Politicians can’t let another year of hate crimes pass without action – Macleans.ca

Not really much insights in this column on the latest StatsCan hate crimes report, nor any particular startling or new recommendations. No real clarity of what government’s acting “forcefully” would entail beyond the Ontario government’s strategy and its emphasis on wider collection of race-based data to inform policy and programs.

The longer-term view shows no clear overall trend: a decline 2009-2011, an increase 2013-15. And no recognition that the recent increase may also reflect a greater willingness to report hate crimes as well as an actual increase.

While any hate crime or equivalent is an abomination, are the numbers really so high compared to the population? How do they compare to other countries?

When racial and religious groups insist discrimination is a hindrance to their success and well-being in Canada, governments must act forcefully to remove this barrier to demonstrate that mistreating someone based on their race or religion is unacceptable in contemporary Canadian society. This display of solidarity from politicians may act as a deterrent to future hate crimes and finally bring down the stubbornly high incidents of hate crimes towards Blacks and Jews, as well as the spike against Muslim Canadians.

Source: Politicians can’t let another year of hate crimes pass without action – Macleans.ca

A closer look at the rise in hate crimes in Canada

Good to see wide coverage of the latest hate crimes report. Of interest are the comments of NCCM on the increase in the number of hate crimes against Canadian Muslims (Muslim group urges Ottawa to speed up release of hate-crime statistics):

The National Council of Canadian Muslims connected the anti-Muslim bias to a backlash over two terror attacks in Paris in 2015. But the group also singled out Conservative Party election campaigning under former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“The Canadian Muslim community bore the brunt of sinister political rhetoric surrounding the federal election, which painted Muslims as terrorists or terrorist sympathizers, as well as being anti-woman,” council vice-chairman Khalid Elgazzar said at a press conference on Parliament Hill.

In an interview, Mr. Elgazzar referred to Conservative pitches in favour of “snitch lines” for so-called barbaric cultural practices, as well as a ban on face veils at citizenship ceremonies.

“Words matter and those words had an impact,” he said. “There was an immediate uptick in terms of incidents of hate being reported to us.”

The Statscan data indicate that hate crimes targeting Muslims in Canada rose to 159 incidents, a 61-per-cent spike over 2014. Jewish people remain the most targeted religious minority in Canada, though reported anti-Semitic incidents declined in 2015 over the previous year, the federal agency said.

Meanwhile, the percentage of women targeted by violent hate crimes increased because of a hike in the number of victimized women in the Jewish and Muslim communities. Over all, the sharpest rise in hate crimes was in Alberta, where officials have already noted an increase in total crime due to the province’s economic downturn.

Still, the true picture of hate in Canada is probably darker than the numbers released on Tuesday suggest. Statscan said the figures “likely undercounts” the real extent of hate crime in Canada because not all crimes are reported to police.

The two-year lag in releasing the figures is problematic at a time when Muslims feel the effects of turmoil linked to global radicalization, the presence of far-right groups in the West and the anti-Muslim rhetoric adopted by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Mr. Elgazzar’s organization has received an influx of complaints about anti-Muslim incidents this year, but they won’t be reflected by Statscan until 2019, he said. The data released on Tuesday are already two years old.

“You can’t build a case without evidence, and the evidence we have is stale,” he said. “It’s 2017 and I’ll tell you we’re having a pretty rough year. But we’re only going to hear about it in 2019.”

I suspect that international news events were a more important factor than the previous government’s playing identity politics (no excuse). Another possible factor, hard if not impossible to measure, is the degree to which Canadian Muslims are more willing to report hate crimes to the police, which has been an issue in the past. Higher numbers may reflect in part better Muslim-police relations.

In terms of timelines required to produce these reports, it would be nice, and should be possible, to have a one-year time lag rather than 18 months as at present, while ensuring the necessary data integrity and consistency.

One of the better overviews, with the relevant charts (just comparing the past two years compared to my eight year comparison The Daily — Police-reported hate crimes, 2015 (with annual 2008-15 data)):

The number of hate crimes in Canada jumped five per cent in 2015 from the year before, according to a Statistic Canada report released Tuesday.

The report looked at a variety of hate-crime statistics—from crime motivations and violations to the demographics of victims and the accused.

In total, 1,362 hate-crimes were reported across the country that year. To put that in perspective, there were nearly two million criminal incidents reported to police in the same year.

An increase in hate-crimes based on religion and race

Two major factor explain the increase—an uptick in religiously-based and race-based hate crimes. Nearly 50 per cent of all hate crimes reported in Canada in 2015 were motivated by hatred of race or ethnicity.

The largest increase in religiously-based hate crimes was against Muslims (an increase of 61 per cent to 159 incidents) and Catholics (a 57 per cent increase to 55 incidents). Jewish people faced the highest level of religiously motivated hate crimes (178 incidents) despite seeing a 16 per cent drop over the two years.

Hate crimes targeting Blacks were still the highest of all racially or ethnically motivated crimes in 2015 (224 incidents), though that was down slightly from the year before.

Hate crimes targeting sexual orientation fell by nine per cent between 2014 and 2015.

