The murder rate in Canada continues to decline.
In fact, we haven’t seen this few homicides since the year I was born (1966, for those keeping track).
Reads the Ottawa Citizen:
“Statistics Canada said Wednesday there were 554 reported homicides in Canada in 2010 – 56 fewer than in 2009. That translated into a homicide rate of 1.62 for every 100,000 people, the lowest level since 1966. The 2009 rate was 1.81 per 100,000.
The drop was largely due to a less deadly year in Western Canada. The region experienced 35 fewer homicides. Nonetheless, Manitoba and Saskatchewan maintained the highest homicide rates among provinces, at 3.6 and 3.3, respectively, per 100,000.”
And yet, the Conservative government is determined to press forward with its expansive crime bill:
“The numbers compiled by Statistics Canada seem unlikely to convince the federal government to deviate from its “tough-on-crime” legislation. In fact, a government spokesman suggested Wednesday that the federal Tories were at least partly responsible for the decline.
“This government’s tough-on-crime measures, additional investments in more officers on our streets and tools to fight crime are working,” Mike Patton, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, said in an email. “However, one homicide is one too many.
The Tories are pushing ahead with a crime bill that introduces several harsher measures for convicted criminals. It includes an end to pardons for serious violent and repeat offenders, and eliminates house arrest and conditional sentences for those found guilty of violent crimes.”
The Tories seem unconcerned about strong opposition to the bill, coming at times from unexpected quarters. Two-fisted Texas, for example, is re-examining tough-on-crime policies that have packed state prisons at enormous cost to taxpayers with little benefit.
As a CBC-TV story explained, small ‘c’ conservatives in Texas think the Tories are daft for trying to pass draconian crime legislation that emphasizes mandatory minimums. The big move south of the border, in Texas and elsewhere, is to eliminate or soften mandatory minimum sentences, which have done little to stop crime while flooding prisons with low-level offenders.
Don’t expect the tone-deaf Tories to pay any attention, however, as they attempt to crack down on a nonexistent crime wave.
Photo: Flickr Creative Commons, thanks to http://www.flickr.com/photos/bruce_r/3854836367/
Link to the Ottawa Citizen story:
Link to the CBC story on Texas’ surprising approach to crime: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/10/17/pol-vp-milewski-texas-crime.html?cmp=googleeditorspick
Link to my crime books: http://qr.net/fg8j