New year brings heightened safety concerns for Canadians

Recent USGE survey shows six in ten (63%) of Canadians are worried about public safety in Canada going into 2017.

Majority Believes that Canadians (66%) and Americans (69%) will be Less Safe with Donald Trump as President.

As we close out 2016 and reflect on the changed international political landscape, Canadians are notably worried about the state of public safety. 

In a recent IPSOS survey conducted on behalf of the Union of Solicitor General Employees, 63% of Canadians are, in fact, clearly concerned about public safety. 

Canadians often take pride in living in one of the safest countries in the world, so what is causing Canadians to worry? 

The recent outcome of the United States presidential election is driving part of this concern. The majority of Canadians feel that President-Elect, Donald Trump, spells bad news for both the safety of Canadians (66% of respondents) and Americans (69% of respondents) resulting in a strong sentiment of Canadians feeling less safe.

Women are especially likely to believe that both Americans (75% of respondents) and Canadians (74% of respondents) will be less safe with Donald Trump as President. 

This comes as no surprise. Canada, as well as the world, is eagerly watching to see what policies President-Elect Donald Trump implements given some of his controversial campaign promises. With political uncertainty, Canadians are feeling greater anxiety than usual.

However, Canada remains a very safe country according to Canada’s public safety leaders. 

“Public safety in Canada has a very strong foundation” says Stan Stapleton, National President of the Union of Solicitor General Employees. 

“Canadians can feel assured knowing that there are 16,000 employees working across 17 federal departments who are dedicated to ensuring that Canada is as safe as it is. They play a crucial role in Canada’s larger public safety network that protects families and communities every day, both at home and overseas.” 

These front line employees work for Correctional Service Canada, the RCMP, Public Prosecution, Justice, as well as the Canadian Human Rights Commission and Tribunal, and the Offices of the Information and Privacy Commissioners of Canada, among others. 

The IPSOS poll also revealed another concern. While Canadians are largely aware of how to report a domestic crime, reporting an international security threat is not that clear, especially among women. Over half, 56%, of women said they did not know how to report a potential international security threat to Canada. 

This is despite a significant investment under the previous federal government in anti-terrorism efforts which some claimed came at the expense of domestic anti-crime efforts. 

“It’s extremely important that Canadians insist that resources are used to maintain and strengthen our domestic public safety net, as well as international anti-terrorism efforts. They go hand in hand,“ remarked Mr. Stapleton.