Violent hate crimes also increased

Violent hate crimes increased 15 per cent from 2014 to 2015, accounting for more than two-thirds all police-reported hate crimes. The most common types of violent hate-based crimes were assaults, which jumped13 per cent from the year before, and uttering threats, up 22 per cent.

Most victims younger than 35 years old

Nearly 60 per cent of hate crime victims in 2015 were younger than 35 years old, according to the report—a similar percentage as in 2014.

When it comes to victims of hate crimes motivated by religion, however, victims were younger than the year before—people under 35 accounted for nearly 60 per cent of victims in 2015, up from around two-thirds the year before.

FINAL---Characteristics-of-hate-crime-victims,-Canada,-2015-(%)

People accused of religious hate crimes are most likely to be under 18 years old

In more than 22 per cent of religious hate crime incidents, young people aged 12 to 17 years old were the perpetrators. Meanwhile people under the age of 24 were responsible for slightly more than half of hate crimes that targeted sexual orientation.

FINAL---age-distribution-of-persons-accused-of-hate-crimes-nationally,-2015--ungrouped

In its report, StatsCan suggested that the actual number of hate crimes could be considerably higher than what it found. It estimated that in two thirds of cases of hate crime, victims don’t file complaints with police. The agency also cautioned that the reporting rates can also vary by the targeted population—for example, some demographic groups might be more willing to report than others.

Source: A closer look at the rise in hate crimes in Canada – Macleans.ca

The Daily — Police-reported hate crimes, 2015 (with annual 2008-15 data)

The annual Statistics Canada hate crimes report. Three charts to summarize the latest report in comparison with previous years. The first chart shows the total number by category:

The second shows how the percentage of hate crimes against ethnic groups has shifted over time:

Lastly, this chart shows how religiously-motivate hate crimes have shifted, with the increase of hate crimes against Muslims notable:

Hate crimes rose by 5% in Canada in 2015, largely due to an increase in incidents targeting certain religious and ethno-cultural groups, specifically the Muslim population and Arabs or West Asians. For the year, police reported 1,362 criminal incidents that were motivated by hate in Canada, 67 more than the previous year.

These findings are included in the new Juristat article “Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2015” released today.

Police-reported hate crimes refer to criminal incidents that, upon investigation by police, are found to have been motivated by hatred toward an identifiable group, as defined in subparagraph 718.2(a)(i) of the Criminal Code of Canada. An incident may be against a person or property and may target race, colour, national or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, language, sex, age, mental or physical disability, among other factors. In addition, there are four specific offences listed as hate propaganda offences or hate crimes in the Criminal Code of Canada: advocating genocide, public incitement of hatred, willful promotion of hatred, and mischief motivated by hate in relation to religious property. Police determine whether or not a crime was motivated by hatred based on information gathered during the investigation and common national guidelines for record classification.

Overall, police reported 469 Criminal Code incidents in 2015 that were motivated by hatred of a religion, 40 more incidents than the previous year. These accounted for 35% of hate-motivated crimes reported in 2015.

Police-reported hate crimes targeting the Muslim population increased from 99 incidents in 2014 to 159 incidents in 2015, an increase of 61%. At the same time, the number of police-reported crimes targeting the Jewish population declined from 213 in 2014 to 178 in 2015. Hate crimes targeting the Jewish population accounted for 13% of all hate crimes, followed closely by hate crimes targeting the Muslim population (12%).

Approximately 10% of the population in Canada were part of a non-Christian religion in 2016. According to recent projections by Statistics Canada, the number of people in Canada with a non-Christian religion could almost double by 2036. Within this group, the Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths would see the number of their followers grow more quickly, although still representing a small portion of the population overall. In 2015, a number of police services increased outreach to ethnic groups, including Muslim communities. In addition, the National Council of Canadian Muslims made efforts to encourage reporting of hate crimes to police.

Increase in hate crimes against Arab and West Asian populations

From 2014 to 2015, the number of police-reported crimes motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity increased 5%. Much of this increase was a result of more hate crimes targeting Arab and West Asian populations (+33%). Although down in 2015, crimes targeting Black populations remained the most common type of hate crime related to race or ethnicity (17% of all hate crimes). Overall, 48% of all police-reported hate crimes in 2015 were motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity.

National increase in hate crimes driven by more incidents being reported by police in Alberta

In all, 8 of 10 provinces reported an increase in the number of police-reported hate crimes from 2014 to 2015. The increase was most pronounced in Alberta, where police reported 193 hate crimes compared with 139 the year before (+39%). This increase was primarily driven by a higher number of police-reported crimes motivated by hatred against the Muslim population (+12 incidents), Arab or West Asian populations (+10), Black populations (+9), and the Jewish population (+8). It should be noted that Alberta also reported an overall increase in their 2015 crime statistics.

In contrast, in Ontario, which historically records close to half the total number of hate crimes in Canada (46%), the number of police-reported hate crimes declined by 5% from 2014. The decrease in Ontario was primarily driven by fewer police-reported hate crimes motivated by hatred against the Jewish religion (-30 incidents) and against the Black population (-19).

From 2014 to 2015, police-reported crime motivated by hatred against the Muslim population increased in all provinces except Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where the totals remained virtually the same.

