those neighborhoods, and then they move on to other neighborhoods.
They are getting individuals within those neighborhoods to understand what their strengths are,
to work on their weaknesses, and to build towards the future.”589
Community Action Team (C.A.T.), Edmonton, Alberta
The C.A.T. is a dedicated police unit that is dispatched to neighborhoods that are
experiencing persistent levels of crime. The Team’s role is to disrupt and prevent crime, and to
provide the affected community with assurance that it has the support of the Edmonton Police
Service. The Team works in cooperation with other agencies in education and enforcement
(Edmonton Transit, Edmonton Rangers, and Community Shelters & Outreach Services.)590
Speaking about C.A.T., Karen Leibovici indicated that “[t]hat is part of smart policing because
we work together as the police and social service partners. They engage neighborhoods that are
experiencing enduring levels of violence.”591
24/7 Initiatives, Edmonton, Alberta
Karen Leibovici spoke to Chief Dale’s McFee’s observation that police are often asked to
intervene in situations that they are not trained for when she told the committee that“[p]olice are
engaging in activities that are probably not the most appropriate activities. Police officers spend
a lot of time with individuals with mental illnesses to the detriment of other policing activities.”
She indicated that to address this challenge, Edmonton is “looking at a 24/7 initiative so there are
586
Institute for the Prevention of Crime, University of Ottawa, “A Profile of Crime Prevention Initiatives in the City
of Winnipeg” http://www.sciencessociales.uottawa.ca/ipc/eng/documents/Winnipeg-.pdf
587
Evidence, 15 March 2012, Irvin Waller.
588
Edmonton Police Services,
http://www.edmontonpolice.ca/crimeprevention/neighbourhoodempowermentteams.aspx .
589
Evidence, 15 March 2012, Karen Leibovici.
590
Edmonton Police Service, “Community Action Team (C.A.T.)”
http://www.edmontonpolice.ca/AboutEPS/ViolenceReductionStrategy/CommunityActionTeam.aspx
591
Evidence, 15 March 2012, Karen Leibovici.
191
the right kinds of services available 24/7 to help those vulnerable individuals find a home and
find the services they need to help them get off the streets and allow time for police officers to
deal with crime as opposed to helping those individuals that other types of issues that they might
not have the skills to deal with.”592 She told the committee that the Initiative, which is still
waiting funding, is “a new strategy that is looking at bringing together the different resources
required when there is a call at two o’clock in the morning. Traditionally, that call at two o’clock
in the morning has been to the officer or sometimes to the ambulance worker. [...] we have
firefighters as well.” This traditional approach is one that is costly and inefficient. Ms. Liebovici
testified that“[t]he police and/or the firefighter and/or the ambulance and the emergency worker
come, which means there is a lot of money being spent and it is not for the right kind of
service.”593 She stated that “[W]e are hoping that it can be something that other municipalities
across the country can look at and implement.”594
Injera Initiative, Edmonton, Alberta
The Injera Initiative is a joint effort involving the Edmonton Police Service, the City of
Edmonton, the Multicultural Coalition for Equity in Health and Wellbeing, and REACH
Edmonton. The goal of the Initiative is to build the capacity of the police force to work with
cultural communities so that they can prevent crime together, and to gain a better mutual
understanding of other cultures, including the police culture.595 The Initiative is “working on
enhancing relationships between police and youth.” 596
Women as Victims of Crime
Caroline Andrew identified several promising practices that hold the potential to
effectively address criminal acts that target women. Dr. Andrew pointed to two groups that focus
on “gender-sensitive perspectives on the creation of inclusive and security communities for the
full diversity of women and girls and, therefore for the whole population.”
Women in Cities International / Femmes et villes internationales
Dr. Andrew told the committee that Women in Cities International is “[A] very small
Montreal-based group that does work both in Canada and internationally, and in an area where
Canada has really been a world leader, starting from METRAC in Toronto – on the work of
safety audits and on the work of public safety for women and for everyone.”»597
592
Ibid.
Ibid.
594
Ibid.
595
Edmonton Multicultural Coalition, Injera Initiative, http://www.emcoalition.ca/injeera/
596
Evidence, 15 March 2012, Karen Leibovici,
597
Evidence, 15 February 2012, Caroline Andrew; Women in Cities International/Femmes et villes internationals,
http://www.femmesetvilles.org/
593
192
Together for Women’s Safety: Creating Safer Communities for Marginalized Women
and Everyone.
Together for Women’s Safety: Creating Safer Communities for Marginalized Women and
Everyone is a project carried out in four communities across Canada (Regina, Peel, Gatineau and
Montréal) by Women in Cities International, with funding from Status of Women Canada.
Together for Women’s Safety worked with Aboriginal women in Regina, immigrant women in
Peel, elderly women in Gatineau, and handicapped women in Montréal. The challenge was
“making sure that the real voices of individual women are being heard, and also that those real
voices are [presented in] ways that can be understood by the governments taking decisions.”598
598
Ibid.; Together for Women’s Safety: Creating Safer Communities for Marginalized Women and Everyone,
http://www.femmesetvilles.org/pdf-general/60%20pp-ang.pdf
193
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