2010 Winter Olympics Host City Plagued by Spike in Violence

Friday, April 10, 2009

As it prepares to host the Olympic Games in 2010, the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, is struggling with a surge in violent crime. Homicide investigators say that January alone saw 17 fatal shootings, with 58 murders in 2008 and 41 in 2007.

RCMP Superintendent Pat Fogarty said a shortage of drugs is responsible, citing a 67% increase in cocaine prices to $39,000 per kilogram. He said, "People are nervous … and so are the police. The public's outraged. The government's outraged."

Peter Van Loan, Public Safety Minister, said Canada's violence is at its worst in Vancouver, a city he calls the country's gang capital. Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited the area last month, proposing stiffer sentences for gang killings.