Number of hate crime incidents grows in four of Canada’s ten largest census metropolitan areas

Chart 1  Chart 1: Police-reported hate crimes, by census metropolitan area, 2015
Police-reported hate crimes, by census metropolitan area, 2015

Chart 1: Police-reported hate crimes, by census metropolitan area, 2015

More than 80% of police-reported hate crimes in Canada occurred in census metropolitan areas (CMAs). The 10 largest CMAs in Canada, home to over half of Canada’s population, accounted for 71% of hate crimes in 2015. The three most populous CMAs of Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver together accounted for 43% of police-reported incidents in 2015.

Of the 10 largest CMAs in Canada, 4 reported more hate crimes in 2015 compared with the previous year, while 5 reported fewer such crimes. Vancouver reported the same number of incidents in 2015 as in 2014. The largest increases in hate crime incidents were reported in Edmonton (+45 incidents), Montréal (+39) and Kitchener–Waterloo–Cambridge (+23).

The increase in the Edmonton CMA was driven by more reported hate crime incidents against a race or ethnicity (+25) and against a religion (+17), mainly targeting the Muslim (+8) and Jewish (+7) populations. The number of hate crimes in Montréal was attributable to 33 more reported incidents targeting a religion. Of the additional incidents, 20 of these targeted the Muslim population. In the CMA of Kitchener–Waterloo–Cambridge, counts were primarily driven by more incidents targeting different races or ethnicities (+12) and religions (+10).

Increase reported in number of female victims of violent hate crimes

Females were more likely to be victims in incidents targeting a religion, and the presence of female victims in violent crimes motivated by hatred of a religion increased in 2015. That year, 53% of these victims were female, compared with 40% in 2014. The increase in female victims of religious hate crimes is attributed to an increase in female victims for Jewish and Muslim hate crimes from 2014 to 2015.

Victims of hate crimes targeting a sexual orientation are most likely to sustain an injury and know the accused

Police-reported hate crimes targeting sexual orientation declined 9% for the year, down from 155 incidents in 2014 to 141 incidents in 2015. They accounted for 11% of the hate crimes reported in 2015.

Unlike other types of hate crimes, almost 6 in 10 of reported crimes motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation were violent. This compares with 45% of anti-race or ethnicity offences, and 24% of anti-religion hate crimes. Just over 4 in 10 victims of hate crimes targeting a sexual orientation (42%) reported an injury, compared with victims of violent crimes motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity (29%) and of a religion (12%).

Victims of violent hate crimes targeting sexual orientation were more likely to list the relationship as acquaintance or family member (47%). This compares with victims of violent crimes motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity (36%) and of a religion (26%).

Violent hate crimes increase in 2015, but still account for less than half of hate crimes

Violent offences accounted for 38% of police-reported hate crimes in 2015. Violent offences included such things as assault, uttering threats, and criminal harassment. Overall, the number of violent hate crimes increased 15% from the previous year, driven by increases in common assault and uttering threats.

From 2014 to 2015, the total number of non-violent hate crime incidents increased by 5%. Mischief, which includes vandalism and graffiti, was the most commonly reported offence among police-reported hate crimes, accounting for 44% of all hate crime incidents in 2015.

Source: The Daily — Police-reported hate crimes, 2015

StatsCan’s website struggled with software issues for almost a month, emails show

More bad news about Shared Services Canada:

Statistics Canada’s busy website was partially disabled for much longer than previously reported, as technicians struggled for more than three weeks to bring all of its functions back.

The long, slow road to web restoration is documented in a series of emails obtained by CBC News under the Access to Information Act — emails that raise fresh questions about the performance of Shared Services Canada, the government’s controversial IT agency.

The Statistics Canada website was taken offline late on March 9, after the government was alerted the day before that a common web software tool, known as Apache Struts 2, was vulnerable to hackers.

The Canada Revenue Agency site was taken down for the same reason, just as tax-filing season began.

At a March 13 news conference, a government official said the problems had been resolved after three days.

“We are pleased to note that any affected websites have been patched and have been returned to normal operations,” said Jennifer Dawson, of the Treasury Board Secretariat. Officials said at least one hacker got into the Statistics Canada site, but did no damage, and confidential CRA data was never compromised.

The CRA website appeared to operate without further problems after the fix.

But the released emails show the Statistics Canada website remained dysfunctional for weeks as a series of new problems were revealed.

“We received the results this morning and there are still some vulnerabilities so the focus will be to fix them and re-scan them today,” says one March 27 update.

Shared Services Canada, the troubled IT agency now responsible for maintaining Statistics Canada’s website, confirmed to CBC News that there were “intermittent outages” until April 4 — or 26 days after the problems were first identified.

The emails also suggest Statistics Canada was sometimes not in the loop as Shared Services Canada worked to restore the public-facing website, which is virtually the only means for widely disseminating data to Canadians.

Morning after

The decision to take down the website was made by Shared Services Canada, rather than by chief statistician Anil Anora or other senior Statistics Canada officials.

Internal emails suggest that a problem with Statistics Canada’s website was not reported to the current chief statistician, Anil Anora, until the day after Shared Services Canada decided to take down the site.

Anora and the other officials only learned it had come down the morning after, shortly before the Labour Force Survey — a key monthly jobs report — was scheduled to be posted online, emails show.

