Nationally, hate crimes targeting religion are up by more than 80% and accounted for 41% of all hate crime in Canada. There were 842 hate crimes targeting religious groups in 2017, a significant increase to the 460 reported cases in 2016.
According to Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of the Centre of Israel and Jewish Affairs, “We need a national strategy to combat online hate. Experience shows that vicious rhetoric online can fuel and foreshadow violence offline.”
Hate crimes targeting sexual orientation also rose in 2017 compared to the previous year and accounted for 10% of all police-reported hate crimes. Ontario and Quebec saw the highest increases in 2017 but British Columbia had 18 fewer incidents than the year before.
Violent assaults accounted for the highest proportion of crimes targeting sexual orientation when compared to other types of hate crimes. 53% of incidents targeting a person’s sexual orientation were violent compared to 24% of hate crimes targeting religion and 47% targeting ethnicity.