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