Unfortunately, recent happenings like the racist Abbotsford man, anti-semitic high school vandalism, and posters in Toronto rallying against multiculturalism can’t just be dismissed as isolated incidents.
They’re part of a growing wave of hate crimes being reported across Canada.
According to Statistics Canada, police-reported hate crimes increased by five per cent in 2015 compared to the year before. Canada’s Muslim population was especially targeted, seeing a 60 per cent increase in hate crimes. There were 40 more incidents motivated by hatred of a religion and 30 more incidents motivated by race or ethnicity.
Still, Muslims weren’t the most targeted religious group.
There were 178 crimes targeting the Jewish population, which is less than the 213 reported in 2014 but still tops nationwide. Muslims were targeted in 159 attacks, while Catholics were subject to 55.
Hate crimes against sexual orientation, meanwhile, accounted for 11 per cent of all hate crimes (141 incidents). These include the highest percentage of violent crimes (59%); violent crimes accounted for 45% of hate crimes targeting a race or ethnicity and 24% targeting religion.
Thirty-five hate crimes targeting Aboriginal populations were reported in 2015.
Here’s a provincial breakdown of police-reported hate crimes:
Alberta saw the biggest increase in the number of hate crimes at 39 per cent compared to the previous year, which was largely driven by hatred against the Muslim population (12 more incidents than in 2014). Ontario and BC, meanwhile, were the only two provinces that saw a decrease in the number of reported hate crimes.
This despite several cities in Ontario being especially intolerant of people of a different race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation…
While the report didn’t speculate on reasons behind the increase in reported hate crimes, it’s reasonable to assume the aggressive anti-immigrant rhetoric of the 2015 US election campaign played a role.
In total, there were 1,362 incidents motivated by hate based on race, ethnicity or religion – 67 more than in 2014.