Statistics Canada data shows that Canada’s homicide rate went up in 2021 – the third year the national murder rate has continued to climb.
In their latest report Homicide trends in Canada, 2021, the department reported 788 homicides last year or 29 more than in 2020.
Overall the homicide rate went up by 3% last year. Nearly one quarter, or 23% of all murders, were a result of gang-related violence. Meanwhile, spousal violence accounted for 17% of all homicides.
Despite the Liberal government implementing several gun control measures, firearms remained the number one murder weapon.
“Among firearm-related homicides, handguns were the primary type of firearm used (57%), followed by rifles and shotguns (26%),” wrote analysts.
“Almost half (46%) of firearm-related homicides were identified as gang-related. Overall, the national firearm-related homicide rate increased by 6% compared with 2020, from 0.73 to 0.78 per 100,000 population.”
Cities with the highest rates of homicide were Regina, Winnipeg and Thunder Bay.
Data was gathered from police report surveys submitted to Statistics Canada by law enforcement agencies across Canada.
Law enforcement officials have criticized the Liberal government’s approach to tackling crime. In October, Edmonton Police Service Chief Dale McFee told the House of Commons public safety committee that the latest handgun ban would lead to a short-term spike in criminal trafficking.
“In the short term we can expect those wanting to acquire guns will find alternatives including increased incidences of smuggling,” said McFee.
Others including Toronto Police Service deputy chief Myron Demkiw has stated that current legislation would not deal with the city’s crime problem.
“Our problem in Toronto are handguns from the United States,” Demkiw told parliamentarians in February.
“The issues around investing in what you described is certainly not going to deal with the crime problem we’re facing in Toronto, as it relates to the use of criminal handguns.”