THUNDER BAY – Statistics Canada is reporting that the homicide rate in 2011 rose for the first time in three years. The homicide rate was 1.73 per 100,000 population, which was seven percent higher than in 2010. Homicide rates in Canada have been fairly stable over the past ten years. Winnipeg led the way in 2011 with 39 homicides which worked out to 5.08 homicides per 100,000 of population. Thunder Bay in 2011 had four homicides, a drop of one from 2010. The rate in Thunder Bay was 3.33 homicides per 100,000 population.
The latest homicide this past weekend in Thunder Bay will put the rate, barring any further murders for 2012 at 4.16 per 100,000 population.
Statistics Canada says that most of the increase in 2011 was accounted for by two provinces: Alberta, which had 32 additional homicides, and Quebec, which had 21 more. The homicide rate in Ontario, which had 28 fewer homicides compared with 2010, reached its lowest point since 1966. Among the provinces, Manitoba reported the highest homicide rate for the fifth year in a row, followed by Saskatchewan and Alberta. The census metropolitan area (CMA) of Winnipeg, where police reported 39 homicides in 2011, had the highest rate among Canada’s CMAs, followed by Halifax and Edmonton. Homicide rates in Winnipeg and Halifax were the highest recorded in those CMAs since data became available for CMAs in 1981.