Category Archives: Masters2018_3

Immigration’s impact on Linguistic Diversity in Ottawa


A decrease in Chinese languages spoken in Ottawa could be connected to Canada’s new Express Entry visa. The visa prioritizes applications of immigrants who can speak English or French. Canada has accepted more immigrants from English speaking countries such as India and the Philippines. Rupert Yeung the Director of the Ottawa Chinese Immigrant Services commented that, “Immigrants from these two countries are now at the top of the list and China has dropped off to the third place. But immigrants from China will continue to come to Canada, attracted by Canada’s superior education system, rule of law, human rights and freedom and above all, its clean air and environment.”

Linguistic Growth in Ottawa

Chinese n.o.s. (not otherwise specified) decreased by a staggering -1376 per cent. Chinese n.o.s. languages include Mandarin, Cantonese, Hakka, Taiwanese, Chaochow, Fukien or Shanghainese. Despite the decrease, Chinese immigrants are immigrating to Ottawa at a high rate, as reflected in the 51 per cent increase in Mandarin. Statistics Canada.

China has been at the top of the Skilled Worker visa in the past. However, due to an emphasis on speaking English and French in Canada's new Express Entry visa, India and Philippines are now topping the charts.
Take a look at how Ottawa compares to the rest of Canada. Mandarin is the 5th most spoken mother tongue in Ottawa, while it tops the charts nationwide. Arabic ranks number one in Ottawa, while it is the 6th most spoken mother tongue across Canada.

An 11 per cent increase in Arabic spoken in Ottawa is partially due to the federal government’s decision to bring a significant number of Syrian refugees to Canada. Ottawa has resettled over 3,000 Syrian refugees since 2015. Syria was the third most accepted country for permanent resident applicants in 2016.

According to Hassan Ezdahmad, Program Coordinator of the Services for Syrian Refugees Program, most Syrian refugees arrive with little English language skills. His program operates on an annual contract with the federal government. Ezdahmad worries about how clients who access services such as language programs and employment training would be affected if the contract isn’t renewed next year. “It’s very challenging to develop programs annually,” said Ezdahmad. “We know Canada is a country of immigrants and will always have newcomers. It’s critical that the newcomers you are inviting will find the proper environment to succeed.”

Top 10 most spoken languages in Ottawa from 2011-2016

According to Key Results from the 2016 Census, Stats Can pointed out that 1,212,075 new immigrants were settled in Canada from 2011-2016. Of that number about 37,890 new immigrants arrived in the Ottawa-Gatineau region.

Ottawa received 3105 Syrian refugee settlement clients from 2015-2017.
Arabic is the most widely spoken mother tongue of Syrian refugees.
Syrian ranks number three in Permanent Residents admitted to Canada in 2016. This information was retrieved via the 2017 Annual Report to Parliament on Immigration found online here:

Check out the Excel Spreadsheet.

For this piece I started out by combing through the Census data set. I thought looking at language diversity in Ottawa would be interesting. I isolated the top ten highest number of non-official languages, and the top ten mother tongue languages in Ottawa. After my feedback from Mr. McKie, I compared the top 10 non-official languages from 2011 to the top 10 non-official languages in 2016 in Ottawa. This rendered much more interesting results. I found that Arabic had increased by 11 per cent, and Chinese n.o.s. had decreased by more than a thousand per cent.

I reached out to Rupert Yeung of the Ottawa Chinese Immigrant Services, and asked him for his opinion on why there was a huge decrease in Chinese n.o.s. language. He mentioned that the Skilled Worker visa was affecting Chinese immigrants, because of its emphasis on English language skills. I researched his response by looking at the Express Entry Visa Year-End Report 2016. His comments were accurate—as India and Philippines, two English speaking countries, were the most accepted permanent residents on the skilled worker visa. This fact contributed to the decrease in Chinese immigrants and the decrease in Chinese n.o.s. spoken in Ottawa. Mr. Yeung also pointed out that Syrian refugee resettlement could contribute to a higher number of Arabic language spoken in Ottawa.

