Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay, Ontario has highest homicide rate in Canada for 2016

The northwestern Ontario city of Thunder Bay once again has the highest homicide rate in Canada at 6.64 deaths per 100,000 people.

Arrests made in all eight homicides which happened in 2016, says police spokesperson

According to a Statistics Canada report released Monday, the northwestern Ontario city of Thunder Bay recorded the highest homicide rate in the country in 2016. (Tony Webster, Flickr cc)

Thunder Bay once again has the highest homicide rate in Canada at 6.64 deaths per 100,000 people.

The report, released by Statistics Canada on Monday, is based on data from 2016 when eight homicides occurred in the Thunder Bay census metropolitan area.

The homicide rate in the northwestern Ontario city doubles that of second place Edmonton, which had 47 homicides, or a rate of 3.39 per 100,00. Regina had the third highest rate with 8 homicides, or a rate of 3.23 per 100,000. Meanwhile, no homicides were reported in 2016 in Trois-Rivières, Quebec and Kingston and Greater Sudbury in Ontario.

"We sadly weren't surprised by the rankings, as far as homicides go," says Chris Adams, the director of communications for the municipal force.

Arrests but little solace to victims' families

"We've always known, or as long as in near memory, that we've always been fairly high when it comes to violent crime, of course, in the country. But that's obviously of little solace to somebody who's been a victim of a crime, or lost someone to a homicide," he said.

Chris Adams of the Thunder Bay police says arrests have been made in all eight homicides which happened in the city in 2016. (CBC)

Arrests have been made in each of the city's 2016 homicides, which is due to several factors, said Adams, including "the hard work of investigators but also the fact of the matter is that very often the victim and the accused were known to each other."

"Unfortunately, these are acts that very often come out of desperation, but they're escalated confrontations, essentially, between parties who are known to each other," he said.

4 homicides in Thunder Bay so far in 2017

Thunder Bay most recently topped the country in 2014 with a homicide rate of 9.04 per 100,000 population, after 11 people were killed in the city that year.

As of July 25, four homicides have taken place in Thunder Bay in 2017.