Skip to main content

Manitoba homicide rate among highest in any province

Police tape at a crime scene. (Credit: Pexels) Police tape at a crime scene. (Credit: Pexels)

Manitoba’s homicide rate is among the highest of any Canadian province, according to new numbers from Statistics Canada.

In the report released on Monday, it states there were 61 homicides in Manitoba last year, which works out to 4.41 per 100,000 people. The Statistics Canada data showed that Saskatchewan was the only province with a higher rate at 5.93 per 100,000 people.

Of the 61 homicides, 45 were in Winnipeg, making the city’s homicide rate the third highest among metropolitan areas. The only two ahead of Winnipeg were Regina and Thunder Bay.

“In our opinion, the numbers are still too high,” said Sgt. Paul Manaigre, media relations officer with Manitoba RCMP. Manaigre said there are several factors that could be responsible for the high homicide rate in Manitoba.

“When you’re coming out of the pandemic, you always have to look at things,” he said. "Mental health concerns are there. Alcohol addiction is there. There are a lot of root causes that that aren't there for the police to solve. But as you know, society in itself, we have to understand there's people that are in worse shape than us that need help.”

Frank Cormier, a criminologist with the University of Manitoba, echoed similar reasons to Manaigre as to why violent crimes have increased, saying the pandemic disrupted many routines and coping systems people had.

“Couple that with reduced income for many people, job loss, in many cases, trauma - whether major trauma from deaths of family members, or not being able to attend funerals, in some cases, while a pandemic was on - all these things lead to sort of disorganization in a person's life,” he said. ”It leads to increased tension, which can lead to increased anger, coupled with that, that can lead to increased use of alcohol or other drugs.

“And all these things - social isolation, increased tension, increased anger, use of intoxicating substances - are all correlated quite strongly with homicides.”

Cormier said addressing the root causes of crime, such as poverty, is needed to help reduce violent crime.

“We need to make sure that, you know, every young person growing up has food, clothing, and shelter and people around them. And, if they're not getting the home, we need to provide them with one,” he said.

Manitoba’s homicide rate against Indigenous people was third among the provinces behind Saskatchewan and Alberta.

There were also 14 gun-related homicides in the province last year, which was the third highest rate among the provinces. Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia were the only provinces with higher rates.

CTV News Winnipeg reported earlier in the month that 2022 is the deadliest year on record in Winnipeg as the city surpassed its previous homicide record. Top Stories

Stay Connected