Saskatchewan’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Gordon Wyant, is making knife violence a priority.
Wyant said ministry officials are currently examining knife legislation in jurisdictions across country and around the world to try and find ways to curve knife violence in the province.
“We’re going to have our officials look at what other jurisdictions are doing, not just jurisdictions in Canada as we know there are some fairly innovative things people are talking about in other countries,” said Wyant. “Once I have that information in hand, we’ll make some decisions as to how we’re going to proceed.”
Wyant noted if the province were to revise knife legislation they would make sure to take a balanced approach to ensure those who are using knives properly won’t be negatively affected.
“There’s the legitimate use of knives and legitimate reasons for people to carry knives,” said Wyant. “So, while it’s important to try and figure out what we’re going to do about the illegal use of knives, we also have to balance that off against the legitimate users.”
When asked what the ministry will be looking at from other jurisdictions, Wyant explained long knives and machetes are “difficult issues,” but said they’re going to be looking at a “broad range” of perspectives that he hopes will help decrease the rising trend.
“We know it’s increasing and know that there are some significant instances that are happening on our streets,” said Wyant. “If we can find a reasonable way of decreasing the use of knives in violent, situations I think that’s got to be the goal.”
He continued, “It’s a significant issue and one we need to look at.”
Knives weapon of choice in Saskatoon crimes
Director of Public Affairs for the Saskatoon Police Service, Alyson Edwards said knives are the most common weapons in the city of Saskatoon.
“We see knives by far more often than we do any other type of weapon,” said Edwards. “Knives have been and are proving to continue to be the weapon of choice during the course of a crime in our city.”
Edwards also noted that even though the SPS has no opinion on whether or not more knife legislation is needed, any tool that helps them in their jobs is a positive.
“As a service, we welcome any type of legislation, policy or law that is going to assist us doing our job,” said Edwards.