Wayne Smith, the former chief statistician who resigned in protest last September citing Statistics Canada’s eroding independence, says the incident shows the agency is still beholden to an ineffective IT provider.

“This was the longest outage of Statistics Canada’s website since it began operation,” Smith said after reviewing the released emails. “There is a risk of this type of event becoming ever more frequent, resulting in a serious degradation of service.”

And despite the Liberal government’s efforts to fix Shared Services Canada, the IT agency remains a problem for other government departments as well, he said.

“Still the same crowd, steering the bureaucratic boat that brought us the failed email system, Phoenix, the outrageously expensive integrated government website, and projects spinning out of control that haven’t yet hit the headlines.”

The released emails have numerous redactions, most to protect security information, and Shared Services Canada declined to fill in the blanks.

‘Consulted’ with StatsCan

A spokesperson for Shared Services Canada, Andrée Gregoire, said the agency “consulted” with Statistics Canada before taking the web servers offline, though a released email uses the word “notified.”

Source: StatsCan’s website struggled with software issues for almost a month, emails show – Politics – CBC News

U.S. consultants slam Shared Services Canada for failing projects

To the current government’s credit, it engaged Gartner to review the implementation of the shared services initiative.

The question remains whether officials who promoted and supported the previous government’s strategy provided sound advice on the risks and mitigation strategies, and whether or not Ministers and the government accepted it or not.

Complex IT projects are hard, and government by its very nature is not agile, further exacerbating risk:

Ottawa is in way over its head by attempting a massive transformation of its information-technology (IT) systems under Shared Services Canada, says a scathing indictment of the agency’s failings since 2011.

The government of Canada “has vastly underestimated the size, scale and complexity of this effort. … They are attempting the largest and most complex public-sector shared-service implementation ever considered,” concludes a $1.35-million report by international consultants.

“We … lack confidence in the ability of SSC (Shared Services Canada) and the GC (Government of Canada) to successfully execute the plan.”

The Jan. 12, 2017, report by consultant Gartner Inc. was ordered by the federal government last August, after repeated failures of the Phoenix payroll system and complaints from departments about Shared Services Canada’s inability to deliver technology upgrades, including new email systems.

U.S.-based Gartner brought together a five-person expert panel to examine the agency and its projects, a group that included executives experienced in public-sector digital transformations in California, Massachusetts and Northern Ireland, as well as the former IBM executive who handled big projects within that firm.

Shared Services Canada outsourcing

A $1.35-million consultants’ report, obtained by CBC News under the Access to Information Act, says Shared Services Canada is in way over its head trying to manage a massive transformation of technology. (Shutterstock)

The report lauds the project of consolidating the federal government’s information technology, including creation of a single email system, but says “very little progress” has been made in the last six years because of persistent management failures.

“Decision making cannot follow current approaches,” said the document, obtained by CBC News under the Access to Information Act.

“Execution must be based on agile, effective decision making, with clear and singular accountabilities. This is the antithesis of governance today.”

The report repeatedly underscores the enormous scale of the consolidation project, likening it to combining the infrastructure of between 30 and 40 large banks.

Slow-footed

The consultants say Shared Services Canada is slow-footed, partly hobbled by complex procurement rules, so that an email solution it chose in 2011 and still has not completed has since been outmoded by new cloud services.

“The world in 2016 is much different from how it was in 2011, and the expert panel and Gartner believe developments such as cloud services should be given much more prominence in SSC’s future,” said the 198-page report.

Some of the document is redacted, including key financial information. The authors make a series of recommendations, chief of which is the appointment of a deputy minister for IT for all of government, to whom the head of Shared Services Canada would report.

In April 2011, then-prime minister Stephen Harper lauded the project to consolidate the government’s IT systems and data centres, saying on the election campaign trail that year that “we know we can save all kinds of money there.”

‘The project was set up to fail through underfunding, lack of service standards, and poor planning from the previous government.’– Jean-Luc Ferland, spokesperson for Treasury Board President Scott Brison

The new agency charged with carrying out the transformation, Shared Services Canada, was announced on Aug. 4, 2011, after Harper won a majority.

But two projects in particular went off the rails in the early going, one to consolidate cell and telephone services, the other to consolidate email services. Both have been plagued by delays, among other problems.

And the new agency was immediately required to cut costs as part of a government-wide effort to wipe out the federal deficit by 2015.

Shared Services Canada data centre

Shared Services Canada is the department responsible for the federal government’s IT services, including its data centres. A new report says the federal government must create a new deputy minister of IT, to help get the troubled agency back on track. (Shared Services Canada)

Jean-Luc Ferland, a spokesperson for Treasury Board President Scott Brison, welcomed the consultants’ conclusions and recommendations, pinning much of the blame for the bad results on the former Conservative government.

“As the report makes clear, the motivation and objectives behind the creation of Shared Services Canada are even more relevant today than they were when it was conceived in 2011,” said Ferland.

“The report is equally clear that the former Conservative government failed to put in place the basic fundamentals for success at the time SSC was created. The project was set up to fail through underfunding, lack of service standards, and poor planning from the previous government.”

No timeline

Ferland said the government is still reviewing the recommendations, alongside those of the auditor general, House of Commons committees and other consultations. He did not provide a timeline for solutions.

