Canada criticized for rejecting UN rights council recommendation on Aboriginal women

By Wojtek Gwiazda |
Thursday 19 September, 2013

Canada’s refusal Thursday (September 19) to accept the UN Human Rights Council’s recommendation of a comprehensive review of violence against Aboriginal women in Canada was criticized by a number of organizations including members of the Indigenous community.

Canada’s response to the Council underlined that it had accepted in whole, or in part, 122 of the 169 recommendations in Canada’s second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) which was originally presented by the UN Human Rights Council on April 26, 2013.

The rejection of a comprehensive review of violence against Aboriginal women, hundreds have died or disappeared in the last few decades, was the focus of criticism in Canada. Other issues were also brought up.

The National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations released the following statement on Canada’s rejection of the review: “First Nations are deeply concerned about Canada’s rejection of the recommendations by the UN Human Rights Council for a comprehensive, national plan aimed at ending violence against Indigenous women and girls. There is strong support for this action domestically among provincial and territorial leaders and the Canadian public and strong international support, not to mention a multitude of reports and investigations that urge Canada to act.”

The Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada’s English Branch Alex Neve’s reaction in part was: “Governments raised critical, concrete recommendations touching on numerous human rights shortcomings that are well known to Canadians. This included alarming levels of violence against Indigenous women and girls, nationwide poverty and homelessness, and Canada’s lagging record of ratifying international human rights treaties.  Other areas included the rights of Indigenous peoples, refugee protection, corporate accountability, national security and women’s equality.”

Meanwhile, the not-for profit Canadian organisation Canada Without Poverty released the following statement from its president, Harriett McLachlan: “Members of the Human Rights Council have made it clear that current levels of socio-economic deprivation in one of the most affluent countries in the world is a serious human rights crisis, demanding urgent attention and national strategies. The Government’s response shows no understanding of its legal and moral responsibility to protect the rights of poor people and steer this country out of poverty.”

More information:
Mike Blanchfield/Canadian Press – Canada rejects UN rights panel call for review of violence on aboriginal women – here
Universal Periodic Review – Canada – Observations and recommendations – here
Canada’s response to UN Human Rights Council – here
Assembly of First Nations press release – here
Amnesty International Canada – Canada Gives Human Rights the Cold Shoulder: Disgraceful Response to UN Human Rights Review Contains No New Commitments – here
Canada Without Poverty press release – Canada Turns its Back on Human Rights at UN – here

2011 National Household Survey: Income of Canadians

11 Sept 2013

The 2011 National Household Survey: Income of Canadians was released today. New data from the 2011 National Household Survey (NHS) show that more than 95% of the approximately 27.3 million Canadians aged 15 and over received some form of income in 2010. Ontario, with a share of income from employment of 74.8%, was close to the national level of 74.7%.

Persons living in low-income neighbourhoods

The NHS collected data for over 5,000 neighbourhoods, or census tracts, across Canada, accounting for close to
three-quarters of the Canadian population. Neighbourhoods were considered low-income neighbourhoods if 30% or more of the people living there had low income. Very low-income neighbourhoods were defined as a subset of the low-income neighbourhoods where 40% or more of the population had low income.

Overall, there were 478 low-income neighbourhoods in 2010. Nearly one-fifth (18.9%) of the low-income population
living in neighbourhoods lived in these low-income neighbourhoods. Of these 478 low-income
neighbourhoods, 137 were classified as very low-income neighbourhoods and contained 6.5% of low-income
Canadians living in neighbourhoods.

Just under half (48.5%) of the total Canadian population living in census tracts lived in the three largest CMAs of
Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver. Close to three-fifths (58.6%) of all low-income neighbourhoods in Canada were
located in these three metropolitan areas.

Sherbrooke had the highest proportion of its low-income population living in low-income neighbourhoods (44.5%).
Other CMAs or census agglomerations with relatively high proportions of low-income persons living in low-income
neighbourhoods were Windsor (40.6%), Trois-Rivières (39.2%), Montréal (33.6%), Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu
(33.0%), Saint John (30.6%) and Winnipeg (30.4%).

See the full report at: 2011 National Household Survey – Income of Canadians