How safe is Canada?

Statistics Canada, the country’s national statistical agency, has just released numbers indicating Canada has reached its lowest crime rate in 40 years, despite several recent high profile crimes. Criminal Code violations have been falling for the past eight consecutive years, however media are quick to play up some types of violent crimes because they are indeed so rare. Still, the perception of a more dangerous Canada is likely to deter greater numbers of potential students.

The real, lower numbers in both violent and non-violent crimes should be highlighted more because they are indicative of how effective community action has been. Community policing centres on campuses and around municipalities are getting better at coordinating efforts and programs to protect the public. Schools which are seeing larger numbers of international students must make more of an effort to ensure the many services available to new arrivals.

I agree with UBC professor Margaret Wright who says that Canada is “a safer society than it thinks.” Our years of working together to build a global reputation as a safe place to visit, live and study, must not be undermined. Integrating international students into the community better and ensuring they understand how reach out for assistance must be one of top priorities in keeping Canada safe.

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