Police-reported hate crimes across Canada rose during pandemic: Statistics Canada

In one year alone, police reported a 37 per cent increase in hate crimes from 2019 to 2020 in Canada. This marks the largest number of police-reported hate crimes since the police started collecting hate crimes data in 2009.

The troubling statistics are coming from Statistics Canada which confirms hate crimes were up during the pandemic.

Co-Founder of the Stand with Asians Coalition Doris Mah told Omni News, the most troubling findings from the report was that in 2020, police-reported hate crimes that were motivated by race or ethnicity almost doubled (+80 per cent) compared with 2019.

Ontario and B.C. were the top two provinces with the highest police-reported hate crimes in 2020. In B.C. there was an increase of 198 incidents in the province and in Ontario there were 316 incidents. To Mah, she says this increase shows her particularly racialized people in these regions are feeling increasingly unsafe in public spaces.

Because Statistics Canada was based on police-reported hate crimes, “What is being reported to the police is only scratching the surface.”

“There are so many cases that are not being reported,” Mah said.

Throughout the pandemic, a number of advocates, and researchers have said Anti-Asian racism is worsening.

Last year, an article published by Bloomberg, even declared Vancouver the “Anti-Asian Hate Crime Capital of North America.”


Mah says she is not completely surprised by Thursday’s report because of the continued conversation around anti-Asian discrimination.

In 2019, there were 67 police-reported hate crime incidents against the East or Southeast Asian community, but in 2020 that increased to 269.

The Black population, East or Southeast Asian population in 2020 were the highest groups to see the most significant jump in this time period than any other group.

In 2020, Black people were once again the most targeted segment of the population. Police reported hate crimes against Black people represented more than a quarter of all such offences in the year examined.

“Hate crimes and racism and discrimination is embedded in all facets of our society. And that’s why we call it systemic racism. Because it’s embedded in our criminal justice system, employment, housing, health care, education, and political representation. ”

Mah suggests one way to mitigate hate, racism, and discrimination is to start with political representation. She simply says Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) folk need to sit at the table to vocalize their experience and perceptions.

Because this report is based on police statistics, Mah emphasizes the need for multilingual and assessable reporting system.

“They have to be able to feel comfortable and safe to do it.”

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