Hate crimes reached an all time high in Canada for 2017

Ash Murni / November 29, 2018

The Jewish community in B.C. were victim to the most police-reported hate crimes.
(Jewish Man / Pixabay)

According to Statistics Canada, police-reported hate crimes have risen to an all time high in 2017. Hate-related property crimes, such as vandalism and graffiti, account for most of the 47% increase in reported incidents compared to the previous year. The total number of hate crime incidents reached 2,073 which was 664 more than in 2016. Higher numbers were seen across most types of hate crimes, with the Muslim, Jewish and Black communities being the primary targets.

Increases largely took place in Ontario and Quebec but Alberta and British Columbia also saw a hike. In BC, the Jewish community were victims to the most incidents in 2017 totaling 68 reported hate crimes which was a dramatic increase compared to 14 in 2016. The Black population had 36 reported hate crimes which was an increase to the 25 cases in 2016 and the Muslim community reported 19, a slight drop compared to the 20 in the previous year .

While most Canadians reject antisemitism and all forms of bigotry, we are alarmed to see yet another spike in hate crimes against the Jewish community and other groups in Canada. It is disturbing to think an antisemitic hate crime takes place every 24 hours in our country. History demonstrates that those who target Jews and other minorities pose a threat to society as a whole. All Canadians should be vigilant in standing against hate.” – Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (Canada)

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.

Canada’s Jewish, Muslim and Black populations were the major targets for hate crimes in 2017.
(Hijab / Pexels)