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The definitions below provide information on some common terms used in Juristat.

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Aboriginal identity
Aboriginal identity refers to those persons who reported identifying with at least one Aboriginal group, that is, North American Indian, Métis or Inuit, and/or those who reported being a Treaty Indian or a Registered Indian, as defined by the Indian Act of Canada, and/or those who reported they were members of an Indian band or First Nation.

A non-custodial parent's ability or right to visit and maintain contact with their children.

An accused person is someone against whom enough information exists to lay a charge in connection with a criminal incident/offence.

Acquittal means that the accused has been found not guilty of the charges presented before the court.

Active cases
Cases where at least one court event, which moves all or part of the case through the court process, has taken place in the current fiscal year. Thus all cases initiated in the year are considered active, as are those initiated in previous years that have events in the current year.

Postponement of a court hearing or trial to another date.

Administration of justice offences
The “Administration of justice offences” category includes but is not limited to failure to appear in court, breach of a probation order, being unlawfully at large, failure to comply with an order, and “other administration of justice offences” such as corruption and disobedience, misleading justice, and perjury.

Administrative enforcement actions
Administrative activities are those enforcement mechanisms employed by the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) itself. Administrative enforcement actions include traces, demands for information from the payor or from others, garnishments, actions against land registration, personal property liens, writs of execution, collection calls, credit bureau reporting, motor vehicle license interventions, and other actions (includes, for example, hunting and fishing license restrictions).

Administrative enforcement actions under federal legislation
Under the three parts of the federal Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act (FOAEAA), Maintenance Enforcement Programs can access different services provided by the Family Law Assistance Service (FLAS) of the federal Department of Justice. Part I allows for requests to search various federal databanks to determine the location of the payor. Part II allows for the interception of federal money owing to a payor. This most frequently takes the form of intercepting an income tax refund. Part III allows the Maintenance Enforcement Survey (MEP) to apply through FLAS to the applicable federal department to have federally-administered licenses suspended or denied. This encompasses passports and certain transport (aviation and marine) licenses.

Under the Garnishment Attachment and Pension Diversion Act (GAPDA), federal employee salaries and pensions are subject to garnishment to fulfill child and spousal support obligations under a court order or court registered agreement.

Refers to the person’s commencement of an uninterrupted period of supervision (aggregate) within a specific status (i.e., remand, sentenced custody and probation). A new admission is counted at the commencement of each program type.

Admission to a shelter
For the purposes of the Transition Home Survey, admission to a shelter refers to the official acceptance of a resident into the facility with the allocation of a bed, child's bed, crib, bedroom or bedroom unit, or apartment. A woman with three children would count as a total of four admissions. An admission is registered each time a person is formally admitted, even if it is a repeat visit.

A type of issue in family cases that involves the adoption of one or more children.

Persons aged 18 years of age or older.

Voluntary sworn and signed statements made upon oath before an officer authorised to receive and administer oaths.

Refers to the age of the young person at the time of admission into a custody status or community program.

Age of majority
The age of majority is typically the age when a child is considered an adult. Age of majority varies between 18 or 19 years, depending upon the province or territory.

Alternative measures
Alternative measures aim to divert persons accused of less serious crimes out of the justice system. They are formalized programs through which persons who would otherwise proceed to court are dealt with through non-judicial, community-based alternatives. They offer individuals the opportunity to avoid the consequences of a criminal record.  Typical alternative measures programs include personal service to a victim, financial compensation to a victim, community service, educational sessions, personal or written apologies, and essays or presentations related to the offence.  Alternative measures are administered differently from one jurisdiction to another. They may be offered at the pre-charge stage, the post-charge stage, or both.  The types of alternative measures assigned to an individual may vary, as do eligibility requirements.

The defendant’s response to the Statement of Claim, Application, Writ, or Petition.

A request or petition before a person or court.

The approach parents have taken to spend time with their children or to make major decisions. It includes living arrangements (the children live with one parent, or the living arrangement is shared) and major decision-making responsibilities for the children's health, religion or education. An arrangement is distinct from an ad-hoc, informal approach to parenting after separation or divorce, where parents don't have a set plan for spending time with, or making decisions for children. Arrangements may be agreed to by the parents, or be the outcome of a trial, a hearing or other dispute resolution process.

Arrears refer to money owing from earlier missed payments. As a result of either a court order or voluntary payment arrangement, an amount of arrears may end up being subject to a schedule. As long as the payment schedule is being adhered to, it is likely no additional enforcement action can be taken. Any non-scheduled arrears are those arrears which are owed from an earlier time, and for which there is no payment schedule established.

Arrears payments
Arrears payments are any payments received by the Maintenance Enforcement Program that are in addition to the payments that go towards the current monthly obligations, both regular payment due and other types of payment due. In essence these payments are late payment made on defaults from previous months. On occasion, an amount of arrears may end up being subject to a repayment schedule. As long as the schedule is being adhered to, it is likely no additional enforcement action can be taken.

a violent offence classified into three levels: level 1 or common assault, the least serious form including behaviours such as pushing, slapping, punching and face-to-face threats; level 2 assault, defined as assault with a weapon or causing bodily harm; and level 3 aggravated assault, defined as assault that wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers the life of the victim.

Assignment status
This identifies whether the recipient is receiving social assistance and has had his or her case formally assigned to the Crown, or it may signify that arrears exist and that when collected, should be used to recover Social Assistance payments previously paid. Monies that are collected on behalf of the recipient on social assistance are either paid directly back to the provincial/territorial government or are reported and then deducted from the next assistance cheque.

Average counts
Average counts provide a snapshot of the daily correctional population and are used to calculate an annual average count. Managers in correctional services use average counts as a key operational measure for the utilization of services, such as bed space in institutions. Typically, correctional officials perform daily counts in their facilities and monthly counts of offenders under community supervision. Average count statistics, collected through the KIR, are more representative of longer term inmates and offenders serving longer term community supervision orders. They are also the count used to calculate incarceration rates.


Proceedings initiated either by an insolvent individual or business (voluntary bankruptcy) or by creditors (involuntary bankruptcy) seeking to either have the debtor’s remaining assets distributed among the creditors or to restructure debt.

The beneficiary is the person(s) entitled to the benefit of the support payment, and is named in the support order. The beneficiary may be children only, spouse only, or both. In a very small number of cases in some jurisdictions, the beneficiary may also be a parent of the payor.

Bench warrant
A bench warrant is a court order issued against a person that allows legal authorities to arrest a person.  It is often used to ensure the person’s attendance at court.


Case (Civil Court Survey)
Each in-scope event in civil court is reported to the Civil Court Survey as a separate case event record. Case information is derived by matching all case events that are related to the original initiating document or event. Depending on jurisdictional practices, a variation of an existing order may either be captured under the original case file or as a new case.