“Our government’s ambition is to provide exemplary service to Canadians while making a seamless transformation to the age of digital government — not booking false savings, arbitrarily hobbling the public service, or cutting corners.”

Source: U.S. consultants slam Shared Services Canada for failing projects – Politics – CBC News

Wayne Smith, former Chief Statistician, continues his critique of Shared Services: Questionable transfers from Statistics Canada to Shared Services Canada

 

Almost 7 in 10 Metro residents will be non-white in two decades: Todd

From the Statistics Canada 2036 projections:

Canada is experiencing the fastest rate of ethnic change of any country in the Western world, say international demographers.

Almost seven of 10 Metro Vancouver residents will be visible minorities, or non-whites, in less than two decades, says Eric Kaufmann, a professor at University of London, Birkbeck, citing Statistics Canada projections.

In addition, Kaufmann said, University of Laval professor Patrice Dion has worked with Statistics Canada officials to develop projections that suggest Canada as a whole, at the current rate of immigration, will be almost 80 per cent non-white in less than a century.

While the rapid pace of change likely will not  hurt Canada’s economy, Kaufmann said, it will continue to have great effect on the ethnic make-up of cities such as Greater Toronto and Metro Vancouver.

These two Canadian cities and others will, in just a few years, become “majority minority,” a term describing places in which one or more ethnic minority (relative to the country’s population) make up a majority of the local population.

 A 2017 Statistics Canada report, titled Immigration and Diversity: Population Projections, forecasts the number of Canadians with visible minority status will “increase more rapidly than the rest of the population” and “could more than double by 2036 to between 12.8 million and 16.3 million.”

The cities that will have the highest levels of visible minorities by 2036 will be Greater Toronto, Metro Vancouver, Calgary, Abbotsford-Mission, Edmonton and Winnipeg.

Non-whites already make up almost half the residents of Greater Toronto and Metro Vancouver.

…Meanwhile, Canada is undergoing “the fastest rate of ethnic change of any country in the Western world,” Kaufmann said, describing how 300,000 immigrants are arriving each year in a country of 35 million people, with four in five of those immigrants being visible minorities.

“The United States’ per capita immigration rate is only one-third to one-half as fast as Canada’s. … At the same time (U.S. President Donald) Trump has promised to reduce America’s inflows by half,” Kaufmann said.

“Europe is also generally tightening inflows and only 300,000 non-Europeans enter the European Union, population 510 million, each year. Most immigrant-receiving Western European states will be at least three-quarters European origin in 2050.”

In Canada, whites currently make up about 80 per cent of the population.

Kaufmann, however, drew attention to a study led by the University of Laval’s Patrice Dion and Statistics Canada official Eric Caron-Malenfant that projects that by 2106, the vast majority of Canada’s population will be descendants of immigrants who arrived after 2006.

Assuming that four in five immigrants during that time period will continue to be non-white, Kaufmann projected that by 2106 whites will account for between 12 to 38 per cent of the population.

“I think a reasonable middle conclusion is that Canada will be 20 per cent white, 65 per cent non-white and 15 per cent mixed race by 2106,” he said.

“Canada will probably become a ‘majority-minority’ country around 2060.”

Source: Almost 7 in 10 Metro residents will be non-white in two decades | Vancouver Sun

StatCan report: Immigration and Diversity: Population Projections for Canada and its Regions, 2011 to 2036 (91-551-X2017001)

Statistique Canada minimise le recul du français | Le Devoir

A somewhat complex read on the metholology of official language statistics, arguing that the maternal language, rather than language most used, understates the relative decline of French:

Le poids du français au Québec recule de façon jamais vue, alors que l’anglais s’est mis à progresser. Dans sa récente étude Projections linguistiques pour le Canada, 2011 à 2036, Statistique Canada s’emploie à minimiser cette nouvelle dynamique.

Selon l’étude, le poids du français, tant langue maternelle que langue d’usage, continuerait de chuter rapidement, tandis que l’anglais poursuivrait sa lente progression. Mais le français reculerait nettement moins comme la première langue officielle parlée, ou PLOP, voire pas du tout sur l’île de Montréal.

La PLOP se calcule à partir des données sur la connaissance des langues officielles, la langue maternelle et la langue d’usage. Rappelons que la Commission Laurendeau-Dunton avait jugé que la langue maternelle ne nous renseigne pas sur la langue courante des personnes recensées. Elle avait suggéré d’ajouter une question sur leur langue d’usage à la maison, en précisant que « nous croyons qu’on devrait utiliser [les réponses] par la suite comme base de calcul ».

Statistique Canada a choisi d’accorder néanmoins priorité à la langue maternelle sur la langue d’usage pour répartir les individus en quatre groupes qui ont comme PLOP le français, l’anglais, le français et l’anglais, ou ni le français ni l’anglais. Pour abréger, appelons-les francoplops, angloplops, biplops et niplops.

