Book Reviews -- Crime and Punishment in Canada: A History by D. Owen Carrigan

Article excerpt

People interested in the growth of crime in the U.S. and the assumed lack of it in Canada will be surprised at the close parallel of growth in the two countries. From the earliest fur-trading days, Canadians of all classes--British, French, native Americans--have discovered that because of hate, anger, financial gain or personal pique they should resort to violence. The percentage among the population has increased since the beginning.

Canada was relatively free of the Mafia until the Senator Estes Kefauver Senate investigation into organized crime drove many of the kingpins into Montreal. There they found gangs of drug dealers, extortionists and other thugs. The two groups managed to join efforts and became a formidable force. The tactics were the same there as in New York City, with very profitable results. Carrigan covers the growth of the gangs well with the exception of the Canadian export of gangs which now concentrate in the Miami, Florida area and are known as the Canadian Mafia. Perhaps, Canadians feel, fair exchange is fair play. …