Walk to End Knife Violence targets criminal code changes
Watch above: a tragic incident involving a knife in Saskatoon prompts awareness walk
SASKATOON – Six months after losing his brother, Chad Boulet has organized the awareness ‘Walk to End Knife Violence’ in Saskatoon.
Boulet has arranged the walk to pay tribute to his brother Dustin who was fatally stabbed in the 2400-block of 22nd Street West in March.
Family and friends say Dustin was celebrating his 29th birthday when he attempted to break up a fight and was stabbed. He died later in hospital.
The walk is scheduled for Thursday starting at 6 p.m.
Organizers are asking people to gather at Cowtown, behind the Co-op gas bar off Fairlight Drive in the Fairhaven neighbourhood. The route will head east toward Bridges bar on 22nd Street.
Boulet says the walk aims to raise awareness but ultimately the goal is to change the law.
“No doubt if my brother wasn’t killed, I wouldn’t be researching the Criminal Code of Canada,” Boulet admits.
“But it’s unbelievable what is allowed. You can’t go into a public place carrying a gun but yet you can walk around with a knife.”
Boulet has emailed every provincial MLA, the leader of every federal political party across Canada, Federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay and even Stephen Harper.
He is asking for mandatory minimum sentences and for a change to the criminal code, making it illegal to carry a knife.
Watch below: Chad Boulet explains why he wants tougher knife laws
Knife crimes are down this year in Saskatoon. From Jan. 1 to July 31, there were 79 assaults with a knife. Over the same period in 2013 there were 98 and over the past decade the average is 89.
Alyson Edwards with the Saskatoon Police Service says Chief Clive Weighill would like to see prohibitive legislation.
“Any tools we can add to our ability to deal with crime would be a good thing,” said Edwards, adding knives are the weapon of choice in Saskatoon.
Edwards says the number of violent crimes in the city is down but the severity is up.
Boulet encourages everyone to be part of the walk. It’s expected to take an hour.
He feels the effectiveness of the walk will be partially determined by the number of people who take part, stating the message will be stronger with more people behind it.