From: Rick Pali <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Stockwell Day <Day.S@parl.gc.ca>
Subject: New prisons.
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2010 20:17:01 -0400
I read with great interest the CBC article describing the news conference in which you announced the government’s intention to spend billions of dollars to build new prisons.
The article says that the government has “received indications” that an increasing number of crime victims do not report the crimes committed against them. Of particular interest was a quote of something you said:
It shows we can’t take a Liberal view to crime which is, some would suggest, that it is barely happening at all.
Ignoring your dig at the Liberals, they claim crime is declining because they have police statistics that say so. It’s not a mere ‘view’ if they’ve got numbers to prove their point. Of course this doesn’t mean they’re necessarily correct. If you wish to correct an error in their reasoning, you need to have proof that they’re wrong. The reporters questioned you on where you’re getting this information, and you blew them off, saying you’d provide figures later. Canadians expect and deserve better.
The CBC did their homework and contacted Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, and he cited a 2004 Statistics Canada report which estimated that 34% of Canadian crime victims aren’t reporting crimes against them. I hope the information backing your claim is more substantial than a six-year-old estimate that sheds no light on whether unreported crimes are increasing, decreasing, or unchanging. You know that if the percentage of crimes that aren’t reported is constant, and the reported crimes are declining, the crime rate is indeed declining, right?
So okay, lets imagine that you have these amazing statistics proving your point (and all we can do is imagine because you expect us to take your word over the people with numbers backing them) that crime rates are not declining. I’m still waiting to hear how building more prisons will help bring people to justice when the crimes aren’t being reported. It will be difficult to get the perpetrators into those new prisons if the justice system knows nothing about their crimes.