L’organisme fédéral compte d’abord tout unilingue français comme francoplop et tout unilingue anglais comme angloplop. Parmi les individus restants, qui sont bilingues ou encore ne connaissent ni le français ni l’anglais, il compte comme francoplops ceux qui ont comme langue maternelle le français ou le français et une langue non officielle, et comme angloplops ceux qui ont comme langue maternelle l’anglais ou l’anglais et une langue non officielle. Il fait ensuite de même avec la langue d’usage pour définir d’autres francoplops et angloplops. Enfin, Statistique Canada compte les allophones qui ne connaissent ni le français ni l’anglais comme niplops et compte tous les autres individus non encore répartis comme biplops. La grande majorité des biplops sont des allophones bilingues qui parlent encore leur langue maternelle comme langue d’usage.

Il est instructif de suivre plutôt la Commission Laurendeau-Dunton et d’inverser les étapes de ce calcul qui font appel à la langue maternelle et à la langue d’usage. La PLOP de Statistique Canada compte 7 507 885 francoplops au Canada en 2011. La PLOP Laurendeau-Dunton, qui priorise la langue d’usage, en compte 7 173 425. D’une PLOP à l’autre, leur poids au Canada passe de 22,7 % à 21,7 %.

La différence provient pour l’essentiel de l’anglicisation des francophones. En 2011, le Canada comptait 448 805 individus de langue maternelle française mais de langue d’usage anglaise. Ce sont des francoplops, selon Statistique Canada, mais des angloplops, selon l’approche Laurendeau-Dunton. L’organisme gonfle ainsi le nombre de francoplops au Canada, en particulier à l’extérieur du Québec.

L’anglicisation sévit aussi, toutefois, dans l’île de Montréal, qui compte 59,7 % de francoplops, manière Laurendeau-Dunton, comparativement à 60,6 % selon Statistique Canada.

L’étude nous induit en erreur sur un autre point. Elle redistribue arbitrairement les biplops de façon égale entre francoplops et angloplops. Appelons donc francobiplops et anglobiplops les nouveaux regroupements grossis par ce forcing arbitraire. L’étude affirme que les biplops ne représentent pas plus de 0,5 % de la population, autrement dit que son forcing ne modifie pas de façon significative notre perception des choses.

C’est faux. En 2011, les biplops représentaient au Canada 1,1 % de la population. Au Québec, c’était 3,1 %. Dans la région de Montréal, 5,7 %. Dans l’île, 8,2 %.

Nous sommes maintenant à même de saisir comment l’auteur de l’étude, Jean-Claude Corbeil, a pu prétendre le 26 janvier dernier dans Le Devoir que « si on utilise plutôt la PLOP, on constate que les deux tiers des Montréalais sont plus à l’aise en français [qu’en anglais] ». Et qu’« en 2036, on devrait toujours, selon les divers scénarios, demeurer à ce niveau-là ».

Il faut d’abord faire semblant que la PLOP façon Statistique Canada indique correctement dans quelle langue officielle un individu se sent le plus à l’aise. Cela produit 60,6 % de francoplops pour l’île de Montréal en 2011. Outre ce que donne ainsi la PLOP, proprement dite, il faut ajouter la moitié du 8,2 % de biplops. Cela donne presque 65 % de francobiplops. D’où le « deux tiers ». Puis, on fait de même pour 2036. L’étude ne révèle pas le détail de ses projections, mais elles font sans doute passer les francoplops – même calculés façon Statistique Canada – sous le seuil de 60 %, et hissent en même temps les biplops au-dessus de 10 %. Ce qui donnerait de nouveau quelque 65 % de francobiplops.

Or, en 2011, l’île de Montréal comptait trois allophones bilingues (anglais et français) de langue d’usage anglaise pour deux qui s’étaient francisés. Le temps seul nous dira comment les allophones bilingues se répartiront à l’avenir entre le français et l’anglais. Cela dépendra notamment du rapport de force entre le français et l’anglais, comme langues d’usage. Selon l’étude elle-même, si rien ne change, ce rapport continuerait à se détériorer. Deux choix s’offrent à nous : nous laisser endormir en comptant les francobiplops ou agir pour mettre fin à la dynamique actuelle des langues au Québec.

Source: Statistique Canada minimise le recul du français | Le Devoir

Statscan can’t afford for data access to play favourites

Former Chief Statistician Wayne Smith’s critique of Shared Services Canada may have some merit as this example illustrates:

There were some curious and intriguing details behind the headlines of Statistics Canada’s monthly employment report, as there always are. It’s a serious shame – and a serious problem – that almost no one could see them.

Again.

The national statistical agency’s website was out of commission since early Friday morning, before the 8:30 a.m. ET release of the February labour force survey. As of late afternoon, Statscan’s website remained dark; the details of one of the most important economic indicators of its monthly calendar were invisible to the Canadian public all day.

(By the way, the report showed that the Canadian economy added an estimated 15,000 net new jobs in February, a bit better than economists had expected, and the unemployment rate dropped to 6.6 per cent, matching an eight-year low.)

You might recall that something like this happened before, about eight months ago, when Statscan’s systems were down for more than seven hours on another jobs-report Friday. Not to mention the many, many occasions that Statscan’s website has fizzled out for much briefer periods shortly after the release of major economic indicators, during moments of peak traffic scrambling for the fresh data.

At the time of this writing, we don’t know what the problem was with Friday’s system failure. Neither Statscan nor Shared Services Canada, the agency that oversees e-mail, data and network services across the vast breadth of the federal public service, got back to us with an explanation. Certainly past snafus have been placed at the feet of Shared Services, the $1.9-billion brainchild of the previous Conservative government that was supposed to streamline Ottawa’s complex tangle of information technology, but has instead been blamed for everything from AWOL paycheques to RCMP systems failures.

