Hate crime reports in Canada surge
A new report released by Statistics Canada on Tuesday showed that 3,360 hate crimes were reported by police last year, an increase from 2,646 in 2020.
The number of hate-motivated crimes recorded by the police has gone up 72 per cent since 2019, according to the agency.
“In 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to have profound impacts on Canada’s economy, health-care system and society in general,” StatCan said.
“Policies enacted to contain the spread of the virus resulted in unprecedented disruptions in the social and economic lives of Canadians, changing how we interact, socialize, learn, work and consume.”
Hate-motivated crimes targeting a person’s religious affiliation were up 67 per cent last year, according to Statistics Canada.
Crimes based on a victim’s sexual orientation were up 64 per cent year over year.
Another 1,723 recorded incidents targeted a person’s race or ethnicity, a six per cent increase, and together these categories made up the majority of the overall rise.
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) is calling for greater federal help for victims of hate, many of whom do not qualify for financial compensation because their abuse does not count as a crime.
CRRF said Ottawa should invest $44 million to create a national fund for organizations that support victims of hate and a direct fund for survivors of hate crimes.
“Every year we hear about the increase in hate and every year, we hear the condemnations. But that’s not enough. We can and must do more to help victims and communities deal with the painful aftermath,” said Mohammed Hashim, CRRF’s Executive Director.
“This report makes it clear that too many victims are unable to find support when they are the targets of hate. Organizations that want to assist often face uncertain funding and limited resources. This is unacceptable because hate can forever damage peoples’ ability to participate in society as their full selves, regardless of the various identities they hold,” added Hashim.
“The CRRF’s recommendations are important because hate wins when people are left broken and frightened following an incident. We need to provide support so that no one is left dealing with the trauma of such experiences all alone,” said Dr. Barbara Perry, Director, Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism at Ontario Tech University and advisor for CRRF on hate-based incidents. “Communities should be provided with the tools to ensure adequate supports are in place.”
“Every year we hear about the increase in hate and every year, we hear the condemnations. But that’s not enough,” Mohammed Hashim, CRRF’s executive director, said in a statement Tuesday.
“We can and must do more to help victims and communities deal with the painful aftermath.”