Nova Scotia had 13 hoax terrorism incidents in 2016, the highest in Canada

Halifax Regional Police on the scene of a bomb threat at the Dartmouth Sportsplex/Halifax Transit terminal in 2016.
Halifax Regional Police on the scene of a bomb threat at the Dartmouth Sportsplex/Halifax Transit terminal in 2016. Paul DeWitt/Global News File

Welcome to Nova Scotia, home to Peggy’s Cove, Canada’s Atlantic Fleet and for 2016, hoax terrorism.

With 13 incidents in the province last year, Nova Scotia had the highest number of incidents and the highest rate per 100,000 people out of any province in Canada.

That’s more than double any other province that year, with Quebec experiencing only six incidents of hoax terrorism.

All statistics were drawn from the Statistics Canada’s incident-based crime statistics, which were released on Monday.

The report catalogues violations of Canada’s Criminal Code which are self-reported by police units across the country.

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What is hoax terrorism?

According to the Criminal Code, hoax terrorism is likely to cause any person to fear death, bodily harm or substantial damage to property.

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It can also be considered hoax terrorism if someone does something that would cause others to believe terrorist activity is occurring or will occur without believing the incident to be true.

Incidents like bomb threats can fall into this territory.

Punishment depends on whether or not the incident of hoax terrorism causes anyone bodily harm or death.

If convicted, a charge of hoax terrorism can net someone a maximum of five years in prison. If it causes bodily harm, someone can face a maximum of 10 years, while if someone dies during an incident, they can be be sentenced to life in prison.

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In context

Nova Scotia’s spike in hoax terrorism incidents is noteworthy, as according to Stats Canada, there have been very few incidents in the province in the past.

Nova Scotia has only had three incidents of hoax terrorism since 2006, when statistics were first being recorded.

In fact, only one province has ever had a higher number of incidents. Quebec experienced 79 in 2012, with a large portion of charges connected to student protests at Université du Québec à Montréal.