From there I met with Hassan Ezdahmad, the Program Coordinator of the Services for Syrian Refugees Program to hear more about the impact Syrian refugees have on the linguistic diversity in Ottawa. He mentioned that most Syrian refugees have little English skills. After hearing this I looked at IRCC’s data set referring to language abilities of Syrian refugees. I found that most Syrian refugees speak Arabic as their first language. (While this may be obvious, it was important to me to be able to have the proof in the dataset).

Federal funding for local journalism is timely for Canada’s media ecosystem


The 2018 federal budget has tabled relief for local journalism outlets across Canada. Between 2018-19 and 2022-23, the Trudeau Liberals have allocated $50-million for native news coverage. This comes as readers turn increasingly to international outlets to source their news.

Net revenue losses for advertising and circulation revenues among Canadian periodicals, 2015

Source: Statistics Canada

Government funding is much-needed to sustain and protect local media industries as international corporations encroach upon Canadian audiences. Periodical publishers’ revenues declined from 2013-15 in all regions surveyed by Statistics Canada. On average, advertising and circulation revenues decreased by 32.6 per cent and 16.6 per cent, respectively. At over 44 per cent less, Ontario sustained the most significant loss of advertising revenue, while Quebec’s 24 per cent drop in circulation revenue was the highest in Canada. Shattered Mirror addressed this financial challenge and the federal government has cited declining media revenues to justify their contribution to the Canada Media Fund.

The local journalism fund aligns with New Media Canada’s call to bolster “Canadian civic news” in an open letter  from June 2017.

Distribution of operating and advertising revenues for Canadian periodicals, 2015. 

Source: Statistics Canada

Conversely, Ontario and Quebec also reported the most revenues in Canada during the same period. According to Statistics Canada, Ontario generated nearly 58 per cent of operating revenue and 44 per cent of advertising revenue among Canadian periodicals, while Quebec made up about 20 per cent of national operating revenue. The new local journalism fund will allow Ontario, Quebec and other Canadian media organizations to continue generating revenues for audiences in Canada, a provision foreshadowed by Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly in January. “We have always supported local journalism and will continue to do so,” Joly had tweeted on Jan. 26.

Source and manipulated data tables may be accessed here. All info obtained from Statistics Canada.

Winnipeg’s sexual interference rates well above national average


The murder of Indigenous teenager Tina Fontaine in 2014 shocked the nation. That year’s Canadian Human Rights Commission report cited the case as an example of systemic failure to protect the vulnerable and it motivated the creation of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls inquiry.

During the subsequent trial of Raymond Cormier for murder, for which he was found not guilty by a Winnipeg court, the Crown championed the narrative that the 52-year-old man was sexually interested in the 15-year-old girl. Testimony of his actions adhere to criteria for Sexual Interference. Localizing the crime’s rates in several municipalities, Winnipeg demonstrates a consistent increase with numbers well above the national average.

Source: Statistics Canada.
Table 252-0051 – Incident-based crime statistic, by detailed violations annual

Sexual interference rates in select Canadian cities over five years. The majority show a consistent increase but Winnipeg’s 2016 rate towers above other cities as well as the national average.

A 2011 report by the Standing Committee on Human Rights – the last parliamentary report to address sexual exploitation in various forms – noted concern that low severity of sentencing did not prompt victims to report. Bill C-26, the Tougher Penalties for Child Predators Act, addressed some of these concerns and may be  partially responsible for a 30% increase from 2015 in the reporting of sexual violations against children.

Comparing the elevated 2016 numbers by province nonetheless show a high rate in Manitoba, where one in seven Indigenous persons in Canada reside.

Source: Statistics Canada.
Table 252-0051 – Incident-based crime statistic, by detailed violations annual

Sexual interference rates by province for the year 2016  highlight higher rates in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Territories. Hover for information on total incidents.

