Na­tional homi­cide rate sits at 10-year high; Cal­gary in third spot

Calgary Herald - - CITY + REGION - SAMMY HUDES With files from The Cana­dian Press [email protected]­media.com

Cal­gary’s homi­cide rate was the third-high­est of any ma­jor Cana­dian city last year, be­hind only Ed­mon­ton and Win­nipeg, ac­cord­ing to a new Statis­tics Canada re­port.

Cal­gary’s rate of 2.07 vic­tims for ev­ery 100,000 peo­ple was also above the na­tional rate of 1.80.

The re­port, re­leased Wed­nes­day, says the na­tional homi­cide rate was its high­est in a decade last year due to a spike in the num­ber of deaths from guns and gang vi­o­lence.

The re­port comes weeks after the fed­eral Lib­er­als and Con­ser­va­tives rolled out com­pet­ing plans — ahead of next year’s elec­tion — to tackle the rise in gun and gang vi­o­lence.

Statis­tics Canada says po­lice re­ported 660 killings across the coun­try last year, which was 48 more than in 2016.

The over­all homi­cide rate was the high­est since 2009.

Cal­gary’s rate per 100,000 peo­ple was down from 2.25 in 2016. There were 31 homi­cide vic­tims in 2017, com­pared with 33 the pre­vi­ous year.

Ed­mon­ton’s rate of 3.49 and Win­nipeg ’s of 2.96 for ev­ery 100,000 peo­ple were the high­est last year of any cities in Canada with a pop­u­la­tion of 500,000 or more.

With the big­gest pop­u­la­tion of any city in Canada, how­ever, Toronto had the most homi­cide vic­tims both of the past two years, with 96 in 2016 and 92 in 2017.

There were 53 homi­cide vic­tims in Van­cou­ver last year, 49 in Ed­mon­ton, 46 in Mon­treal, 24 in Win­nipeg and 14 in Ot­tawa.

Cal­gary av­er­aged 27 homi­cide vic­tims per year from 2007-16, and a rate of 2.10 vic­tims for ev­ery 100,000 peo­ple.

The lat­ter fig­ure was also the third-high­est in the coun­try, be­hind Win­nipeg ’s rate of 3.69 and Ed­mon­ton’s 3.02.

Statis­tics Canada blames gangs for a steady in­crease in gun-re­lated killings, which ac­counted for about 40 per cent of all homi­cides last year and which reached their high­est rate in 25 years.

It also says the grad­ual shift to­ward more hand­gun-re­lated deaths con­tin­ued last year as the weapons ac­counted for 60 per cent of firearm-re­lated homi­cides.

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