Case (Integrated Criminal Court Survey)
A case is defined as all charges against the same person having one or more key overlapping court dates (date of offence, date of initiation, date of first appearance, date of decision, date of sentencing).

Case conference
A meeting between a judge and the parties or their lawyers, or all together, to identify disputed issues and explore methods of resolving those issues in a timely manner

Case initiating documents
Documents that begin a case in civil court. These may include an application, application for variation, petition and statement of claim, among others.

Census family
A household comprised either of a married or a common-law couple and with or without children, or a household comprised of a lone parent and at least one child in the home.

Census Metropolitan Area
A census metropolitan area (CMA) consists of one or more neighbouring municipalities situated around an urban core. A CMA must have a total population of at least 100,000 of which 50,000 or more live in the urban core. To be included in the CMA, other adjacent municipalities must have a high degree of integration with the urban core, as measured by commuting flows derived from census data. A CMA typically comprises more than one police service.

Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings
The registration of divorce proceedings is the responsibility of the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings (CRDP) of the Department of Justice Canada. The impetus for a central divorce registry arose from the need to eliminate duplicate divorce proceedings. The application form for a divorce is completed by the husband, the wife, or both spouses jointly and filed with a court. The registrar of the court then completes the application to the CRDP to obtain a Clearance Certificate confirming there is no duplicate divorce action in another court for the same marriage. This is possible as the CRDP maintains a record of pending divorce proceedings throughout Canada.

Child access
A type of issue in family cases that involves arrangements and conditions that set out contact or communication between children and a parent or third party.

Child protection
A type of issue in family cases that involves government agency supervision of parents/guardians/caregivers or the apprehension of children into government care because of issues of parental abuse, neglect, or incapacity.

For the purposes of the Transition Home Survey, children are defined as being accompanied by a parent or caregiver. In cases where, for example, a 16-year-old female is admitted to the facility as a victim of abuse, she should be counted as a child only if she is accompanied by her mother or caregiver; if she comes to the facility alone she should be counted as an adult female under the group "15-19 years".

Children receiving support
In this report, a child beneficiary of support is any child dependent enrolled in a maintenance enforcement case who is 19 years of age or under on the reference date, which encompasses most child beneficiaries enrolled in each Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP).  However, some child beneficiaries are over the age of 19, as the support order may require support to be paid during the child’s enrolment in a post-secondary institution.

Child support guidelines
The regulations for setting child support payments under the federal Divorce Act are called the Federal Child Support Guidelines, and came into effect on May 1, 1997. The guidelines consist of a set of rules and tables for calculating the amount of support that parents should contribute towards their children. Most provinces and territories have a similar set of guidelines for child support orders made under the authority of provincial legislation. 

The Guidelines include various rules that apply to determine support based on the type of custody arrangements. Amounts may also be adjusted when there are special expenses (for example, to cover child care costs) or to prevent undue financial hardship for a parent.

Use of the Guidelines in determining the amount of child support is mandatory. Parents however can agree to an amount that differs from the Guidelines, either higher or lower, if they think it better reflects their situation. If they go to court, the amount will be set in accordance with the Guidelines, unless there are special circumstances that benefit the child or the payor can prove undue hardship if required to pay the Guideline amount.

Civil court
A court dealing with civil or private matters; distinct from criminal court.

Civil Court Survey
A survey that gathers event and case-based information on civil court activity in Canada. The Civil Court Survey (CCS) collects data from superior and provincial courts hearing civil matters including general civil, family, probate, and small claims.

Civil protection
A type of issue in family cases where measures of protection are sought by an individual to ensure their safety and/or that of another individual (i.e., their child), including victim assistance order, emergency intervention order, civil protection order, or restraining order. Includes cases involving domestic violence and, in some jurisdictions, stalking.

Clearance certificate
Certificate issued by the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings (CRDP) to the court indicating that the parties involved in a divorce have not filed any other divorce applications. The court cannot grant a divorce until the clearance certificate has been received from the Central Registry of Divorce Proceedings (CRDP).

Clearance rate
The clearance rate represents the proportion of criminal incidents solved by the police. Police can clear an incident by charge or by means other than the laying of a charge. For an incident to be cleared by charge, at least one accused must have been identified and either a charge has been laid, or recommended to be laid, against this individual in connection with the incident. For an incident to be cleared otherwise, an accused must be identified and there must be sufficient evidence to lay a charge in connection with the incident, but the accused is processed by other means for one of many reasons.

Collection rate
Total amounts received by the maintenance enforcement programs for a group of cases over the fiscal year that are divided by total amounts due over the same time period. A rate of 100% would mean the amount received equalled the amount due.

Compensation-related services
Compensation-related services include: Claims assistance; Compensation - financial; and Compensation - other (e.g. pay fees for professional counselling). Compensation-related services do not include dedicated criminal injuries compensation programs or other financial benefit programs.

A common-law union refers to two people of the opposite sex or of the same sex who live together as a couple but are not legally married to each other.

Community-based victim or witness assistance programs and other community-based agencies
Not-for-profit organizations throughout Canada that participate in the delivery of a victim or witness assistance program. The province of Quebec's Centres d'aide aux victimes d'actes criminels, commonly referred to as CAVACs, would be classified as this type of victim service agency. This group also includes any other non-government, not-for-profit agencies not listed above that provide direct services to victims of crime and are funded in whole or in part by the provincial, territorial or federal government. For the purpose of this survey, transition homes are excluded because Statistics Canada's Transition Home Survey already collects information from them.

Community portion of a custody and supervision order
The period of time, or the portion of the young person's youth sentence that must, with exception of completing an application for continuation of custody, be served in the community.

Community release
Supervision of offenders on day parole, full parole, statutory release and long term supervision orders. The National Parole Board (NPB) has the authority to grant, deny, terminate or revoke parole, to terminate or revoke statutory release, detain certain offenders past their statutory release date, and grant unescorted temporary absences.

Community supervision
Supervision of offenders on probation, conditional sentence and community release (parole or statutory release). Offenders in the community are often supervised by a probation or parole officer.

For purposes of Survey of Maintenance Enforcement Programs , compliance means that at least the amount expected in a month is received or applied (essentially advanced payment received in a prior month is applied against a payment due in the current month when no payment is received, so that the case does not go into arrears). Cases in compliance may also have arrears. The determination of compliance is only made against the current amount due in a month.

Compliance rate
For purposes of the survey, compliance means that at least the amount expected in a month is received or applied (essentially advanced payment received in a prior month is applied against a payment due in the current month when no payment is received, so that the case does not go into arrears). Cases in compliance may also have arrears. The determination of compliance is only made against the current amount due in a month.

