The RCMP released figures yesterday that confirm the B.C. Civil Liberties Association’s findings that B.C. has more than twice as many police deaths as Ontario. RCMP figures show that on a per capita basis B.C.’s police-involved death rate is 2.5 times higher than Ontario’s rate.
“The RCMP figures support what we’ve been saying since the report launched, which is that there is something very wrong in B.C.,” said David Eby, Executive Director of the BCCLA. “If our police-involved death rate was at Ontario’s level, the RCMP’s data suggests we should have had 106 deaths in the period. Instead we had 267.”
The BCCLA issued a report two weeks ago that found that B.C.’s rate of police-involved and in-custody deaths was more than triple that of Ontario’s. The RCMP announced yesterday that they had been able to get more detailed statistics from the Ontario Coroner’s office and the BCCLA has adopted the RCMP numbers as more complete.
“It took the RCMP two weeks to get numbers it took us months to get even close to,” noted Eby. “Nobody is better placed to collect, compare and publish these statistics than the RCMP, and we urge them to do so not just for public relations purposes, but to actually improve the way they deliver police services. We must prevent the 161 deaths that apparently separate us from Ontario.”
The RCMP have not refuted the BCCLA’s figure of 267 police deaths in B.C., which has a population of approximately 4,531,000 people according to Statistics Canada. The RCMP press release says that Ontario had 316 police deaths over the same period and Ontario’s population is 13,210,700 according to Statistics Canada. By simple division, Ontario had 1 death for every 41,806 people. B.C. had 1 death for every 16,970 people, or a rate 2.5 times higher than Ontario’s.
David Eby, Executive Director, 778-865-7997
Robert Holmes, President, 604-838-6856