Mounties investigate 53 murders in 2008; firearms implicated in 15

Mounties investigated 53 deaths in rural Alberta in 2008, more than double the number in 2007.

EDMONTON — Mounties investigated 53 deaths in rural Alberta in 2008, more than double the number in 2007.

RCMP spokesman Cpl. Wayne Oakes said there don’t seem to be any explanations for the rise.

One disturbing trend Oakes acknowledged is a steady rise in the number of slayings involving weapons. In 2005, guns were used to kill 11 people, 22 per cent, and the same number were stabbed to death.

In 2008, 15 people were killed using firearms, 28 per cent of the total, while 12 were stabbed.

Those percentages didn’t dip in 2006 and 2007, when body tallies dropped dramatically.

He said he doubts those who pass off high crime rates as a consequence of a bustling economy.

At the same time, deaths by physical assault declined by half, suggesting more people are picking up weapons in their conflicts.

“It’s still very much a concern for our policing partners.”

Oakes defended the force’s current approach to gun violence.

“It doesn’t for one moment suggest our efforts have failed.

“What would those numbers be, would they be even higher if there was no social and police response?” he said.

Opponents of gun laws may want to rethink their stance, he added.

“We’ve always used the laws in place to combat firearms,” he said.

Just Posted

Councillors want to represent Red Deer at AUMA

City council approves endorsement

Cannabis smoke raises health concerns

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Avid Penhold climber Catlin Hannah’s death a reminder of the dangers of scrambling

Hannah never returned from his Mount Smuts attempt on Aug. 12.

Children, elderly at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

VANCOUVER — Thick smoke blanketing British Columbia communities far from any flames… Continue reading

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Police chiefs want new data-sharing treaty with U.S. as privacy questions linger

OTTAWA — Canada’s police chiefs are pressing the Trudeau government to sign… Continue reading

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the… Continue reading

Ottawa announces $189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

ESCUMINAC, N.B. — Ottawa has announced $189 million for an employment insurance… Continue reading

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in next year’s election

MONTREAL — Justin Trudeau will run again in the 2019 federal election.… Continue reading

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

VANCOUVER — More smoky, hazy air is expected to blanket much of… Continue reading

Anti-pipeline protesters released days before weeklong jail sentences end

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. — Several pipeline protesters were released from a British… Continue reading

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month