Thompson, MB., and Oak Bay find themselves on almost opposite ends of Maclean’s ranking of most dangerous communities in Canada (Black Press Media File)

A look at the vast differences between severe crime crime rates in Oak Bay and Thompson, MB

Reasons include demograpics and socio-economics

If Canada’s most dangerous community — Thompson, MB — and Canada’s second-least dangerous — Oak Bay — were communities of 100,000, the former would record more than 6,500 assaults every year, the second zero.

While a statistical construct, these figures appear in a new Maclean’s ranking titled Canada’s Most Dangerous Places 2020.

It ranks communities according to the Crime Severity Index (CSI), a Statistics Canada measure of all police-reported crime that considers both the volume and seriousness of offences. It draws on 2018 data, the most current available. Similar contrasts also appear across categories.

The communities differ in many ways, with the difference in actual population size — 12,878 for Thompson, 18,094 for Oak Bay — likely the least important one.

RELATED: Oak Bay is the second-least dangerous community in Canada according to crime index

For starters, Thompson lies relatively isolated in northern Manitoba in one the harshest climatic and arguably uneconomically unproductive regions of Canada, the northern boreal forest range. Thompson’s famous nickel mine with its iconic smoke stack visible from great distances has gone through ups and downs in recent years, emblematic for many single-resource towns dotting rural Canada.

Second, its median age is 30.9 with just over 25 per cent of its population under the age of 14. By contrast, Oak Bay’s median age is 53.6 years, with almost 32 per cent over the age of 65. By contrast, seniors account for less than six per cent of the population in Thompson. Finally, the demographic difference between the two communities appears especially stark when considering the share of individuals with Aboriginal ancestry. Just over 43 per cent of Thompson’s population falls into that category, while the number of Oak Bay residents with some Aboriginal ancestry is fewer than 500 people.

These differences in turn help account for the vastly different crime rates between the two communities. Generally, the younger the community, the higher the crime rate. Criminologists have also associated crime with poverty, a condition high among Canadians of Aboriginal ancestry, with poverty among Canadians of Aboriginal ancestry itself the product of European colonization, previous political disenfranchisement and current neglect, as well as various forms of racism.

(By way of background, Indigenous adults represent only about three per cent of the adult population in Canada, but accounted for 26 per cent of admissions to provincial and territorial correctional services, according to Corrections Canada, with this tendency being especially high in the western Canadian provinces).


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

UPDATED: Saanich structure fire sparked in child daycare

Motorists advised to avoid the area of the highway, Glanford Avenue, Royal Oak Drive and Quadra Street off ramp

Public member position open on Saanich Police Board

Job posting deadline Jan. 15, 2020

Saanich Peninsula firefighters look to douse hunger with annual food drive

The Peninsula Firefighters Christmas Food Drive happens Saturday

Victoria Foundation’s community grants support 109 local non-profits

Foundation delivers $2.8 million in grant money to local organizations

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Sooke’s École Poirier students win B.C. Hydro Power Smart contest

More than 100 schools compete in province-wide competition

Most Read