Excel calculations

Indigenous people and their quest for quality employment occupations in Canada


In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada announced that it will invest in skills development and training to help Indigenous Peoples find lasting employment. In a broader picture, those investments will address gaps in employment and economic opportunities between indigenous and non-indigenous people.

This chart highlights the participation of Aboriginal group (Metis and First Nations included) into business, management, finance and administration occupations in Canada. Aboriginal group participation to management occupations increased from 23.2 percent in 2016 to 24.4 percent in 2017. Similarly, the involvement of that group into business, management, finance and administration occupations rose from 53.4 percent in 2016 to 55 percent in 2017.

“Budget 2018 proposes to invest $2 billion over five years, and $408.2 million per year ongoing, to support the creation of a new Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program, which will replace the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy.” 2018 Budget.

Quality employment occupations held by Male and Female Aboriginal groups in 2016 and 2017

In 2018 Budget, the Government of Canada has committed to support Métis Nation priorities. This engagement by the Trudeau government outlines their willingness to renew the partnership with the Métis Nation grounded on recognition of rights, respect and cooperation. Hence, the 2018 Budget plans to invest $325 million in the Métis Nation stream of the Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program. Substantially, these investments will support employment services, skills development and job training for this Aboriginal group.

This info graphic shows the participation of Métis Aboriginal group into business, finance and administration employment occupations in Canada. In 2016, Métis Aboriginal group held 27, 1 percent of these employment opportunities. The following year, this number slightly increased to 28.4 percent.

“Budget 2018 also proposes to invest $325 million in the Métis Nation stream of the Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program, which supports employment services, skills development and job training.” 2018 Budget.

Quality employment occupations held by Métis Aboriginal groups in 2016 and 2017

Source: StatCan Table 282-0165
For more information about 2018 Budget  please access:

Data Visualizations – Brendan Shykora


Cybercrime is increasingly posing a threat to Canadians, and the government appears to be taking notice. The 2018 federal budget proposed just over $1 billion in spending over five years for programs expressly concerned with fighting cyber security. Over $200 million is booked for each year following.

Among the largest proposed expenses is for a new National Cyber Security Strategy, as well as for the creation of a Canadian Centre for Cyber Security.

In 2016 there were almost 24,000 instances of police-reported cybercrime in Canada, an increase of 58 per cent from 2014, according to an analysis of data retrieved from Statistics Canada.

The latest available data shows an increase of 34 per cent in police-reported cybercrime from 2015-16. Source: Statistics Canada, Table 252-0096.

A sizeable portion of the funds listed in the budget is earmarked for the RCMP to create a National Cybercrime Coordination Unit. In line with the RCMP’s 2015 strategy, the unit will act as a hub for all investigations.

The RCMP will be looking to crack down on fraud, the most common cybercrime offence in Canada by a wide margin. In 2016, it accounted for nearly half of all violations with more than 11,000 reported incidents. In 2012, when the total reported cybercrime was roughly one third of 2016 levels, fraud also topped the list with nearly 5,000 instances.

Brantford, Ont. had the highest cybercrime rate of any Canadian city in 2016, with 293 reported incidents per 100,000 people. Gatineau saw an increase of 84 per cent from 2015 to 2016, the largest cybercrime spike among the top 20 listed cities.

A map of the 20 Canadian cities with the highest cybercrime rates in 2016. Half of the cities that made the list are from Ontario. Source: Statistics Canada, Table 252-0096. 

Sexual assault declines in Ontario, but prevalence uneven among cities


Sexual assault incidents in Ontario

The #MeToo movement has come to Canada, with new allegations in politics building on already active issues in institutions like the military. It has spurred a response in the media and has even led to new federal legislation. And governments are looking to increase awareness of the subject and address the issue: Ontario has an active plan to combat sexual assault and harassment. While the topic has grown in prominence in the mainstream, Statistics Canada data shows that on the whole, the rate of sexual assault (assault with a sexual objective or nature) is declining throughout the province of Ontario — but so is the rate at which these incidents are cleared formally by police.