The rate is the proportion of cases with an amount due that were in compliance in a given month. Full compliance rate is the percent of cases that made their payment in full and partial compliance rate is the percent of cases that made partial payment.

Method of helping the parties in a dispute to reach agreement, especially divorcing or separating couples to part amicably.

Conditional release
The planned and gradual release of inmates into the community through release mechanisms such as day parole, full parole, temporary absence passes, and statutory release.

Conditional sentence
With a conditional sentence of imprisonment, the execution of the prison sentence is suspended.  This type of sentence can only be imposed in cases where the term of imprisonment would be less than two years, and are therefore administered by provincial and territorial correctional agencies.  In terms of seriousness, it is less serious than prison but more serious than a term of probation. Like probation, conditional sentences are served in the community under supervision and often include a number of conditions restricting the movement and activities of the offender. Unlike probation, however, violation of a condition of a conditional sentence can result in immediate suspension and imprisonment of the offender.

Consent judgment
Where a court order confirms an agreement reached by the parties.

Contested case
A case in which one or more issues is opposed or contested by one of the parties.

Contested divorce
A divorce case in which the divorce or one or more issues is opposed or contested by one of the parties.

Corollary issues
Secondary but related issues in a case. In a divorce case, these may include issues such as custody, support and access.

Correctional service officers
According to the 1991 Standard Occupational Classification, occupations in this unit group are primarily concerned with guarding prisoners and maintaining order in correctional institutions and other places of detention. Correctional service officers are employed by federal, provincial and municipal governments. Supervisors of correctional service officers are included in this unit group.

Correctional Service of Canada
The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is the federal government agency responsible for administering sentences of a term of two years or more, as imposed by the courts. CSC is responsible for managing institutions of various security levels and supervising offenders under conditional release in the community.

Counselling services
Counselling services include: Counsel - individual; Psychological assistance; Self-help/peer support; Counsel - group; Counsel - couple or family; and Conflict resolution.

Court-based victim or witness assistance program
Programs that are specifically mandated to provide support services for individuals who have become involved in the court process as either victims or witnesses of crimes. They generally provide information, assistance and referrals with the goal of making the court process less intimidating. Types of services provided may include court orientation, preparation and accompaniment, updates on progress of the case, coordination of meetings with the Crown, assessment of children's ability to testify, etc. Programs can be geared toward a specific clientele, such as children or victims of domestic violence.

Court enforcement actions
Court-based enforcement of support orders involves court and judge time and is generally employed as a last resort. These tend to be more serious enforcement actions, involving default hearings, issuing of warrants, and default orders, and may culminate in fines or jail.

Court services
Services that were offered by courts to help parents reach an agreement or arrangement, but did not include a judge. For the purposes of the GSS, court services include mediation, conciliation and alternative dispute resolution.

Crimes against the person
Crimes against the person involve the use or threatened use of violence against a person, including homicide, attempted murder, assault, sexual assault and robbery.  Robbery is considered a crime against the person because unlike other theft offences it involves the use, or threat of, violence.

Crimes against property
Involve unlawful acts to gain property, but do not involve the use or threat of violence against the person. They include offences such as break and enter, theft and fraud.

Crime rate
Crime rates are based on the number of incidents reported to police per 100,000 population. Rates are used to make comparisons over time and among geographic areas with different populations. The "crime rate" represents total Criminal Code incidents, excluding traffic incidents. It does not include other federal statutes such as drug offences.

Criminal Code traffic offences
The Criminal Code traffic offences category includes, but is not limited to the following offences: impaired driving, failure or refusal to provide sample (breath or blood), failure to stop at the scene of an accident and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

Criminal incident
One incident can include more than one offence. For incidents involving multiple offences, only the most serious offence in the incident is counted. In categorizing offences according to seriousness, generally the Criminal Code maximum penalties are used, excepting that violent offences always take precedence over non-violent offences. Except for robbery, violent crime counts reflect the number of victims in the incident, whereas non-violent crime counts (and robberies) reflect the number of incidents or occurrences of crime.

Criminal injuries compensation programs and other financial benefits programs for victims of crime
Programs that provide monetary awards and benefits to victims of crime to help ease the financial hardship incurred as a result of their victimization and to assist them in healing from physical injury or psychological trauma. Such programs are normally governed by legislation that outlines eligibility criteria and by guidelines for decision-making. Also includes programs other than criminal injury compensation programs that are designated to pay for specific services for victims of crime, e.g. professional counseling, transportation to hearings, and fees for independent legal counsel to respond to applications by defence counsel to open counseling, therapeutic or medical records in cases of sexual assault.

Crisis-related services
Crisis related services include: Crisis intervention / response; Critical stress debriefing; Emergency and disaster response; Crisis counselling; and Crisis / distress line.

Crude divorce rate
The number of divorces per 100,000 population.

Custodial supervision/custody
Detention of a person in a secure facility (prison), including sentenced custody, remand and temporary detention.

A type of issue in family cases that involves the care, control, parenting, and decision making regarding a child or children. Includes applications by parents and, in some jurisdictions, non-parents.  

Custody and supervision
All cases sentenced to custody under the YCJA have a supervision component for most offences, the supervision period can be up to half as long as the custodial period, and the periods combined must not exceed the maximum sentence length specified in the YCJA. However, if the youth is convicted of manslaughter, attempted murder, or aggravated sexual assault, or is given an intensive rehabilitative custody and supervision order, the length of the custody period and supervision period is up to the discretion of the youth court, as long as the two periods combined is not greater than the maximum sentence length. The maximum lengths of custody and supervision orders for first and second degree murder remain unchanged from the YOA; however the YCJA specifies guidelines governing the maximum length of the sentence to be served in custody. If convicted of first degree murder, the youth’s sentence cannot exceed 10 years, where the committal to custody must not exceed 6 years from the date of committal, followed by a period of conditional supervision served in the community. For second degree murder, the total sentence cannot exceed 7 years, with the committal to custody not exceeding 4 years from the date of committal.


Default hearings
A hearing before a master/court administrator or judge to determine what action may be appropriate in the face of a failure to make support payments.

Deferred custody and supervision order
Like a conditional sentence within adult sentencing, deferred custody and supervision order is a community-based alternative to a custodial sentence. Under a deferred custody order, the young person will serve his or her sentence in the community under a set of strict conditions. If these conditions are not followed, the young person may be sent to custody to serve the balance of that sentence.

Dependent children
A parent's biological or adopted children from the relationship that ended in separation or divorce between 2001 and 2006, who were under the age of 23 at the time of the survey. This allowed for the inclusion of all children who were under the age of 18 in 2001.

Disposed/completed charge or case (Integrated Criminal Court Survey)
A charge is considered disposed of in court when a final decision (other than guilty) has been made. If found guilty on the charge, it is considered disposed of upon sentencing.