The previous head of Statscan, Wayne Smith, resigned last September over Shared Services’ handling of Statscan’s information systems, which he said had not only become “disruptive, ineffective, slow and unaffordable,” but compromised the independence and confidentiality of the statistical agency’s data.

Now, I’m not here to point fingers. But the point is that these Statscan failures, while maybe not the same risk to public safety as the RCMP’s problems, are more than just a nuisance to the economists and journalists who wallow in these economic numbers.

The system problems, when they arise, create inequitable distribution of information that is relied on, and more to the point traded on, by financial markets. That’s a serious problem.

In the case of Friday’s jobs data, instead of every market participant being able to see the same data at the same time on the same website, each was left to his or her own devices (literally and figuratively). The lucky ones had access to Bloomberg data and news terminals, the expensive yet indispensable toys of professional trading operations, where at least the basic highlights of the report would have been fairly quickly disseminated. Others could have turned to media reports from the smattering of news organizations that attended Statscan’s pre-release lockup (in which reporters were given the release in advance but kept sequestered in a room, unable to communicate the information until the moment of the release time).

But if you were in need of the deeper statistical details below the surface of these quick-hit reports, good luck. Even the research departments of the big banks were scrambling, relying on friendly contacts at Statscan to e-mail to them whatever data they could.

All of which not only delayed the dissemination of this key economic data to the public and to financial markets, but also resulted in some very uneven distribution – in terms of both the timeliness and the amount of information that reached different sets of ears and eyes with an interest in the data.

And the employment data are very significant indeed to the bond and currency markets, especially now. It has become increasingly evident that the direction the Bank of Canada will take on interest rates hinges substantially on the evolution of the labour market. In its rate decision earlier this month, the central bank pointed specifically to “subdued growth in wages and hours” as key evidence of “persistent economic slack” in Canada.

And indeed, the February jobs report showed that despite the improvements in hiring and the unemployment rate, growth in wages and hours worked remained disappointing. Knowledge of this spoke volumes to any bond or currency trader placing bets on the timing of future Bank of Canada rate moves. And some traders had access to this information long before others.

That’s simply unacceptable.

As long as these technology problems persist, they undermine the integrity of an independent, impartial national statistics provider. Access to critical data can’t play favourites, even if it’s by accident.

Source: Statscan can’t afford for data access to play favourites – The Globe and Mail

New census technology under close watch as Statcan looks to the future

Looking forward to the results from the long-form census as they come out (short-form provides overview, long-form fills in many details). Makes sense to use existing government data to extent possible (CRA income data should be more reliable than self-reporting):

With just days to go before the very first release of data from the 2016 census, there is an unusual calm outside Marc Hamel’s Statistics Canada office.

A calm before the storm, perhaps.

After all, Wednesday’s release will be watched closely by federal officials, demographers and urban planners — all of whom use the data to help political leaders make myriad decisions that affect the daily lives of Canadians.

This time around, however, some of the keenest observers will be census director Hamel and his staff, watching to see if their new census data-collection methods are hitting their mark.

Statistics Canada has been quietly working on a plan for 2026 to eliminate the mandatory short-form census that goes to every household, instead using existing government databases to conduct a virtual count of the population. The plan, if successful, could mean millions in savings for federal coffers.

The closer the census numbers are to the tests being conducted by Hamel’s team, the more likely that multiple pages of the census questionnaire will be dropped during the next count in 2021, or replaced altogether one day in the future with an electronic count of the population.

This year, for instance, the agency cut two pages about income from the long-form questionnaire and replaced the questions with readily available and, arguably, more reliable Canada Revenue Agency data. Other questions, too, will eventually be replaced with information from existing administrative databases, making it easier to collect the details that comprise the census portrait.

Hamel said the challenge for his staff is to find a way to accurately reflect the Canadian population as it is at any point in time.

“The census as we run it now is very high quality, so anything that we would come up with in the future would have to be as high quality as it is today,” said Hamel.

One particular challenge for an electronic census: address information in various administrative files doesn’t always correspond to where people actually live, making it hard to be confident people are being counted in the right places.

And what about technology?

The majority of Canadians filled out their census questionnaires online, cutting down the time required to input data, and helping to speed up the release of information. Hamel said there might be other technological changes coming for future censuses, but it’s hard to predict what that might entail when census day rolls around again in 2021.

The question that guides planning for the next census and beyond is simple: will this work the same way next time?

“Four years in census terms — for me anyway — it’s short. It’s not a long time to prepare to make sure that we get it right. But at the same time, from a technological point of view, it’s fairly long,” Hamel said.

“It’s always a bit difficult to predict how technology will evolve in a short period of time and how that might have an impact on how the census might be rolled out.”

The questions on the census are also likely to change by 2021, with consultations starting this fall on what things Statistics Canada should and shouldn’t be measuring any more. One question likely to change is about sex and gender, which this year didn’t include a third option for transgender Canadians, Hamel noted.

“Society keeps evolving, so I think that from a census point of view, the census questions and questionnaire should be evolving with it.”

