2020 homicides highest in 3 decades: StatCan

Police in Canada reported greater than 740 homicides in 2020 — probably the most in three many years — in a yr that additionally noticed the nation expertise its worst mass homicide in historical past.

A complete of 743 homicides have been reported final yr, the highest quantity since 1991 and a rise of 56 homicides in comparison with 2019.

The figures, detailed in a brand new report launched Thursday by Statistics Canada, used knowledge pulled from the 2020 Homicide Survey, which collects police-reported data on murder incidents, victims and accused individuals in Canada.

The nation’s murder price edged up seven per cent to 1.95 per 100,000 folks, making it the highest nationwide murder price in Canada since 2005.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had profound impacts on Canadian society since March 2020,” the StatCan report mentioned. “These marked societal and economic changes have contributed to a shift in crime patterns across Canada.”

Homicides stay comparatively uncommon in Canada, StatCan famous, making up lower than 0.2 per cent of all violent crime in 2020.

Although the nation’s murder price has steadily elevated since 2014, it stays decrease than a number of the highs recorded in the early Nineteen Nineties and mid-Seventies.

However, final yr’s enhance comes because the nation noticed an eight per cent lower to its Crime Severity Index, which measures the amount and severity of police-reported crime in Canada.


StatCan famous that many sufferer service suppliers and advocates have expressed issues in regards to the influence of pandemic-related lockdown restrictions and stay-at-home orders, with social isolation, lowered revenue and job losses probably resulting in escalations of violence in the house.

While the variety of spousal homicides fell by 9 in 2020, StatCan stories that 11 extra of the homicides reported have been dedicated by relations and 7 extra by intimate companions.

Of the 474 solved homicides in Canada the place a relationship between the accused and sufferer was reported, 82 per cent have been by somebody the sufferer knew personally.

Thirty-eight per cent of those homicides have been dedicated by an acquaintance, 10 per cent by a partner, 20 per cent by one other member of the family, 5 per cent by somebody the sufferer both had a present or former non-spousal intimate relationship with, and eight per cent by somebody the sufferer had a felony relationship with.

Only 18 per cent of the homicides have been dedicated by a stranger.


The rise in homicides is basically attributed to will increase in Alberta and Nova Scotia.

Alberta noticed 39 extra homicides in 2020, whereas Nova Scotia noticed a rise of 29, in response to StatCan.

This contains the 22 victims of the April 2020 mass capturing that started in Portapique, N.S., and prolonged in a single day to different areas of the province earlier than the gunman was shot and killed by RCMP.

Calgary and Edmonton skilled the biggest will increase in homicides in Alberta final yr, with every metropolis reporting 15 extra victims.

Toronto, being the biggest metropolis in Canada, had the highest variety of homicides in the nation at 105, though this was 25 fewer than 2019, making it the biggest year-over-year decline amongst census metropolitan areas (CMAs).

Homicides, general, rose in 20 of Canada’s 36 CMAs, in response to StatCan.

Ontario and Manitoba had the biggest declines in homicides with 19 and 10 fewer victims, respectively.


About one in three homicides in Canada final yr concerned a firearm, of which practically half have been dedicated with a handgun.

In 2020, police reported a complete of 277 firearm-related homicides, up six per cent in comparison with 2019 and the second yr in a row that the speed has risen in Canada.

Handguns have been used in nearly all of firearm-related homicides relationship again to the early Nineteen Nineties, outpacing rifles and shotguns, though their share of all firearm-related homicides has steadily decreased from 2013 when it stood at 67 per cent.

With the exception of Alberta and Nova Scotia, most provinces noticed the variety of firearm-related homicides lower, with no change reported in the territories.

However, the speed of firearm-related homicides in Canada final yr tied 2017 because the highest on document in greater than twenty years at 0.73 per 100,000 folks. Regina (1.89) and Saskatoon (1.76) reported the highest charges of firearm-related homicides, in response to StatCan.

Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (0.17), Halifax (0.22), and Montreal (0.27) had the bottom charges, excluding CMAs, with zero firearm associated homicides.

Despite the rise in firearm-related homicides, gang-related murder noticed its largest year-over-year lower since 2013, falling by 9 per cent in 2020 to 148 victims.

The largest declines have been in Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba, with every reporting eight, six, and 6 fewer gang-related homicides, respectively.

Toronto had 11 fewer gang-related homicides, Montreal 12 fewer and Winnipeg 4 fewer, in response to the info.

StatCan reported that shootings have been by far the commonest technique used in gang-related homicides at greater than 78 per cent.


Despite representing about 5 per cent of the Canadian inhabitants, the murder price for Indigenous victims was seven instances increased in comparison with non-Indigenous folks at a price of 10.05 per 100,000 inhabitants, in comparison with 1.41.

Indigenous Peoples represented 28 per cent of all murder victims (201) in Canada final yr, in response to the info.

Of these homicides, 163 have been males, which StatCan famous is a rise of 24 per cent and the highest since 2014 when Indigenous identification first turned out there by way of the Homicide Survey. There have been 9 fewer victims of murder involving Indigenous girls, the primary lower in 4 years.

However, murder charges for Indigenous women and men have been a lot increased in comparison with non-Indigenous women and men at practically eight and 5.5 instances better, respectively.

(*3*) in response to StatCan’s report.

“Indigenous Peoples often experience social and institutional marginalization, discrimination, and various forms of trauma and violence, including intergenerational trauma and gender-based violence. As a result, many Indigenous Peoples experience challenging social and economic circumstances. These factors play a significant role in the overrepresentation of Indigenous Peoples in the criminal justice system and as victims of crime.”

A complete of 179 murder victims in 2020 have been designated as seen minorities, half of whom have been recognized as Black. Eighty-nine per cent have been males and practically half of those homicides have been reported in Ontario, largely in Toronto.

Despite 51 per cent of individuals in Toronto figuring out as seen minorities, they continue to be overrepresented in homicides accounting for greater than two-thirds of victims, in response to StatCan. 

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