A case is considered disposed of when all charges within the case have been disposed.

Disposition events
As defined by the Civil Court Survey, these are events that dispose of part or all of the civil case. They include settlements, stays, dismissals, consent judgments, default judgments, other judgments, expiry of time limits, and transfers to other courts.

Includes all cases dismissed or discontinued by the court, for want of action or jurisdiction, as a result of an application for summary judgment, or after a trial.

The legal dissolution of a legal marriage, distinct from situations where married persons have separated but have not yet obtained a divorce.

Divorce case
Case in civil court dealing with the legal dissolution of a legal marriage. The Civil Court Survey allows for multiple issues, such as divorce, custody, access, support, and others, to be reported for a case as the case proceeds through court. For this analysis, a case is counted as a divorce case if divorce has been one of the issues reported for the case, over the length of the case.

Divorce certificate
Certificate confirming that two individuals were divorced by a judgment which became effective on a particular date.

Divorce judgment
Final order or judgment made by a court in a divorce case, legally ending the marriage.

Drug-related offences
Include offences under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act such as importation, exportation, trafficking, production and possession of drugs or narcotics. Examples include cannabis/marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and other drugs such as crystal meth, PCP, LSD and ecstasy.

Duration-specific divorce rate
The divorce rate in a particular year for a specific marriage cohort. For example, the 2008 divorce rate for persons married in 2008 (i.e. the 2008 marriage cohort) is calculated by dividing the number of 2008 divorces granted to persons married in 2008 by the number of marriages performed in 2008. When multiplied by 1,000, the result is expressed as the number of 2008 divorces per 1,000 marriages from 2008. (This rate incorporates a bias of unknown magnitude due to the death of some spouses during the period as well as in- and out-migration, that is, persons moving from one province or territory to another, or to or from Canada. Divorce records with an unknown year of marriage were distributed on the basis of divorces with known years of marriage.)


Educational attainment
The highest level of education obtained by respondent. Categories range from elementary school/no schooling to a doctorate/masters/or some post-graduate work.

A type of issue in family cases that involves a request for enforcement of an existing order.

Estate matters
A type of issue in family cases that involves estate matters, such as dependants’ relief support claims, or property claims.

One of the basic units of count derived by the Civil Court Survey. Case events are grouped into three categories, Initiation Events, Process Events, and Disposition Events. These can include filings of documents, case conferences and hearings, and judgments.

Event-driven payments (or special payments)
Amounts that are due because of some situation that has arisen if provided for in the order or agreement. For instance, an event-driven payment could be for tuition, dental work or lessons.

Extrajudicial measures
Extrajudicial measures include taking no further action, informal police warnings, referrals to community programs, formal police cautions, Crown cautions and extrajudicial sanctions programs.


Family case
Cases involving family law-related issues, including child protection, divorce, separation, custody and access, division of property, support, and adoption.

Federal garnishment
Garnishments made pursuant to the Queen's Regulations and Orders, and the Garnishment, Attachment and Pension Diversion Act (GAPDA).

Federal statute charges/offences
Federal statute charges include offences as described in the Criminal Code of Canada, Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, Youth Criminal Justice Act, Firearms Act, Immigration Act, Income Tax Act, Excise Act, and any other federal statute under which charges may be laid.

Financial statement
Report summarizing the financial condition of a person on any date for any period.

When a fine is imposed, the offender is ordered to pay a specific dollar amount to the court. Unless the offender has been found guilty of an offence carrying a minimum term of imprisonment, or a maximum penalty of more than 5 years, an offender may be fined in lieu of other types of punishment.

First disposition
The first disposition event recorded after the initiation of a case. This may dispose of one or more issues or the entire case.

Found guilty
Includes guilty (convicted) of the charged offence, of an included offence, of an attempt of the charged offence, of an attempt of an included offence, or a plea of guilt. This category also includes cases where a reprimand or an absolute or conditional discharge has been granted.


Gang-related homicide
Gang-related homicides are those reported by police to occur as a consequence of activities involving an organized crime group or street gang.

General civil case
Any civil action that is not a family-related action.

General Social Survey
The two primary objectives of the General Social Survey (GSS) are: to gather data on social trends in order to monitor changes in the living conditions and well-being of Canadians over time; and to provide information on specific social policy issues of current or emerging interest.

General Social Survey - Family
The two primary objectives of the General Social Survey (GSS) are: to gather data on social trends in order to monitor changes in the living conditions and well-being of Canadians over time; and to provide information on specific social policy issues of current or emerging interest.

The family cycle of the GSS monitors changes in Canadian families. It collects information on: conjugal and parental history (chronology of marriages, common-law unions and children), family origins, children's home leaving, fertility intentions as well as work history and other socioeconomic characteristics.

A type of issue in family cases that involves the status as guardian of a child or children. Includes non-parents applying for appointment as a guardian, but excludes applications by government agencies in child protection cases.

“Guilty” includes guilty of the charged offence, of an included offence, of an attempt of the charged offence, or of an attempt of an included offence, whether the accused pleaded guilty or was found guilty following a trial. This category also includes cases where an individual has been found guilty but was given an absolute or conditional discharge.


A homicide occurs when a person directly or indirectly, by any means, causes the death of a human being. Homicide is either culpable (murder, manslaughter or infanticide) or non-culpable (not an offence and, therefore, not included in the Homicide Survey). Deaths caused by criminal negligence, suicide and accidental or justifiable homicide (e.g. self-defence) are not included. Homicide includes first and second degree murder, manslaughter and infanticide.

Homicide count
The homicide count reflects the number of homicide victims that become known to police and subsequently reported to the Homicide Survey in a given year. Since some homicides become known to police long after they occur, there are generally a few homicides included in a given year's total that occurred in previous years.

Homicide rate
This technique standardizes data to permit comparisons over time and for different population sizes. The homicide rate is based on the number of victims per 100,000 population.

Household income
The total income, before tax deductions, of all members of the household from all income sources for the previous 12 months, reported by respondents at the time of the survey.

Household victimization
The General Social Survey collects information on Canadians' personal accounts of victimization for four household crimes: break and enter, theft of motor vehicle/parts, theft of household property and vandalism. The term household victimization is used to refer to the combination of these offences.


This involves a term of custody served in a provincial/territorial or federal institution. Sentences of two years or more are served in a federal penitentiary, while terms of less than two years are served in provincial/territorial correctional facilities. Sentences of 90 days or less can be served intermittently, which usually refers to serving the sentence on weekends.

An incident is defined as the occurrence of one (or more) criminal offence(s) during one single, distinct event, regardless of the number of victims. If there are multiple victims or multiple accused persons, the offences must occur at the same location and at the same time if they are to be included within the same incident. The incident count will normally be lower than the victim count due to incidents involving multiple victims.

