Crime | The Canadian Encyclopedia

Browse "Crime"

Displaying 1-15 of 26 results
  • Article

    Computers and Canadian Society

    Canadians use computers in many aspects of their daily lives. Eighty-four per cent of Canadian families have a computer in the home, and many people rely on these devices for work and education. Nearly everyone under the age of 45 uses a computer every day, including mobile phones that are as capable as a laptop or tablet computer. With the widespread use of networked computers facilitated by the Internet, Canadians can purchase products, do their banking, make reservations, share and consume media, communicate and perform many other tasks online. Advancements in computer technologies such as cloud computing, social media, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things are having a significant impact on Canadian society. While these and other uses of computers offer many benefits, they also present societal challenges related to Internet connectivity, the digital divide, privacy and crime.

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  • Article

    Elizabeth Fry Society

    The Elizabeth Fry Society is a not-for-profit social service agency that provides support for women and girls involved in the Canadian justice system. The Society provides a range of services to women who are criminalized and to women who are at risk of being criminalized. It works to reduce the impact of criminalization, to provide equal opportunities for women in the justice system and to empower marginalized women.

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  • Article


    Gambling is the betting of something of value on the outcome of a contingency or event, the result of which is uncertain and may be determined by chance, skill, a combination of chance and skill, or a contest.

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  • Article

    Impaired Driving

    Impaired driving, also known as drunken driving, driving while impaired (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI), has been a serious social problem as far back as the beginning of this century, when social scientists took note of the often deadly combination of alcohol and motor vehicles.

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  • Article

    Ku Klux Klan

    The Ku Klux Klan is an outlawed, racist, ultra-conservative, fraternal organization dedicated to the supremacy of an Anglo-Saxon, Protestant society.

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  • Article

    McLean Gang

    McLean Gang, BC outlaws (fl 1879). Consisting of Allan, Charlie and Archie McLean and Alex Hare (all 4 of mixed blood), the gang lived by banditry and violence.

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  • Article

    #MeToo Movement in Canada

    The #MeToo movement protesting sexual violence against women began in the United States in October 2017 in the wake of accusations against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein. Since then, it has rapidly expanded internationally through Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. In Canada, #MeToo and its French equivalent, #MoiAussi, have amplified the voices of victims and changed the conversation pertaining to rape, sexual abuse, sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence, harassment and misconduct.

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  • Article

    Moncton Police Killings

    ​On 4 June 2014, the city of Moncton, New Brunswick, was the scene of one of the worst police killings in Canadian history.

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  • Macleans

    Montreal Police Convicted

    This article was originally published in Maclean’s magazine on July 10, 1995. Partner content is not updated.

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  • Article

    Murder of Reena Virk

    Reena Virk, a 14-year-old of South Asian origin, was savagely beaten and murdered by teenaged attackers in November 1997 in a suburb of Victoria, British Columbia. The crime horrified Canadians and attracted international media attention because of the brutality of the killing as well as the youth of Virk and those who attacked her. It prompted a national conversation about teenaged bullying and racism, led in part by Virk’s parents, who became anti-bullying campaigners in the wake of their daughter’s murder. This article contains sensitive material that may not be suitable for all audiences.

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  • Article

    October Crisis (Plain-Language Summary)

    The October Crisis happened in the fall of 1970. It was sparked by the Front de liberation du Québec (FLQ). The FLQ used terrorist tactics to try and make Quebec independent from Canada. On 5 October, the FLQ kidnapped James Cross, a British trade commissioner. The FLQ also kidnapped Quebec cabinet minister Pierre Laporte. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau invoked the War Measures Act. The Act had never been used before during peacetime. It suspended civil liberties and led to hundreds of arrests. Laporte was murdered and found on 17 October. Cross was freed on 3 December. The crisis ended on 28 December, when Laporte’s killers were captured. (This article is a plain-language summary of the October Crisis. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see the full-length entry.)

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  • Article

    Organized Crime in Canada (Plain-Language Summary)

    Organized crime is when a group of three or more people commit crimes to make money. Such crimes include gambling; prostitution; pornography; drug trafficking; insurance and construction fraud; illegal bankruptcy; motor vehicle theft; computer crime; and counterfeiting. The widespread nature of organized crime first came to light in the 1960s. Some criminal groups are based on ethnicity. Others are formed within certain industries. New laws were made in the early 2000s to address organized crime in Canada. This article is a plain-language summary of organized crime in Canada. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry: Organized Crime in Canada.

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  • Article

    École Polytechnique Tragedy (Montreal Massacre)

    On 6 December 1989, a man entered a mechanical engineering classroom at Montreal’s École Polytechnique armed with a semi-automatic weapon. After separating the women from the men, he opened fire on the women while screaming, “You are all feminists.” Fourteen young women were murdered, and 13 other people were wounded. The shooter then turned the gun on himself. In his suicide note, he blamed feminists for ruining his life. The note contained a list of 19 “radical feminists” who he said would have been killed had he not run out of time. It included the names of well-known women in Quebec, including journalists, television personalities and union leaders.

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  • Article


    Prostitution is the practice of exchanging sexual services for money, or for other needs. Although prostitution itself has never been a crime in Canada, communicating and other activities relating to the exchange have been prohibited.

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  • Article

    Quebec Biker War (1994–2002)

    The Quebec Biker War was an almost decade-long territorial conflict between two outlaw motorcycle gangs in Quebec: the Hells Angels and the Rock Machine. The war centred on control over the narcotics trade in Quebec. It was also driven by intense rivalries and deep-seated animosities between major figures in Quebec’s criminal underworld. (See Organized Crime.) The conflict involved over 80 bombings, some 130 cases of arson and 20 disappearances. More than 160 people were killed and over 200 were injured, including many innocent bystanders.

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