A hate crime is defined by Stats Can as “criminal incidents that, upon investigation by police, are determined to have been motivated by hate toward an identifiable group. The incident may target race, colour, national or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, language, sex, age, mental or physical disability, or other factors such as profession or political beliefs.”
According to the release, there were 34 fewer hate crimes in B.C. in 2013, compared to 2012. Nation-wide, there were 1,167 reports of hate crimes in 2013, down 17 per cent compared to the previous year.
Over half of all reported hate crimes were racially or ethnically motivated, and hate crimes targeting Arabs and West Asians went down the most, with 16 fewer incidents. Hate crimes involving East and Southeast Asian populations went up, with 11 more incidents.
In terms of frequency, Black populations were still the most targeted, representing 22% of all hate crimes across the board, be it race, religion, or sexual orientation.
Most of the reported hate crimes were non-violent, or considered “mischief,” which includes property vandalism or graffiti.
And while most of them took place in either Vancouver, Montreal or Toronto, Thunder Bay and Hamilton represented the highest hate crime rates, at 20.9 per 100,000 people and 17.4 per 100,000 people respectively.