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City of North Battleford leading a Western Canadian Conference to discuss the Crime Severity Index in late February

Several Western Canadian municipalities will meet in Saskatoon February 29th to discuss Statistics Canada’s Crime Severity Index (CSI) rankings for communities with populations of 10,000 or more. This ranking is unfairly impacting many smaller communities and the municipalities are gathering to discuss the issue and speak with Statistics Canada about their concerns with the CSI ranking system.            

The City of North Battleford asserts there is widespread misunderstanding and a lack of context provided when the CSI numbers are released each year which unfortunately has dramatic and unfair impact on many small regional centers across Western Canada. The misinterpretation of data has led to categorically skewed misconceptions about the safety of these communities.
According to the CSI rankings for 2022, North Battleford has the number one ranking of communities over 10,000, but if smaller communities were included, North Battleford’s CSI would rank as 16th overall in just the Province of Saskatchewan.         

“Smaller communities are significantly impacted when a single, heavily weighted crime occurs because of the statistical calculation factors in a community’s population,” commented North Battleford Mayor David Gillan.    

“This leads us to wonder why we are being directly compared, through the dissemination of these rankings, to huge metropolitan areas like Canada’s biggest cities. This is not an apples-to-apples comparison, and based on informal dialogue with our peers, we believe that the distribution of these rankings by Statistics Canada has similar unfortunate impacts in other smaller-sized Western Canadian communities which frequently join us on this list.”  
Among the challenges Gillan attributes to the false public narrative about North Battleford’s CSI ranking, are difficulties with recruiting skilled professionals to the community, struggles in attracting new businesses, stagnant population levels, and negative public perceptions related to community safety, all of which impact community members.

This conference, Gillan hopes, will address some of these issues. “We have confirmed attendees from all four provinces in Western Canada, and we have planned information sessions from law enforcement, academics, First Nations leadership and with Statistics Canada,” Gillan noted. “It will be an opportunity to hear information directly from experts and to work with our counterparts from other communities to determine how we can improve the information that communities receive about crime rates without disproportionally impacting small hub communities as the current reporting practice does.”            

The conference is set for February 29th at the Holiday Inn Downtown in Saskatoon. Media availability to discuss the outcomes resulting from the conference is scheduled in the Cosmopolitan Room at the Holiday Inn Downtown at 4:00pm.           


For more information:
Candace Toma, Public & Intergovernmental Relations Coordinator
306-441-0713 |

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