Manitoba has second-highest homicide rate in Canada
Posted November 23, 2022 5:06 pm.
Last Updated November 23, 2022 6:52 pm.
It’s another grim statistic for Manitoba, a new report reveals that the province had the second-highest homicide rate in Canada last year.
According to Statistics Canada, the province saw a total of 61 homicides — giving Manitoba a homicide rate of 4.41 per one hundred thousand.
“Going back to at least 2014, 2018, 2019, our homicide rate is above the national average,” explained Dr. Kelly Gorkoff, Associate Professor Criminal Justice Department at the University of Winnipeg.
“In broad terms, if we look internationally it’s a pretty low homicide rate. Compared to the U.S., compared to some countries overseas, but in the comparative context, if the Canadian average is 1.75 per 100,000 and we’re about 4. That’s almost double.”
Gorkoff says Manitoba has significant social determinants of homicide such as a lack of affordable housing and social support for people with addiction issues which contribute to the number of homicides the province sees.
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Sargent Paul Manaigre from the RCMP says Manitoba’s homicide rate is a number higher than they’d like to see.
“This year our major crime service with homicide has been very busy, a lot busier than we like,” he explained.
And just like Manitoba, neighbouring Saskatchewan had a homicide rate of 5.93 per one hundred thousand people, making it the highest in the country.
Although Manaigre says he doesn’t know why homicide rates are higher in the prairies, one factor that potentially comes into play is economic instability.
“It probably comes down to socioeconomic factors once again as there’s higher unemployment in rural areas.”
The report also shows that the rate of homicide against Indigenous people remained disproportionally higher than any other group in Canada. The report contributes that with Canada’s long history of colonialism and Gorkoff agrees.
“The citizenry in Manitoba has really experienced the blunt force of colonialism in ways not seen in other Canadian cities of similar size. The impact of colonialism manifests itself in sets of unhealthy relationships and a lot of basic needs being unmet,” Gorkoff explained.
Earlier this month, Winnipeg surpassed the record number of homicides making 2022 the deadliest year on record. As for what the future holds, Gorkoff says she doesn’t think the province’s homicide rate will be slowing down anytime soon.
“I don’t think that trend is going to stop. I think it’s going to continue unless we address these kinds of determinants that give rise to violent crime.”