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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

From left - Mikel Abbot, Alfred Schaefer and Peter Greene at the opening of their first Rural Leaf cannabis shop in Smithers in October, 2019. (File photo)
Rural Leaf Cannabis wants to set up shop in Fort St James

Public hearing set for Tuesday, May 4

Steve J. Adams (right) with his partner Sean Horlor co-wrote and directed Someone Like Me. (Grady Mitchell photo)
Former Fort St James resident to release first feature-length documentary film

Someone Like Me to world premiere at Hot Docs Festival next month

The former C&C Wood Products mill will begin producing products again later this month, under new ownership. (Observer file photo)
Williams Lake-owned company to restart production at bankrupt specialty mill in Quesnel

President of Kandola Forest Products says he expects to fill 90 full-time jobs by end of year

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read