Govt should issue a travel advisory to Bahamians visiting Canada

Dear Editor,

Canada is the second wealthiest country in North America with an impressive GDP of $46,437 per capita. With a thriving economy, the Canadian government has extended an invitation to thousands of highly trained immigrants to its shores.

Canada is home to many Bahamian economic refugees, mainly from the island of Grand Bahama. It is also becoming a favorite touristic spot for many Bahamians who are bored with traveling to the United States. In this regard, the government must issue a travel advisory to its citizens who are planning on visiting or relocating to Canada. If Canada can do the same for its people who visit The Bahamas, why can’t the Bahamian government do the same for its citizens?

After all, there were 660 murders committed in Canada in 2017 and 2,913 between 2013 and 2017. As for sexual assaults, a staggering 635,000 were reported by Canadians in the year 2014 alone. Canada has a population of nearly 37 million. Based on the metric sociologists typically use in gauging crime, Canada’s murder rate per 100,000 was just 1.80 in 2017. The Bahamas’ rate is around 29 per 100,000. There were 1,109 reported rapes in The Bahamas between 2003-2013.

Regarding Canada’s low murder rate per 100,000, such a metric can be misleading. For instance, the United States’ murder rate for 2012 was 4.7. Yet despite this figure being far less than The Bahamas’ rate of 29, over 17,200 persons were murdered in the U.S. in 2017. So while Canadian sociologists are salivating over Canada’s supposedly low murder rate, 660 murders, even for 37 million people, is still an unacceptably high figure. Moreover, the 635,000 sexual assault figure attests to the fact that women and children are far more vulnerable in Canada than in The Bahamas.

The Williams Brothers’ hit song “Sweep Around Your Own Front Door” aptly applies to Canada’s snobbery towards this count on issuing its travel advisories. I don’t fault the Canadians for looking out for their own. But let’s not pretend Canada is a utopian country. Like other countries, Canada also has a crime issue.

– Kevin Evans

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