Despite a nation-wide decrease in police-reported hate crimes across Canada, Alberta showed the largest increase in hate crimes in 2018.
According to Statistics Canada, in Alberta hate crimes increased by 15 reported incidents, from 197 in 2017 to 205 in 2018, more than any other province in the country, and following a 38% increase from 2016 to 2017
In Canada in 2018, the 1,798 hate crimes reported by police were 13% lower than the record-high of 2,073 incidents reported in 2017.
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Statistics Canada says the decline is in part because of a major decline in the country’s most populous province, Ontario, which saw a decrease of more than 200.
Within Alberta, Calgary and Edmonton remain the most common locations for hate crimes, both reporting increases in police-reported hate crimes in 2018.
From 2017 to 2018, the number of hate crime incidents in Calgary increased from 77 to 80, while in Edmonton, the number increased from 66 to 69.
However, according to Stats Canada, despite the decline, “police-reported hate crimes had been increasing since 2014 and the number reported in 2018 was the second-highest since 2009.”
Stats Canada census data show that diversity has increased in all provinces from 2011 to 2016 and that the largest proportion of visible minority people live in the three provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta.
In Canada, 44% of all hate crimes reported to police last year were motivated by race or ethnicity, while 36% were motivated by religion.
“The number of hate crimes targeting the Jewish population in Alberta more than doubled — from 16 incidents in 2017 to 42 in 2018,” according to Stats Canada.
Organizations such as the Alberta Hate Crimes Committee and Stop Racism and Hate Canada have spaces on their websites for the public to report hate incidents including both actual crimes and non-criminal incidents that involve bias or prejudice.
According to Stop Hate AB, Edmonton and Calgary remain hotspots for hate crimes in the province.
A report released by the Organization for the Prevention of Violence last year found that hate crimes and extremism remain on the rise in Alberta, and outlined some of the major threats in the province.