Infanticide occurs when a female willfully causes the death of her newly-born child (under one year of age), if her mind is considered disturbed from the effects of giving birth or from lactation.

Information services (court or justice-system related)
Information services include: Information on criminal justice system structure and process; Court orientation / information; Case or trial updates; Victim notification (e.g. Hearings, offender relocation, and offender release); and Legal information.

Intensive support and supervision order
An intensive support and supervision order was introduced in the YCJA as an alternative to custody. Similar to probation, an intensive support and supervision order is served in the community under conditions, but provides closer monitoring and support than a probation order to assist the young person in changing his or her behaviour. This is an ‘opt-in’ sanction under the YCJA, meaning that provinces and territories may choose not to implement this option, taking into consideration available resources.

Interception of federal funds
Under the Family Orders and Agreements Enforcement Assistance Act (Part II), the maintenance enforcement program can intercept federal funds, such as income tax refunds, Employment Insurance benefits, Old Age Security, Canada Pension Plan benefits, and interest on regular Canada Savings Bonds.

Interim order
Often in family law cases, issues need to be resolved early in the process, at least temporarily, for example, parenting arrangements and child support. Either party may make a court application for a temporary order at any time after court proceedings have started. Parties set out evidence through affidavits (documents with sworn statements of fact) and a judge will review the documents and/or other testimony during an interim hearing. An interim decision (order) is then rendered by the judge.

Interjurisdictional Support Orders
The legislation that governs the enforcement of interjurisdictional child or spousal support orders is called the Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act. The purpose of this legislation is to allow one or both of the parties to obtain or vary a support order under provincial legislation, or to have an existing order recognized and enforced when the parties are in different jurisdictions.

Interjurisdictional Support Orders status
Interjurisdictional Support Orders (ISO) status distinguishes between three types of cases that comprise the caseload of every Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP):

  • Non-ISO cases: These are typically cases where the payor and recipient live in the jurisdiction where the case is registered. Only one MEP manages the case.
  • ISO-in cases: These are cases where the MEP has been asked to provide enforcement by another jurisdiction because the payor is known to reside or have assets in the MEP's jurisdiction. The case is referred to as an ISO-out in the other jurisdiction, and the two reciprocating MEPs work together to manage the case.
  • ISO-out cases: These are cases that have been sent to another jurisdiction for enforcement. If the payor lives out-of-province, and the recipient and child beneficiaries are in-province, the case is referred to as an ISO-out case in the enforcing MEP. The case is referred to as an ISO-in in the other jurisdiction, and the two reciprocating MEPs work together to manage the case.


As defined by the Civil Court Survey–a decision made by a judge (or a master), including interim orders, orders, decisions on costs or other decisions that dispose of part of or all of the case, including summary judgments. It is possible for civil cases to have two or more judgments.  For example a case may obtain a judgment that disposes of one issue, but not all of the matters associated with the case.

Judgment ordered
An arrangement for spending time or making decisions that is ordered by a judge as an outcome of a hearing or a trial.

According to the 1991 Standard Occupational Classification, occupations in this unit group are primarily concerned with adjudicating civil and criminal cases and administering justice in courts of law.

Jurisdictional garnishment
This refers to the formal process whereby an amount is deducted from a payor’s salary or wages, or other source of income on a regular basis


Lawyers and notaries
According to the 1991 Standard Occupational Classification, occupations in this unit group are primarily concerned with advising clients on legal matters, pleading cases or conducting prosecutions in courts of law, representing clients before tribunals and administrative boards and drawing up legal documents such as contracts and wills. Lawyers and Quebec notaries may specialize in specific areas such as criminal law, corporate law, real estate law, commercial law, family and estates law, property law and labour law. Articling law students are classified in this unit group.

Legal custody
The parental responsibility related to making important decisions about a dependent child's care and upbringing.

Legal secretaries
According to the 1991 Standard Occupational Classification, occupations in this unit group are primarily concerned with performing a variety of clerical, administrative and other related duties in law offices, real estate companies, land title offices, courts of law and in the legal departments of large companies and municipal, provincial and federal governments.

Lone-parent families
The Census definition of a lone-parent family is a mother or a father, with no spouse or common law partner present, living in a dwelling with one or more children. This includes children living with one parent following a parental breakup, single parents of adopted children, a grandparent or other family member who is responsible for the day-to-day care of the children, and widows or widowers (19% of lone-parents in 2006 were widows). Moreover, children in a lone-parent family could be an adult child. In 2006, 31% of the 2 million children that lived in lone-parent families were 20 years of age or older.

Low income after-tax cut-offs (LICO-AT)
The low income after-tax cut-offs are set at after-tax income levels, differentiated by size of family and area of residence, where families spend 20 percentage points more of their after-tax income than the average family on food, shelter and clothing.

Table: low income after-tax cut-offs (1992 base) for economic families and persons not in economic families, 2005

Low income
The low income after-tax cut-offs are set at after-tax income levels, differentiated by size of family and area of residence, where families spend 20 percentage points more of their after-tax income than the average family on food, shelter and clothing.


Making major decisions
Arrangements ex-partners have in place for decision-making responsibilities for their children's health, religion and/or education.

Manslaughter is culpable homicide that is not murder or infanticide.

A provincially appointed judicial officer who is authorized to decide certain non-criminal matters.

The median is the middle point of a distribution, when the units are arranged in increasing or decreasing order based on a quantitative variable (such as income, age, or payment due). One half of the group is above the median and one-half below it.

Median age
Median represents the mid-point when the values are arranged in order of size; one-half of the observations have a value less than the median and one-half of the observations have a value greater than the median. The median age is the age which divides a population into two equal halves.

A process where a neutral third party (mediator), selected by the disputing parties, assists parties to reach agreement on issues in dispute.

Medical-related services
Medical-related services include: Hospital accompaniment; and First aid, health and medical services.

Most serious offence (Adult Correctional Services)
This measure is based on the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey which classifies incidents according to the most serious offence in the incident. The Adult Correctional Services Survey uses the same rule in determining the most serious offence for which an offender is sentenced. For example, if an offender is sentenced with more than one offence, the most serious offence rule states that where several offences occur in one incident, only the most serious offence, based on penalties in the Criminal Code of Canada, is recorded.

Most serious offence Youth Custody and Community Services
When a youth is accused or convicted or more than one offence, the Youth Custody and Community Services (YCCS) survey categorizes the "most serious offence" (MSO) according to the offence classification scheme currently being used by the Youth Court Survey. In general, violent offences are classified as more serious than non-violent offences, and then seriousness is determined based on the maximum penalty for each offence.

A request to a judge for an order, either before, during, or after a trial or other proceeding.

A murder occurs when a person intentionally, by a willful act or omission, causes the death of another human being, or means to cause bodily harm that the person knows is likely to cause death.

