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

Eckville Town Office. (File Photo)
Town of Eckville planning pathway around Manor and Villa

Plans for the pathway has changed slightly following feedback from the community

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 6, 2020. Top Tory leaders of past and present will speak with supporters today about what a conservative economic recovery from COVID-19 could look like. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
O’Toole to vote against Conservative MP’s private bill on ‘sex-selective abortion’

Erin O’Toole said he supports a woman’s right to choose and will personally vote against the private member’s bill

A empty classroom is pictured at Eric Hamber Secondary school in Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 23, 2020. The Alberta government says schools in Calgary will move to at-home learning starting Monday for students in grades 7 to 12.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calgary schools to shift to at-home learning for grades 7 to 12 due to COVID-19

The change, due to COVID-19, is to last for two weeks

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

Ron Rauch and his wife Audrey are photographed at their home in Victoria, Friday, March 5, 2021. Their daughter Lisa Rauch died on Christmas Day 2019 when a tactical officer with the Victoria Police Department shot her in the back of the head with plastic bullets after barricading herself in a room that was on fire. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. families push for changes as special committee examines provincial Police Act

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth acknowledged the need to update the legislation last year

Major-General Dany Fortin, left, looks on as Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. The Public Health Agency of Canada has set aside up to $5 billion to pay for COVID-19 vaccines. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada negotiating contracts to secure COVID-19 booster shots for next year: Anand

Most of Canada’s current vaccine suppliers are already testing new versions against variants

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among other encouraged ventilation measures

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney updates media on measures taken to help with COVID-19, in Edmonton on Friday, March 20, 2020. Alberta is set to join three other provinces in exploring the feasibility of small modular reactors as a clean energy option. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Four provinces to sign memorandum of understanding to explore small nuclear reactors

Alberta government said in August that it would enter into the agreement to help diversify its energy sector

Sharis Carr, a nurse at the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Service Center in Clarksdale, Miss., holds a box containing doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, April 7, 2021. The U.S. is recommending a “pause” in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
EXPLAINER: What’s known about COVID vaccines and rare clots

These are not typical blood clots – they’re weird in two ways

Most Read