Gun violence, homicides on the rise in Canada: Data | World News - Hindustan Times
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Gun violence, homicides on the rise in Canada: Data

Aug 03, 2022 03:25 PM IST

Nearly a third of the victims, 247, were identified as racial minorities, and nearly a fifth, 19%, were South Asians

The Canadian government’s data agency released new information on Tuesday, stating that firearms offences, rose for the seventh consecutive year in the country. Murders also increased for the third year in a row.

A customer at Wanstall's Hunting & Shooting looks at a handgun after Canada's government introduced legislation to implement a "national freeze" on the sale and purchase of handguns, as part of a gun control package that would also limit magazine capacities and ban some toys that look like guns, in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada in May. (REUTERS)
A customer at Wanstall's Hunting & Shooting looks at a handgun after Canada's government introduced legislation to implement a "national freeze" on the sale and purchase of handguns, as part of a gun control package that would also limit magazine capacities and ban some toys that look like guns, in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada in May. (REUTERS)

In a release, Statistics Canada (StatCan) noted that “violent firearm-related offences increased for the seventh consecutive year, rising by 4 per cent in 2021” compared to 2020.

While 39% of homicides were committed using a gun in 2020, that number inched up in 2021 to 41%. “Of the 297 firearm-related homicides, 57% were committed with a handgun and 26% were committed with a rifle or shotgun (the firearm type was unknown or another type of firearm was used for 17% of homicides),” it stated.

Police reported 788 homicides in 2021, 29 more than the year before. The homicide rate increased 3%, from 2.00 homicides per 100,000 population in 2020 to 2.06 in 2021. Nearly a third of the victims, 247, were identified as racial minorities, and nearly a fifth, 19%, were South Asians. Murder rates rose in the country’s two major provinces, Ontario and British Columbia.

While these details pertain to 2021, they came after a particularly violent July in Canada, which has seen a series of high-profile killings with Indian-origin victims. Most recently, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team in BC charged 48-year-old Inderjit Sandhu for allegedly murdering his 45-year-old wife Kamaljit Sandhu on July 28 in the town of Abbotsford.

On July 14, Ripudaman Singh Malik was killed in a “targeted” gangland-style homicide in Surrey. Malik, was once an accused in the terrorist bombing of the Air India flight 182, the Kanishka in 1985, which claimed 329 lives. He was acquitted of all charges. Two persons have been arrested in connection with the killing.

Two persons were also arrested last week in the double homicide on July 24 of Satindera Gill and Meninder Dhaliwal, who had gang links. And, 26-year-old Indo-Canadian Pardeep Brar died after being shot in a nightclub in Toronto on July 17. There have been a spate of violent gun-related crimes in the Metro Vancouver area last month, some related to the surge in gang activity in the area.

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