First degree murder occurs when:

  1. It is planned and deliberate; or
  2. The victim is a person employed and acting in the course of his/her work for the preservation and maintenance of the public peace (e.g. police officer, correctional worker); or
  3. The death is caused by a person committing or attempting to commit certain serious offences (e.g. treason, kidnapping, hijacking, sexual assault, robbery and arson).

Second degree murder is all murder that is not first degree.


National Parole Board hearings
A hearing is a face-to-face meeting between Board members and the offender. Its purpose is to help Board members assess the risk that the offender may present to the community should he/she be granted conditional release. A hearing usually takes place in the institution where the offender is incarcerated. At a hearing, Board members review the case with the offender, the parole officer and the offender's assistant. In most cases, Board members give the decision and the reasons for the decision at the hearing.

Certain social or other needs specific to each inmate. A need is indicated as being present when the need is assessed as medium or high. Assessed needs include:

Attitude: degree to which an individual accepts responsibility for the offence and shows a willingness to change.
Peers/companions (social interaction): level of problems associated with some or all of the individual's peers.
Drug or alcohol abuse (substance abuse): degree to which use of alcohol and/or drugs is associated with problems.
Employment: employment status (employed vs. unemployed) and employment history.
Family/marital relationships (marital/family): presence or absence of serious problems in relationships.
Emotional stability of offender (personal/emotional): whether or not emotional instability exists and the degree to which this is related to serious problems.

Non-resident parent
In this article, a non-resident parent is a person with an arrangement for spending time who indicated that the children live primarily with the ex-partner.

Document providing legal notification of something related to the case (e.g. Notice of Hearing, Notice of Appeal).


Open custody
A facility is considered "open" when there is minimal use of security devices or perimeter security. The extent to which facilities are "open" varies across jurisdictions. Open custody facilities include community residential centres, group homes, childcare institutions, forest or wilderness camps etc.

Opt-in registration
In an "opt-in" registration system, enrolment with a Maintenance Enforcement Program  is at the option of either the recipient or payor. The only exception is cases where the recipient is entitled to social assistance, in which case enrolment is mandatory.

Opt-out registration
In an automatic or "opt-out" registration system, maintenance orders are automatically enrolled with a maintenance enforcement program at the time of the order. To be removed from the caseload of a Maintenance Enforcement Program, a recipient must ask to be withdrawn from the program. In many jurisdictions, the payor has to agree to the withdrawal. This request can be denied if the recipient is collecting social assistance.

A decision or directive of the court that decides any point or directs some steps in the proceedings.

Order to attend a non-residential program
As another possible alternative to custody introduced by the YCJA, the youth court may order the young person to attend a non-residential program at fixed times and terms. The attendance order is also an ‘opt-in’ sanction for the provinces and territories.

Organized crime group
An organized crime group consists of a static or fluid group of (two or more) individuals who communicate, co-operate, and conspire within an ongoing collective or network; and has, as one of its main purposes or activities, the facilitation or commission of offences undertaken or planned to generate material benefits or financial gain.

'Other' Criminal Code offences
These incidents involve the remaining Criminal Code offences that are not classified as violent or property (excluding traffic offences). Examples are mischief, bail violations, disturbing the peace, arson, prostitution and offensive weapons.

Other decisions
The “Other decisions” category includes final decisions of found not criminally responsible waived in province/territory, and waived out of province/territory. This category also includes mistrials, the court’s acceptance of a special plea (e.g. autrefois acquit), cases which raise Charter arguments and cases where the accused was found unfit to stand trial following a fitness hearing. In jurisdictions not providing superior court data (i.e., Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan), the “other decision” category also includes charges having a committal for trial in superior court as the decision on the final appearance in provincial court.

Other payments due to the jurisdiction
Some jurisdictions charge fees or penalties against the payor. Some common examples of fees include default penalties for missed or late payments, and charges for NSF cheques.

Other services (VSS)
Other services include: General information; Emotional support; Liaise with other agencies on behalf of client; Public education / prevention; Advocacy (e.g., criminal or civil justice); Training (of other agencies, justice personnel, etc.); Lobbying activities and Other services not otherwise specified.

Other sexual offences
The “other sexual offences” category includes, but is not limited to the following offences: sexual interference, sexual exploitation; voyeurism; incest; making, distributing, possessing or accessing child pornography; and child luring.


According to the 1991 Standard Occupational Classification, occupations in this unit group are primarily concerned with assisting lawyers by preparing legal documents, maintaining records and files, and conducting research or providing certain legal services to the public as allowed by provincial legislation. Paralegals and those in related occupations are usually employed in law firms or in legal departments throughout the public and private sectors or may be self-employed. Trade mark agents may also be employed in trade mark development and searching firms or may be self-employed.

Persons who divorced or separated at least once between 2001 and 2006 and who had dependent children from their former relationship.

Parents with a shared living arrangement
In this article, a parent with a shared living arrangement is a person with an arrangement for spending time, who indicated that the children spent equal amounts of time in both parents' homes.

Parents with a split living arrangement
In this article, a parent with a split living arrangement is a person with an arrangement for spending time, who indicated that at least on child's primary residence was their home and at least one other child form the relationship had his or her primary home at their ex-partners.

Programs of conditional release from custody into the community under the authority of parole boards.

Participation-related services
Participation services include: Court accompaniment; Assistance with victim impact statements; Victim or witness preparation.

The payor is the person named in the order/agreement who provides the support payments. Some Maintenance Enforcement Programs refer to the payor as the "debtor" or "respondent". The payor is usually the non-resident parent of the child beneficiaries.

A document which commences a civil proceeding (divorce petitions are included here).

Physical custody
The parental responsibility related to everyday care and control of dependent children. Custody can be shared by both parents, or be the sole responsibility of one parent.

Police-based agencies
Victim services that are offered by a federal, provincial or municipal police service.

Police officers
According to the 1991 Standard Occupational Classification, occupations in this unit group are primarily concerned with maintaining law and order, protecting the public, and detecting and preventing crime. Police officers (except commissioned) are employed by municipal, provincial and federal governments. This unit group includes Ports Canada Police and Railway Police.

Police-reported crime rate
The Police-reported crime rate (PRCR) measures changes in the number of police-reported Criminal Code incidents, excluding traffic incidents, coming to the attention of the police for a given population. The rate is a count of all criminal incidents reported to and by police divided by the population of interest (such as Canada, a province or territory). All crime rates are based on 100,000 population unless otherwise stated.

Police-reported Crime Severity Index
The Police-reported Crime Severity Index (PRSCI) measures changes in the severity of police-reported crime by accounting for both the amount of crime reported to police and the relative seriousness of these crimes. It shows whether crime in general is relatively more or less serious than in previous years and it helps in determining if reported crime is more or less serious in one jurisdiction than in another.  Three separate severity indexes have been created: one for overall police-reported crime, one for violent crime including only crimes against the person, and one for non-violent crime such as property and drug offences.

