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Reported hate crimes still on the rise in Canada

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar14,2024

Hate crimes still reported on the rise in Canada

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A man cleans anti-Semitic graffiti painted on the door of The Glebe Minyan Jewish prayer center in Ottawa in 2016. Statistics Canada reports a further 7% increase in the number of reported hate crimes in Canada between 2021 and 2022.

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The number of hate crimes reported by police in Canada increased by 7% between 2021 and 2022, according to data released Wednesday by Statistics Canada. This follows marked increases over the previous two years; from 2019 to 2022, that number jumped 83%.

Warren Silver, national trainer and analyst at the Canadian Center for Justice and Security Statistics of communities at Statistics Canada, defines hate crimes as crimes motivated by hatred against a group.

He notes an increase in the number of hate crimes reported in Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In Quebec, however, there was a decrease of 47 hate crimes reported to the police, he points out.

Overall in Canada, the increase is explained by an increased number of hate crimes targeting a sexual orientation or ethnic origin.

Statistics Canada has noted an increase since 2018 and a marked increase in 2020. We know that the pandemic has had an impact on everything, which we observe specifically on crime , explains Mr. Silver to Radio-Canada.

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In 2021, there were 15 hate-motivated homicides, compared to 23 such homicides in 2022. The growth in the remaining homicides, which are not necessarily hate-motivated, was 9% nationwide.< /p>

The general director of the organization Together for Respect for Diversity, Rafaël Provost, says he is not surprised by the Statistics Canada report. We see almost the same figures in schools, whether in Montreal or in the region. There is an increase in intolerance.

In an interview with Radio-Canada, Mr. Provost denounces the trivialization of homophobia and bullying in schools.

In general, these [hate] crimes affect young people a lot, notes Warren Silver. Between 2019 and 2022, the number of victims aged 0 to 17 increased from 99 to 295.

Rafaël Provost also questions the quantity of people who do not report crimes against them to the police: This is probably the tip of the'iceberg. It's far too much already, but people who experience homophobia on a daily basis, hatred on social media in the schoolyard or while walking in the street, these are cases that we hear every day, but which are not necessarily reported for different reasons.

Every five years, Statistics Canada conducts a victimization survey which provides data on the number of cases that are not reported to the police. That's about a third of all crimes that victims report to the police, says Mr. Silver.

According to Maryse Potvin, sociologist and professor at UQAM, political debates always have effects on the social climate and on relationships between ethnic and cultural groups. [If] we think for example of the debate on reasonable accommodations, we saw, in 2007, the emergence of populist identity groups in this context.

Following the attack at the Quebec mosque, Ms. Potvin says she also observed a decrease in crimes reported to the police based on religion, which subsequently increased with the debates on the "n-word".

We are also influenced by the debates in the United States and Europe. When we see the rise of more authoritarian, more populist or more conservative governments […], there is an international influence on social media and in politics. In his opinion, Quebec and Canada are not immune to the ideological debates raging in the United States at the moment.

With information from Kim Vermette and Diana Gonzalez

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Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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