Statistics Canada’s offices in Ottawa are shown on Friday, March 8, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Statistics Canada’s offices in Ottawa are shown on Friday, March 8, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Hate crimes in Canada rose in 2019, setting the scene for COVID-induced spike

Police-reported hate crimes in 2019 were the second-highest reported since 2009

Police-reported hate crimes in Canada were on the rise a year before the pandemic even began, a report from Statistics Canada released Monday (March 29) said.

The number rose to 1,946 instance in 2019, a seven per cent increase compared to the year prior. It still remained slightly below the 2,073 hate crimes reported to police in 2017.

However, aside from 2017, the year prior to the pandemic saw the highest number of police-reported hate crimes since comparable data began to be collected in 2009. On average, 1,518 hate crimes have been reported annually by police since 2009.

While the trends in police-reported hate crimes are important, a separate Statistics Canada survey found that two-thirds of hate crimes are not reported to the authorities.

In 2019, B.C. reported 49 more incidents, while Alberta was the only province to see police-reported hate crimes decrease by 38.

Non-violent hate crimes, which account for just over half of all incidents, rose by six per cent in 2019. Violent incident increased by eight per cent.

Statistics Canada found that 46 per cent of all police-reported hate crimes were based on ethnicity in 2019, with Black people the most likely to be targeted, followed by people of Asian descent. A further 32 per cent of these crimes were motivated by religion, half of those against Jewish people, followed by Muslims at 10 per cent of overall hate crimes and Catholics and other religions at three per cent each.

While police-reported incidents show a decrease in hate crimes against Jewish people, an annual audit conducted by advocacy group B’Nai Brith Canada reported a record number of anti-Semitic incidents for the fourth consecutive year. The number of police-reported incidents against Muslims grew, largely, Statistics Canada said, due more incidents in Quebec.

Fourteen per cent of all police-reported hate crimes in 2019 were based on sexual orientation and led to the highest number reported since records began to be kept in 2009.

Statistics Canada said that the 2019 information will be used as a base line to measure in detail the impacts that the COVID pandemic has had on hate crimes. Other sources have revealed huge increases in hate crimes, particularly against people of Asian descent, since the pandemic began.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Hate crimes

Just Posted

Imogene Lim, a Vancouver Island University anthropology professor, has received a Province of B.C. Medal of Good Citizenship. (Black Press file)
VIU anthropology professor receives B.C. Good Citizenship medal

Imogene Lim’s work includes advocacy for establishing Chinese heritage sites

Saanich Fire Department on the scene after a car crashed into the Walmart in Uptown. (Photo courtesy Dan Wood)
PHOTOS: Saanich firefighters free trapped workers at Uptown Walmart

Incident reported as explosion after driver rammed through wall

The inside of the Campbell River Community Centre gymnasium has been marked off in order to facilitate the public flowing through the clinic as they receive their COVID-19 vaccination. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell river Mirror
Leftover vaccines go into arms, not down the drain: Island Health

Immunization plan comes with built-in options for any unused vaccines at the end of the day

Rape culture puts the onus on survivors rather than perpetrators.	(THE CANADIAN PRESS file photo/Darren Calabrese)
Explainer: What is rape culture and what does it look like on Vancouver Island?

A rise in online sexual assault allegations prompts conversation

John Ambrose Seward, 33, is described as Indigenous and five-foot-eight with short black hair and brown eyes. (Police handout)
John Ambrose Seward, 33, is described as Indigenous and five-foot-eight with short black hair and brown eyes. (Police handout)
High-risk sex offender banned from central Island, living in Vancouver: police

John Ambrose Seward, 33, has been released from prison under a number of conditions

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for the public’s help in identifying the man suspected of being involved in a stabbing. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP trying to identify stabbing suspect who wielded rusty knife

Stabbing followed argument between two men at Port Place Shopping Centre April 1

Saanich police are investigating after a small dog was mauled and their was owner bitten in Mount Douglas Park by a large, off-leash dog April 6. (Photo via the Saanich Police Department)
UPDATED: Pup put down after being mauled by large, off-leash dog in Saanich park

Owner turned themself in after incident at Mount Doug Park

Don Bonner, RDN board director, left, Tyler Brown, RDN board chairperson, and Sean De Pol, RDN director of water and wastewater services, at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre April 6. (Shawn Wagar photo)
Nanaimo’s $82-million pollution control centre upgrade now complete

Wastewater treatment enhanced at RDN’s Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre

The CRD is working on a solid waste management plan to reduce the amount of material sent to Hartland Landfill. (Black Press Media file photo)
No time to waste: Greater Victoria closes in on plan for garbage

CRD board to consider final draft solid waste management plan in May

Ryan Rasmussen goes on a training run on Quadra Island. Photo supplied.
Quadra Island man to run 160 km to raise funds for alternative cancer care

‘I feel like I need to be in pain to raise the money… I can’t do something that’s easy’ — Ryan Rasmussen

A man wears a face mask past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Calls for stricter action in B.C. as COVID-19 variants projected to climb

Jens von Bergmann says the province has taken a ‘wait and see’ approach when early action is needed

Vancouver’s park board general manager issued a new order Friday restricting tents and other temporary structures from being set up in Strathcona Park after April 30, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver park board issues order to restrict tents in Strathcona Park

The order issued Friday restricted tents and other temporary structures from being set up after April 30

Most Read