Pre-charge screening
Pre-charge screening refers to a formal process whereby a Crown prosecutor is responsible for pre-charge approval (i.e., whether a charge will be officially laid and will proceed to court). Currently in Canada, only New Brunswick, Quebec and British Columbia have such systems in place, however the thresholds for whether a charge will be laid vary in each of these provinces. 

Pre-trial hearing
Hearing or conference before judge to clarify issues, encourage settlement and shorten trial hearing. 

Preliminary inquiry
A preliminary inquiry is a judicial hearing to determine whether the evidence assembled by the Crown is sufficient to proceed with trial in a higher court (i.e., Superior Court). The preliminary inquiry is not a trial in the strict sense although evidence is given upon oath and the accused or the accused’s counsel is entitled to cross examine any witnesses summoned by the Crown.

Cases involving the administration and distribution of the estates of deceased persons (whether they left a will or died intestate).

Probation and parole officers
According to the 1991 Standard Occupational Classification, occupations in this unit group are primarily concerned with the rehabilitation of criminal offenders. Probation and parole officers and related occupations supervise offenders on probation or parole, and assess and prepare rehabilitation plans for those offenders incarcerated in correctional institutions. This class includes supervisors of probation and parole officers.

Probation/supervised probation
An offender sentenced to a term of probation remains in the community, but is subject to a number of conditions for the duration of the probation order. Some conditions are compulsory and apply to all offenders on probation. These include keeping the peace and appearing before the court when required to do so. The optional conditions vary from case to case, and can include performing community service, abstaining from the consumption of alcohol and attending treatment. Violating the conditions of a probation order is a criminal offence subject to possible prosecution that could result in a maximum sentence of imprisonment of two years. Probation is mandatory in cases where the accused is given a conditional discharge or a suspended sentence. Probation may be supervised or unsupervised.

Process events
As defined by the Civil Court Survey, these are events that move the case forward through the civil process, but are not the initiating event. They include documents filed, discovery hearings, pre-trial hearings, motion/application hearings, status hearings, enforcement hearings, adjournments, trial hearings, and appeal hearings. Cases may have many process events.

A type of issue in family cases that involves claims to property of two parties who lived together. Includes both statutory marital/family property claims (e.g., possession, division, or equalization of marital/family property of individuals who were cohabiting in a married or common-law relationship) and non-statutory property claims (e.g., unjust enrichment, constructive or resulting trust, etc).

Property crimes or offences/crimes against property
Involve unlawful acts to gain property, but do not involve the use or threat of violence against the person.  They include offences such as break and enter, theft and fraud.

Protection services
Protection services include: Safety planning - immediate; Safety planning -long term; Risk assessment (conduct and coordinate); Prevention training (for victims); and Child protection services.

Provincial/territorial courts
Provincial/territorial courts deal with most criminal offences, family law matters except divorce), young persons in conflict with the law (from 12 to 17 years old), traffic violations, provincial/territorial regulatory offences, and claims involving money, up to a certain amount (set by the jurisdiction in question). Private disputes involving limited sums of money may also be dealt with at this level in Small Claims courts.


Recipient of child and/or spousal support
The recipient is the person named in the order/agreement to receive the support and is generally the parent with whom the children live. Sometimes the recipient is a grandparent or another person responsible for the children. The money the recipient receives could be for the benefit of the recipient, for dependent child(ren), or for both. Some Maintenance Enforcement Programs refer to the recipient as the "creditor" or "claimant".

Regular payment
This refers to the amount ordered or agreed to, expressed as a monthly payment due and includes the regular ongoing amount due in one month. Scheduled arrears are not included.

Refers to the completion of an uninterrupted period of supervision within a specific status (i.e., remand, sentenced custody, community supervision and probation). A new release is counted at the completion of each program type.

Court ordered temporary detention of a person,  pursuant to a Remand Warrant, while awaiting trial or sentencing, or prior to commencement of a custodial disposition.

A new sentencing option under the YCJA, a reprimand is the least punitive of all youth sentences, essentially involving a stern lecture from the judge. A reprimand may be most suitable in minor cases where exposure to the police and the court system alone may be deemed sufficient to hold the youth accountable for their offence. Reprimands do not result in a criminal record.

Resident parent
In this article, a resident parent is a person with an arrangement for spending time who indicated that the children live primarily at their homes.

Residual federal statutes
Residual federal statutes refers to offences against Canadian federal statutes other than the Criminal Code of Canada, the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and the Youth Criminal Justice Act such as the Customs Act, the Employment Insurance Act, Firearms Act, Food and Drugs Act, the Income Tax Act and the Narcotic Control Act.

Restorative justice related services
Restorative justice related services include: Restorative justice or mediation measures: orientation and information; and Restorative justice or mediation measures: accompaniment and support. These may involve direct provision of restorative justice programs as well as support.

Rural areas
For the purposes of the Transition Home Survey, rural areas include small towns, villages and other populated places with less than 1,000 population.


Scheduled arrears payments
Occasionally, arrears are subject to a repayment schedule. Scheduled arrears payments are the scheduled amounts due each month (or some other scheduled interval, such as weekly or quarterly) that the payor is required to make in order to pay off arrears. If the payor makes his scheduled arrears payment, then usually the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) will not take further enforcement. However, if these payments are missed, MEPs will then take enforcement action against the payor.

Secure custody
A facility is considered "secure" when young persons are detained by security devices, including those facilities which operate with full perimeter security features and/or where youths are under constant observation. The extent to which facilities are "secure" varies across jurisdictions

Sentenced custody
Detention of offenders convicted of a crime, either in a federal (2 years or more), or a provincial or territorial (less than 2 years) facility.

The act of ending either a marriage or a common-law relationship through separation.

An agreement by the parties regarding all outstanding issues, or agreement to terminate or forestall a lawsuit, including settlements without a trial or during trial.

Settlement conference
A meeting between a judge and the parties or their lawyers, or all together, to identify any issues that can be settled or any facts agreed upon and the evidence that will be relied on for the outstanding issues.

Sexual assault
A violent offence classified into one of three levels according to the seriousness of the incident: level 1, the category of least physical injury to the victim; level 2, sexual assault with a weapon, threats to use a weapon, or causing bodily harm; and level 3, sexual assault that wounds, maims, disfigures or endangers the life of the victim.

Sexual assault and rape crisis centres, and hospital-based sexual assault treatment centres
Centres that are mandated to exclusively serve victims of recent or historical sexual assault. Sexual assault and rape crisis centres often have 24-hour crisis telephone lines and are community-based, not-for-profit agencies. Hospital-based sexual assault centres consist of a team of nurses and physicians that are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through the emergency department so that victims of a sexual assault can receive specialized medical and emotional care.

