Statistics Canada has released the highly anticipated police-reported hate crime data in the country, and there has been a significant increase.
In just one year, between 2019 and 2020, police-reported hate crimes increased by 37%. Police-reported hate crimes motivated by race or ethnicity increased by 80%. Most of these hate crimes were committed against Blacks and East or Southeast Asians, Indigenous peoples and South Asians.
Both physically violent and non-violent hate crimes have increased. Statistics Canada said non-violent hate crimes were the most common.
“This is the highest number of cases reported to the police to hate crimes since the police started collecting to hate crimes The data. What is most disturbing is that in 2020, to hate crimes motivated by race or ethnicity nearly doubled (+80%) compared to 2019,” Doris Mah, co-founder of Stand with Asians Coalition, said in a press release.
The data was released by Statistics Canada on the one-year anniversary of the Atlanta spa shooting that claimed the lives of six Asian women. The shooting was one of many violent and deadly attacks on Asians in North America and fear was widely felt within the Asian community in Canada.
While the data shows that religiously motivated hate crimes have declined for most religions, there has been an increase in reported hate crimes against Jews. Hate crimes against blacks and Jews were the most frequently reported.
Statistics Canada data indicates that hate crimes committed against black people or because of religion were more often non-violent. Hate crimes targeting sexual orientation, South Asians, Arabs or West Asians, and East and Southeast Asians were more often violent.
According to Statistics Canada’s analysis of all police-reported hate crimes between 2011 and 2020, those targeted because of their Indigenous identity or sexual orientation tended to be the youngest victims of violent hate crimes.
According to Statistics Canada, hate crimes targeting Aboriginals and Muslims were more often committed against women. Overall, 66% of hate crime victims were male, while 34% were female. When it comes to hate crimes targeting Muslims, 47% of victims were women or girls. Similarly, 44% of Aboriginal victims of hate crimes were women or girls.
The provinces reporting the largest increases in hate crimes are Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta. New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories and Prince Edward Island recorded slight declines. Manitoba saw no change in reported hate crimes.
The data also shows that hate crimes are less often solved or “cleared” than non-hate crimes. According to Statistics Canada, 30% of hate crimes are solved, while 37% of non-hate crimes are solved.
For hate-motivated non-violent mischief, only 9% of cases were solved. By comparison, 25% of non-hate mischief cases are solved. The same pattern appears with hate-motivated assaults, with 58% resolved compared to 65% of non-hate-motivated assaults resolved.
The vast majority of hate crimes have been committed by men under the age of 50. Data from 2011 to 2020 shows that 89% of those charged with hate crimes targeting religion or sexual orientation were men. Similarly, 84% of those accused of committing hate crimes targeting race and ethnicity were male.
It is important to note that many marginalized communities have negative experiences with the police. This can lead to under-reporting of crimes in an effort to avoid contact with the police.