Regina, Saskatoon top 'most dangerous cities' list

Regina has been ranked the most dangerous city in Canada, with Saskatoon a close second, by Maclean's magazine.

Regina has been ranked the "most dangerous" city in Canada, with Saskatoon a close second, by the national news magazine, Maclean's.

Using 2006 data from the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Maclean's based its ranking on tabulated results for six crimes — murder, sexual assault, aggravated assault, robbery, auto theft, and breaking and entering.

Regina came out just slightly ahead of Saskatoon, with Winnipeg ranked third. Nine of the top 10 are cities are in western Canada.

This is not the first time Maclean's has singled out Regina. In 2007, it dubbed the inner city North Central area as the "worst neighbourhood" in the country because of its poverty, violent crime, prostitution and drug culture.

The Maclean's research is in keeping with 2006 figures from Statistics Canada that said Saskatchewan had the highest crime rate of all the provinces for the ninth year in a row.

The province had 13,711 crimes per 100,000 people, well above the national average of 7,518 per 100,000, it said.

But numbers only tell part of the story, said Regina Metis elder Shirley Bonk.

Racism and a lack of education lie at the root of the high crime rates, said Bonk, who was imprisoned for murder before turning her life around.

Bonk got on the wrong path in part because she wanted to belong, she told CBC News on Thursday.

"I wanted acceptance, but I got the acceptance from the wrong people, wrong influence. I led a criminal life, a violent criminal life," she said.