For the purposes of the Transition Home Survey, the term 'shelter' is used broadly to refer to all residential facilities for abused women.

Shelter-related services
Shelter-related services include: Transportation; Basic needs provision (e.g. food, clothing); Shelter or housing - emergency; Housing assistance; Shelter or housing - longer term housing.

Solved homicide
A homicide is solved when an accused person has been identified by police and the incident has been cleared either by charge (laid or recommended) or "otherwise" (e.g. death of the accused by suicide or natural causes).

Spending time
Arrangements ex-partners have for the amount of time the children live with or have with each parent.

Split custody
A situation where physical custody of dependent children is split between the partners, with each parent having custody of at least one child.

Statement of defence
The defendant’s response to the Statement of Claim, Application, Writ, or Petition.

Statutory release
Release of federal offenders into the community after serving two thirds of their sentence.

Involves a stay of proceedings, where a charge or charges are suspended, and the Crown may recommence court proceedings at a later date, within one year.

Stay/withdrawn includes stay of proceedings, withdrawn, dismissed and discharged at preliminary inquiry. These decisions all refer to the court stopping or interrupting criminal proceedings against the accused.

Street gang
A street gang is defined as a more or less structured group of adolescents, young adults and/or adults who use intimidation and violence to commit criminal acts on a regular basis, in order to obtain power and recognition and/or control specific areas of criminal activities.

Summary judgment
A judgment which is entered in favour of one party without a trial, as there are no real issues of fact that can be triable presented for the record by way of a motion.

Superior courts
Also known as Section 96 courts. These courts are known by various names, including Superior Court of Justice, High Court of Justice and Court of Queen’s Bench. The superior courts have “inherent jurisdiction” which means that they can hear cases in any area except those that are specifically limited to a lower court. The superior courts generally hear more serious matters and try civil cases related to federal statutes, including divorce cases.

A type of issue in family cases that involves child, spousal/partner, parental, or other unspecified support issues.

System-based agencies
Models of service delivery for victims of crime that are independent from police, courts and Crown attorneys, and that assist victims throughout their contact with the criminal justice system. System-based agencies also serve clients who choose not to involve the criminal justice system. These models of service are found in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Manitoba, where they are administered by the provincial government.


Temporary detention
Incarceration of a person (who is not on remand or has not been sentenced) for other reasons, e.g. immigration matters, parole suspension.

Time served
Refers to the aggregate time served or total amount of days a person spent upon completion of an uninterrupted period of time under a particular status.

Total payment
This refers to all monies for support. This amount includes the regular amount expected for a given month plus scheduled arrears, event-driven payments, and fees, costs and penalties due. In most jurisdictions, regular payment constitutes more than 97% of total payment due. The one exception is Alberta, where regular payment due hovers around 85% of total payment due. Alberta makes more extensive use of arrears repayment schedules and also charges more fees than other jurisdictions. Refer to section 3.3 of Child and Spousal Support: Maintenance Enforcement Survey Statistics 2006/2007 for more information on fee structures for all Maintenance Enforcement Programs.

A proceeding before a judge or master to examine and determine issues of law or fact.


Uncontested divorce
A divorce case in which all issues are agreed on or are unopposed.

Unified family courts
Specialists courts that only deal with issues involving family law and are presided over by federally appointed judges who may hear matters under both federal and provincial-territorial legislation. This approach permits all aspects of family matters to be dealt with in an integrated manner and eliminates the necessity of going before different courts to settle related matters.


If parties want a final order changed, for example, the party with whom the children reside may require more money, an application to the court is filed. The judge will make a decision after reviewing the documents (e.g., affidavits) filed with the application or any other testimony given in a court hearing.

Violent crimes or offences/crimes against the person
Crimes against the person involve the use or threatened use of violence against a person, including homicide, attempted murder, assault, sexual assault and robbery. Robbery is considered a crime against the person because unlike other theft offences it involves the use, or threat of, violence.

Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Service
Community-based, non-government agencies that are specific to Ontario and that work closely with the police. They provide on-scene and short-term assistance to victims of crime and other traumatic events and make referrals to community services for longer-term assistance.

Victim information and attendance at National Parole Board hearings
Similar to the Correctional Service of Canada, the National Parole Board provides victims with information regarding the person who harmed them and also allows victims to make presentations at parole hearings.

Victim notification through the Correctional Service of Canada
The Correctional Service of Canada's responsibility in regard to victims of federal offenders is as an information provider. Victims are entitled to know the offender's name, the offence that led to the conviction, the court that convicted him or her, the start date and length of his or her sentence, and the offender's eligibility and review dates for temporary absences, day parole and full parole. If the interest of the victim outweighs any invasion of the offender's privacy, the victim can obtain further information, such as the name of the penitentiary where the offender is being held, the conditions and location of his or her release, and the date of the offender's National Parole Board hearing. Victims must request the information since it is not automatically communicated to them.

Victim Services Survey
The objective of this survey is to collect information on victim service agencies that provided services directly to primary or secondary victims of crime during the 12-month reference period, as well as to provide a one-day snapshot of clientele being served on a specific date. Information on activities by criminal injuries compensation/financial benefit programs during the 12-month reference period is also collected.

Violent victimization
The General Social Survey collects information on Canadians' personal accounts of victimization for three violent crimes: sexual assault, robbery and physical assault. The term violent victimization is used to refer to the combination of these offences.


Weapons offences
The “weapons offences” category includes, but is not limited to the following offences: unauthorized possession of a firearm or prohibited weapon, trafficking of weapons, unauthorized importing and exporting of firearms, prohibited/restricted weapon, device or ammunition; and making automatic firearms.

When one or both of the parties withdraws from, or abandons, a case for any reason without direction from the Court.

Withdrawn or dismissed charges
Refer to cases where all charges were withdrawn by the Crown (prior to the entering of a plea by the accused) or dismissed by the court. These decisions all refer to the court stopping or interrupting criminal proceedings against the accused.


Young person/youth
A person who is 12 years of age or older, but less than 18 years of age, at the time of committing an offence.

Youth crime rate
Includes youth, aged 12 to 17, accused of a criminal offence and formally charged, recommended to the Crown for charging by police or cleared by means other than the laying of a charge. Rates are calculated on the basis of 100,000 youth aged 12 to 17 in the population.

Youth Criminal Justice Act/Young Offenders Act offences
The Youth Criminal Justice Act/Young Offenders Act offences category includes inducing a young person, failure to comply with a sentence or disposition, publishing the identity of offenders, victims or witnesses and failure to comply with a designated temporary place of detention (s.136 -139 YCJA).

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