Source: New census technology under close watch as Statcan looks to the future | Toronto Star

Population Projections for Canada and its Regions, 2011 to 2036

sc-2036-vismin-002While I expect most of my readers will have seen the media reports on the latest population projections and will be familiar with the trends, here is the StatsCan summary of their findings.

One of the more striking findings is the likelihood that despite federal and provincial efforts to diversify where immigrants choose to settle and remain, relatively little change is seen from the current concentration in the major census metropolitan areas.

And as is currently the case, Montreal is likely to remain less diverse in terms of immigrants and visible minorities compared not only to Toronto and Vancouver but also Calgary and Winnipeg.

The other finding is the large increase in the number of second generation immigrants, where one in five is expected to be in 2036.

The full report is worth reading given the range of detailed information it provides even if, like all scenarios and projections, a note of caution is required.

And overall, given these trends, it is even more important to ensure that we get our immigration, citizenship and multiculturalism policies right to ensure our continued relative success in integrating newcomers and their children into Canadian society.

Immigrant and second-generation populations

  • Based on the projection scenarios used, immigrants would represent between 24.5% and 30.0% of Canada’s population in 2036, compared with 20.7% in 2011. These would be the highest proportions since 1871.
  • In 2036, between 55.7% and 57.9% of Canada’s immigrant population could have been born in Asia, up from 44.8% estimated in 2011, while between 15.4% and 17.8% could have been born in Europe, down from 31.6% in 2011.
  • The proportion of the second-generation population, i.e., non‑immigrants with at least one parent born abroad, within the total Canadian population would also increase. In 2036, nearly one in five people would be of second generation, compared with 17.5% in 2011.
  • Together, immigrants and second-generation individuals could represent nearly one person in two (between 44.2% and 49.7%) in 2036, up from 2011 (38.2%).

Languages

  • According to all scenarios used for these projections, the population whose mother tongue is neither English nor French would be up and could account for between 26.1% and 30.6% of Canada’s population in 2036, versus 20.0% in 2011.
  • As in 2011, immigrants would make up the majority—close to 70% in all scenarios—of the population whose mother tongue is neither English nor French. However, close to 40% of these other-mother-tongue immigrants would have adopted English or French as the language spoken most often at home, either alone or with other languages.

Visible minority status

  • According to the results of these projections, in 2036, among the working-age population (15 to 64 years), of special interest for the application of the Employment Equity Act, between 34.7% and 39.9% could belong to a visible minority group, compared with 19.6% in 2011.
  • In all the projection scenarios, South Asian would still be the main visible minority group in 2036, followed by the Chinese. However, the most rapidly growing groups would be the Arab, Filipino and West Asian groups, given that they represent a higher proportion in the immigrant population than in the population as a whole.

Religion

  • The proportion of people who report having no religion in the total population would continue to increase, and could represent between 28.2% and 34.6% in 2036 (compared with 24.0% in 2011). This proportion would be similar to Catholics (between 29.2% and 32.8% in 2036, down from 2011 [38.8%]). In 2036, Catholicism would remain the religion with the largest number of followers.
  • The number of people affiliated with non-Christian religions could almost double by 2036 and could represent between 13% and 16% of Canada’s population, compared with 9% in 2011. The Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths, which are over-represented among immigrants compared to their demographic weight in the population as a whole, would see the number of their followers grow more quickly, even if it would continue to represent a modest share of the total Canadian population.

Regional analysis

  • The results of the different scenarios show that in all provinces and territories, the number and the proportion of immigrants in the population would increase between 2011 and 2036.
  • Based on all the projection scenarios, the geographic distribution of immigrants among the various regions in 2036 would be similar to the estimate in 2011. The vast majority (between 91.7% and 93.4%) would continue to live in a census metropolitan area (CMA). The three primary areas of residence for immigrants would remain Toronto (between 33.6% and 39.1%), Montréal (between 13.9% and 14.6%) and Vancouver (between 12.4% and 13.1%).
  • According to all the scenarios for these projections, more than one in two people in 2036 would be an immigrant or the child of an immigrant in Toronto (between 77.0% and 81.4%), Vancouver (between 69.4% and 74.0%), Calgary (between 56.2% and 63.3%) and Abbotsford – Mission (between 52.5% and 57.4%). In 2011, the corresponding proportions were 74.1% in Toronto, 65.6% in Vancouver, 48.0% in Calgary and 49.7% in Abbotsford – Mission.
  • The results of the projections show that the proportion of the working-age population (aged 15 to 64) who belong to a visible minority group would increase in all areas of the country, in all the scenarios. This proportion would surpass 40% in Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Abbotsford – Mission. It would remain lower in non-metropolitan areas.
  • The results of the projections indicate that religious diversity would be up in all areas considered by 2036. The increase would be more substantial in areas that were the most homogeneous in 2011, i.e., Quebec (excluding Montréal) and in the Atlantic provinces, primarily because of the rise in the proportion of people who reported having no religion.
  • The most religiously diverse areas in 2011 would remain as such in 2036. Among them, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton, which had a large proportion of immigrants among their population in 2011, would continue to be diverse, in particular as a result of the increase in the proportion of persons reporting a non-Christian religion.

Source: Population Projections for Canada and its Regions, 2011 to 2036