Change in the rate of sexual assault incidents reported and percentage of incidents cleared by year


The rate of sexual assault incidents in Ontario is decreasing — though at varying rates each year. But clearance rates are also down, indicating that police are laying fewer charges or otherwise resolving matters when they receive information about an incident.

Source: Statistics Canada, Table 252-0077, “Incident-based crime statistics, by detailed violations and police services, Ontario.”

Sexual assault incidents by police service

Police services are on the front lines of dealing with sexual assault in Ontario. Police remain the go-to institution when criminal assault takes place, as the Ontario Human Rights Commission recommends. But the different police services of the eight biggest cities in Ontario have varied records of addressing the problem. Many, including the Toronto Police Service, have guidelines for both frontline officers and survivors. Hamilton’s guidelines, for example, mirror Toronto’s. But the two cities have widely varying rates of both incidents of sexual assault and clearance. Rates vary greatly in the other six major Ontarian cities as well.

Sexual assault statistics for major Ontario cities, 2016

Incidents of sexual assault in the eight biggest cities in Ontario make up almost half on the entire incidents in the province. But within the cities, rates vary greatly, with Hamilton holding the highest rate of assault and lowest rate of clearance.

Source: Statistics Canada, Table 252-0077, “Incident-based crime statistics, by detailed violations and police services, Ontario.”


~~~ google drive link to Excel workbook ~~~

Data Visualization Explanation


Source: Open Canada: Pipeline Incident Data

More information and public documents:

  1. Find which communities are near pipelines with this interactive map
  2. NEB’s 157 conditions for Kinder Morgan:
  3. Kinder Morgan Risk Assessment by CRED:
  4. Report from the Ministerial Panel for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project:
  5. Abacus data survey on populations stance on pipelines:

Attacks against police down amid plan to equip all officers with stun guns


Ottawa police will soon equip all officers with stun guns in a bid to keep both the public and officers themselves safe. The plan comes from a report presented at an Ottawa Police Service board meeting in late February.

The report lists several incidents in which stun gun use de-escalated a violent situation and likely reduced harm to an officer. The police service originally proposed expanding their stock of stun guns in 2014, eventually increasing training in 2015 and issuing 100 new units to officers by early 2016.

An analysis of Statistics Canada data shows that in 2016, assaults against Ottawa police dropped 14.8 per cent from the previous year.

The number of assaults against a peace officer (a general term which includes police officers) dropped from 183 in 2015 to 156 in 2016. This represents a 14.8 per cent decrease in incidents recorded by the Ottawa Police Service.

Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM 252-0077

It was initially a provincial decision to allow stun guns to be given to all front line officers. In 2013, the Ontario government expanded usage of the weapon from just supervisors and special units to all officers. The decision was left up to local forces — one that other police services besides Ottawa are considering. Last month, Toronto Police Services put forward a recommendation to expand the stun guns in the force’s possession by 400 units to protect the public and themselves.

An analysis of Statistics Canada data below shows the rate of assault against peace officers across Ontario’s most populated cities in 2015 and 2016. London had the highest rate of assaults — the city fired stun guns 62 times in 2016, up from 50 times in 2015.

Visualization explanation:
I chose the topic of local and provincial assaults against a peace officer because of recent news that the Ottawa Police Service was about to phase-in a plan to equip all their sworn-in officers with stun guns. One of the reasons for the implementation of this plan was to protect officers from dangerous members of the public. Therefore, examining data regarding assaults against police officers is interesting and newsworthy within this context.
I chose the first visualization because I wanted to look at actual incidents of assault within Ottawa. Data from 2015 and 2016 were the most recent two years available. I chose two years to highlight if there was an increase or decrease in incidents. These two years are particularly interesting because Ottawa expanded their stun gun stock at the beginning of 2016. I chose a simple infographic to easily display the information that assaults against a police officer dropped from 183 incidents in 2015 to 156 in 2016.
