Manitoba homicide rate falls but still among highest in country

Manitoba homicide rate falls but still among highest in country

Manitoba's homicide rate has slipped slightly but remains the second highest in Canada and well above the national rate.

According to Statistics Canada's latest data, Manitoba had 42 homicides in 2016, or 3.19 per 100,000 people. That's down from 47 homicides the previous year, a rate of 3.63.

Saskatchewan had the country's highest rate at 4.69 after 54 homicides last year (up from 44 homicides and a rate of 3.89 in 2015).

Overall, there were 611 homicide victims in Canada last year for a rate of 1.68. Although that's two more than in 2015, the homicide rate dropped one per cent ​as a result of Canada's population growth.

Homicides still uncommon

Even though there have been year-to-year fluctuations in Canada's homicide rate, it has generally been declining over the last few decades, the report from Statistics Canada said.

And homicides remain a rare occurrence in Canada, accounting for less than 0.2 per cent of violent crimes reported by police in 2016.

The rate of homicides in 2016 was on par with the previous 10-year average (1.69) and 44 per cent lower than the peak rate in 1975, according to the report.

While there was little change in the national homicide numbers, there were variations among the provinces between 2015 and 2016. The biggest changes were:

- Alberta (-17).

- Quebec (-12).

- British Columbia (-10).

- Ontario (+32).

- Saskatchewan (+10).

Aboriginal victims

There were 142 homicides in 2016 in which the victim was identified by police as Aboriginal, compared with 148 in 2015.

The highest number of homicides involving an Aboriginal victim was reported in Saskatchewan (36), followed by Alberta (31) and Manitoba (27).

Among those three, the rate of homicide among Aboriginal people was highest in Saskatchewan (18.88), a 17 per cent increase from the previous year.

Across the country there were 29 Aboriginal female homicides reported in 2016, compared with 41 in 2015.

As a result, the homicide rate for Aboriginal females declined 31 per cent to 3.30  from 4.79. However, the homicide rate for Aboriginal females in 2016 was still five times that of non-Aboriginal females (0.69).