MacKenzie and Conservative Members of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security Committee Call on Parliamentary Budget Officer to Conduct Study into the Cost of Crime on Canadian Society

Ottawa, ON- Dave MacKenzie, Member of Parliament for Oxford and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and the Conservative members of the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (SECU) recently submitted a letter to Kevin Page, Parliamentary Budget Officer requesting him to conduct a study on the actual cost to Canadians of the crime inflicted on society and the economy.

“I am concerned that the opposition parties have only focused on the cost of incarcerating criminals and not the real cost of crime on Canadians and their families,” said MacKenzie.


Mr. Kevin Page, Parliamentary Budget Officer
Library of Parliament
Ottawa, ON  
K1A 0A6

March 21st, 2011

Dear Mr. Page,

As Conservative members of Parliament on the Public Safety Committee, we are writing regarding an important issue that has not received adequate priority and analysis when considering government legislation to protect Canadians and fight crime; namely the substantial cost crime inflicts on the Canadian society and economy.

We believe that keeping law abiding Canadians safe is one of the primary responsibilities of the Government.  Obviously, doing so effectively has financial costs.  To this end, the government has been upfront and consistent in reporting that the total cost of implementing our crime legislation will be $2.7B over 5 years.  This includes initiatives such as modernizing federal correctional facilities and strengthening our parole system to ensure victims’ rights are protected,

Additionally, the government has recently provided Parliament with clear and accurate details supporting these costs estimates, as specified in a motion passed at the House Finance Committee.

While the cost of implementing these bills has been provided, it is our opinion that it is critically important to also consider the overall cost of crime to our society.  Accordingly, we are writing to ask that you undertake a study analyzing the socioeconomic cost of crime for victims, governments and our communities.  This request falls within your mandate, laid out in section 79.2 (d) of the Parliament of Canada Act.

Suggested areas for analysis include the impact victimization and crime has on Canadian business productivity losses, medical care, lost income as well as pain and suffering by victims and their families. The costs of policing, operation of court systems, operation of correctional systems and lost educational opportunities should also be accounted for.

We strongly believe that this type of analysis would benefit all Parliamentarians so instead of only considering the costs of getting tough on crime measures, they can finally begin to seriously consider the substantial costs of not doing so.

Upon completion of your study, we ask to receive your report for two business days, following which, it may be posted on your website.


Dave MacKenzie
Member of Parliament for

Rick Norlock
Member of Parliament for
Northumberland – Quinte West

Brent Rathgeber
Member of Parliament for
Edmonton – St. Albert

Ben Lobb
Member of Parliament for
Huron – Bruce

Phil McColeman
Member of Parliament for

Kevin Sorenson
Member of Parliament for