“Murder Capital of Canada” – Thunder Bay Ontario

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THUNDER BAY – NEWS – It is our sad duty to report that once again, Thunder Bay holds the dubious title of “Murder Capital of Canada. Statistics Canada has released the figures which show that with 15 homicides, Thunder Bay has that title by far. Our city’s homicide rate is five times that of the Canadian average.

Canada’s homicide rate witnessed a significant spike in certain regions in 2022, with Thunder Bay in Ontario experiencing a particularly alarming increase. This northern city reported 15 homicides, marking the highest number in its history and catapulting its rate to five times the national average.

Unprecedented Surge in Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay’s homicide rate rose sharply to 12.05 per 100,000 people in 2022, a considerable leap from 4.82 the previous year, which was already the third-highest in the country. This increase underscores the need for deeper examination and targeted interventions to curb violence in the city.

Comparisons with Other Regions

Winnipeg had the second-highest homicide rate, 6.1 per 100,000 people, followed by the Greater Sudbury area at 5.83 and Abbotsford-Mission in British Columbia at 4.71.

Lowest Homicide Rates

On the other end of the spectrum, Sherbrooke, Quebec, reported no homicides in 2022, marking the lowest rate in the country. Oshawa followed with a rate of 0.57, and Ottawa-Gatineau reported a rate of 0.58. These regions exemplify areas with effective crime prevention and public safety measures.

Addressing the Homicide Rate Disparity

The significant disparities between different Canadian regions highlight the need for location-specific crime prevention strategies. Identifying the causes behind the sudden surge in Thunder Bay’s homicide rates could be a crucial step in devising effective solutions. Possible areas of investigation could include social determinants such as poverty, education, unemployment, substance abuse, and other factors often associated with crime.

One of the causes is the growing number of drug gang fuelled murders. The price of many illegal street drugs in Canada is much higher in Thunder Bay and in the rest of Northern Ontario. Drug gangs from Southern Ontario have seen the increased profit potential and are flocking to the city.

Thunder Bay used to have knives as the weapons of choice, however increasingly that has been changing to guns. The Thunder Bay Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police have been seizing a growing number of guns, often illegal handguns.

Firearm Offences in Canada Continue to Rise, Says Statistics Canada

It is not just Thunder Bay where gun crime and firearms used in homicides has increased. The trend is continuing Canada wide.

According to recent data from Statistics Canada, the complexity of measuring firearm offences is due to their involvement in a range of both violent and non-violent crimes. The numbers reveal an alarming trend: violent offences involving firearms, such as discharging a firearm with intent or using a firearm in an indictable offence, have risen for the eighth year in a row. In contrast, non-violent firearm offences have stabilized.

Violent Firearm Offences Increase

Specifically, violent Criminal Code offences involving firearms increased by 4% in 2022, hitting a rate of 12.2 incidents per 100,000 population. This rise represents the latest in a troubling eight-year upward trend.

Non-Violent Firearm Offences Stabilize

On the other hand, non-violent offences involving firearms, such as illegal possession and unsafe storage, have remained steady, breaking a seven-year pattern of annual increases. These offences were reported at 52.4 incidents per 100,000 population in 2022, down slightly from 52.5 in 2021. Notably, a vast majority (92%) of these non-violent violations involved weapons possession offences and breach offences for weapons possession contrary to an order.

Surge in Firearm-Related Violent Crime

Additionally, the report shed light on more serious violent crimes, such as homicide and robbery, where a firearm was present during the offence. In 2022, 9,198 victims of violent crime were reported where a firearm was involved, equating to a rate of 30.8 victims per 100,000 population. This represents a concerning 10% increase compared to 2021. The rate of victims of firearm-related crimes has generally been on the rise since 2013, showing an overall increase of 60%.

Firearm-Related Homicides

In terms of homicide, 4 in 10 (41%) were related to firearms in 2022, a proportion similar to that of 2021 (40%). Of the 342 firearm-related homicides in 2022, handguns were used in 63% of cases, while rifles or shotguns were used in 23%. The type of firearm used was unknown or of a different kind in the remaining 14% of firearm-related homicides.

Conclusion

The escalation in Thunder Bay’s homicide rate in 2022 presents a serious concern that needs immediate attention from law enforcement, policymakers, and community leaders. Understanding the underlying causes of this surge is vital in formulating effective strategies to reduce violence and ensure public safety. At the same time, learning from cities with low homicide rates could provide insights into successful crime prevention measures.

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