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. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks at a press conference Monday, April 18. (B.C. Government image)
New COVID-19 cases tick down on the central Island

New cases held to single digits three days in a row

CVRD offices on Ingram Street will remain closed for another 14 weeks after flooding last month. (File photo)
CVRD headquarters closed for another three and a half months

Building significantly damaged during water leak

Victoria police are asking for help locating high-risk missing man Derek Whittaker, last seen in Victoria April 12. (Courtesy of VicPD)
MISSING: Police searching for Derek Whittaker, last seen in Victoria

Whittaker believed to be driving 1994 red Volkswagen Golf

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
IIO investigating after police dog bites man near Ladysmith

RCMP dog bit man during traffic stop on Friday, April 17

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

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

Families of two of three workers killed in a train derailment near Field, B.C., in 2019 have filed lawsuits accusing Canadian Pacific of gross negligence. The derailment sent 99 grain cars and two locomotives off the tracks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Families of workers killed in Field train derailment allege negligence in lawsuit

Lawsuits allege the workers weren’t provided a safe work environment

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Wickaninnish (Clifford Atleo) plays the drum while singing the Nuu-chah-nulth song on the court steps in Vancouver In a picture from April 2018. Photo credit, Melody Charlie.
Five western Vancouver Island First Nations celebrate legal fishing victory

Court ruling confirms Nuu-chah-nulth fishing rights in case dating back to 2003

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Ladysmith-area Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations

Most Read