The number of gang-linked and firearm-related homicides declined slightly, although the overall homicide rate remained unchanged last year over 2008, according to Statistics Canada.
Police reported 610 homicides in Canada during 2009, one less than the previous year, according to the the federal agency. Of those, 179 were committed by a firearms. 21 less than 2008 and a 12 per cent decline.
Statistics Canada says the national homicide rate declined from the mid-1970s until 1999, but has since been relatively stable.