I chose the second visualization because I wanted to place this information within a wider context. I chose a provincial context because the Ontario government dictates rules surrounding stun gun use. It was interesting to note that when Ottawa announced a plan to increase stun gun use in late February, 2018, Toronto also announced they wanted to increase their stock just days before. For this visualization, I selected the eight most highly-populated jurisdictions in Ontario. In my bar chart, I represented the rate of assaults against a peace officer per 100,000 of the population to more easily compare between cities.
The public records I used were mostly reports from the Ottawa, Toronto and London police services. From the Ottawa Police Service, I looked at the consultation plan to equip every officer with a stun gun. I also used a media release from 2014 outlining the service’s two-year plan to improve access to the devices. From Toronto Police Services, I looked at a board meeting report that recommended the service add 400 units to the force. I looked at the London Police Service’s 2016 annual use of force report to glean statistics on their stun gun use, because the city had the highest assaults against peace officers in Ontario in that year. Finally, I used a Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services report from 2013, announcing the government’s plan to allow all sworn-in officers in all municipalities to use stun guns.
Link to my Excel workbook can be found here.

How disability benefits for New Veterans Charter veterans stack up against benefits for Canadian War Veterans


Some veterans are protesting unequal disability benefits for wounded veterans who fall under the New Veterans Charter, versus benefits for those under the traditional disability system. This, despite boosted benefits announced last December.

The federal government argues its revamped program offers more benefits than the traditional disability system, but concedes it’s less generous.

This chart appears to support the government’s position: Although expenditures for traditional disability-related benefits were more than double those of the New Veterans Charter in 2014-15, the 2017-18 forecast sees expenditures for Charter veterans being 71% higher than for those under the traditional system.

Overall Federal Program Expenditures for Veterans: Disability Benefits Under Traditional System vs. Under New Veterans Charter (in $ Millions)

Breakdown of Federal Program Expenditures for Veterans: Disability Benefits Under Traditional System vs. Under New Veterans Charter (in $ Millions)

The second chart below shows the breakdown of veterans’ benefits under the New Veterans Charter, such as the Earnings Loss Benefit and the Career Impact Allowance, supporting veterans’ position: that unequal disability benefits exist under the Charter.

New Veterans Charter disability benefits edged closer to traditional system benefits in 2016-17. However, certain Earnings Loss Benefit and Career Impact Allowance are deemed as income replacement. These benefits are reduced when veterans are hired.

Most traditional benefits are not taxable; New Veterans Charter benefits are.

New Veterans Charter benefits are for 600,300 veterans versus traditional benefits for only 58,100.

The chart directly above shows the breakdown of veterans’ benefits under the New Veterans Charter — which appears to support these veterans’ position that unequal disability benefits exist under the Charter.

Source: Veterans Affairs Canada Statistics — Facts and Figures Summary — Summary of Program Expenditures

Guns and Gangs: Growing Concerns


Firearm deaths in Canada

This graph shows the rate of firearm related deaths in Canada by their percentage of total deaths in a year. As we can see the percentage of firearms related deaths has been trending upwards since 2013, with a significant spike from 2015-2016 of over seven percent. This has led to calls for action on the matter, including from the Canadian Paediatric Society.


(Since 2013, the use of firearms to commit homicides in Canada has sparked significantly. An over 10% rise of this method in the past three years has led to calls for action.

Statistics from CHASS Data Centre. Graph by Alex Kurial)


Gang related homicides by region

In this graph we see the number of deaths attributed to gang related activity in Canada’s geographical regions. Most regions, and Canada as a whole, have seen an increase in such deaths over the past several years. In response, the government will be providing $327.6 million dollars over the next five years to address this problem. The RCMP and local police forces, together with the Canadian Firearms Program, are also stepping up their efforts to combat the problem. Serious steps are being taken in cities where the numbers are most alarming, including Regina, which has become one of the most dangerous cities in the country.


(Homicides linked to gang activity are on the rise in most Canadian regions, including triple the number in Ontario, and over double the amount in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Statistics from CHASS Data Centre. Graph by Alex Kurial)