Winter 2013 issue of the Expert Witness newsletter (volume 17, issue 1)


In Assessment of Personal Injury Damages (5th Edition), we discussed the economic outcomes for aboriginal peoples in Canada. We outlined articles related to this subject, and provided data regarding income, educational attainment, participation, and unemployment rates for aboriginal people in Canada, based on the 2006 census. In this issue, we summarize new data derived from theĀ  2011 National Household Survey (a component of the latest census) and discuss how this information will affect the calculation of income loss for aboriginal plaintiffs.

A comparison between the latest data and the data from previous years suggests that outcomes for aboriginal peoples have been improving with time (particularly as the outcomes compare to non-aboriginal Canadians). For example, the 2001 census suggested that (on average) aboriginals working full-time, full-year earned approximately 79 percent of the income of non-aboriginals. This increased to 81.1 percent at the time of the 2006 census. The 2011 census suggests that aboriginal income is now equal to approximately 85 percent of the income of a non-aboriginal Canadian. Nonetheless, the latest data still indicate that an adjustment to the income estimates for aboriginal plaintiffs may be required.

Estimating the Income of an Aboriginal Plaintiff: Recent Evidence

  • In this issue, we discuss the average income, educational attainment, unemployment, and participation rates of aboriginal Canadians (relative to non-aboriginals), as well as the economic outcomes of aboriginal peoples living on reserves. We then outline the adjustments to the income estimates, based on the latest census data, we feel are reasonable.