Murder Shmurder

Greetings from Toronto, my droogies. I’m about to head to an early morning meeting, but I have made the time to be with you folks this morn. See how much I care?

Did anybody catch the leaders’ debate last night? (Sorry, my American and global friends, we have to discuss boring old Canadian politics now.) I managed to watch bits of it in reruns. General impressions: Harper is looking calm and confident. Martin is looking flustered and desperate. Layton is looking like Sammy Davis, Jr, in the Rat Pack: not really one of the big stars, but they keep him around for kicks. And Duceppe, to his credit, keeps laying his biased cards on the table. Substantively, no one carried the day. Stylistically it was a win for Harper — and for moderator Steve Paiken who is surely bucking for a national CBC job now.

Of course, one item touched upon was gun crime, since Canada (specifically Toronto) is supposedly in the grips of a murder crime wave. Please. Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

Darth Vadum informs me that there were “only” 195 murders in DC last year (which is considered a good number). The population of DC, including its surrounding meta-cities and ‘burbs, is comparable to that of Toronto. In fact, according to these folks , the worst cities for murder in the USA are DC (45.8 murders per 100,000 people), Detroit (42) and Baltimore (38.3).

In contrast, the homicide rate in Canada (last available stat is 2003) is 1.73 per 100,000 with Toronto ranked ninth (from 1990 stats). Which Canadian city is the worst? Regina, with 4.72 murders per 100,000.

More recent stats (2002) are available here and show that Toronto is sixth among Canadian cities at 1.80, with Winnipeg the most dangerous with 3.41 murders per 100,000.

Telling point: if Toronto were considered an American city, it would be the safest large city in the USA.

So for all you people complaining that Toronto is too dangerous to visit, or that it has become an American city…. put a sock in it already.