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