Hate crimes up three per cent from 2015-2016: StatsCan
Police-reported hate crimes in Canada rose three per cent from 2015 to 2016, according to a new report released by Statistics Canada at the end of November 2017. Police reported 1,409 hate crimes in Canada in 2016, 47 more than in 2015. This represented less than 0.1 per cent of the 1,895,546 crimes (excluding traffic violations) that were reported by police services. StatsCan says the increase in hate crimes was a result of more incidents targeting South Asians and Arabs or West Asians, the Jewish population, and people based on their sexual orientation. In contrast, hate crimes against Muslims and Catholics declined in 2016.
Hate crimes targeting South Asians and Arabs or West Asians increases
In 2016, 48 per cent of all police-reported hate crimes were motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity. That year, police reported 666 crimes that were motivated by hatred of race or ethnicity, up 4 per cent from the previous year. This increase was largely due to 24 more hate crimes targeting South Asians and 20 more incidents targeting Arabs or West Asians. British Columbia (+13) and Ontario (+9) accounted for most of the increase in crimes against South Asians. Quebec reported 10 more crimes against Arabs or West Asians than in 2015 (from 31 incidents in 2015 to 41 in 2016).
Crimes motivated by hatred of East or Southeast Asian populations also increased from 2015 to 2016, rising from 49 to 61 incidents. While British Columbia reported 17 more incidents than the previous year, Ontario reported 7 fewer.
Police-reported hate crime against Aboriginal peoples continued to account for a relatively small proportion of hate crimes (2 per cent), falling from 35 to 30 incidents.
Although down 4 per cent (from 224 incidents to 214 in 2016), crimes targeting Black populations remained the most common type of hate crime related to race or ethnicity at 15 per cent of all hate crimes.
Police report fewer hate crimes targeting the Muslim population
Police reported 460 hate crimes targeting religious groups in 2016, 9 fewer than in the previous year. These accounted for one-third of all hate crimes in Canada.
Following a notable increase in hate crimes against the Muslim population in 2015, police reported 20 fewer in 2016 for a total of 139. The decrease in police-reported hate crimes against Muslims was the result of fewer reported incidents in Quebec (-16), Alberta (-8) and Ontario (-6).
Similarly, after an increase in 2015, hate crimes against Catholics also decreased, from 55 to 27 in 2016. Ontario reported 16 fewer incidents, and declines were also seen in Quebec (-7) and the Atlantic provinces (-5).
In contrast, hate crimes against the Jewish population grew from 178 to 221 incidents. Increases were seen in Ontario (+31), Quebec (+11) and Manitoba (+7).
Increase in hate crimes targeting sexual orientation
Hate crimes targeting sexual orientation accounted for 13 per cent of all police-reported hate crimes in 2016, rising from 141 incidents in 2015 to 176 in 2016. A greater number of incidents over these two years were reported in Quebec (+15), British Columbia (+11), Ontario (+7) and Saskatchewan (+4).
Among the provinces, the greatest increase in the absolute number of police-reported hate crimes was observed in Quebec, where incidents rose from 270 in 2015 to 327 in 2016. This increase was mostly attributable to more hate crimes targeting Arabs and West Asians, the Jewish population and sexual orientation.
British Columbia also reported more hate crimes, rising from 164 to 211. The increase was attributable to crimes against the East or Southeast Asian and South Asian populations, which doubled from 2015 to 2016 (from 15 to 32 and from 11 to 24, respectively).
In contrast, the number of police-reported hate crimes in Alberta declined from 193 in 2015 to 139 in 2016 due to fewer crimes targeting religion.
Hate crimes were more violent in 2016
Based on data from police services that provided detailed information on hate crimes for both 2015 and 2016, an increased violence was observed in hate crimes. For example, violent hate-motivated crimes (for example, assault, threats, criminal harassment and other violent offences) rose from 487 in 2015 to 563 in 2016, up 16 per cent. In 2016, 43 per cent of hate crimes were violent, compared with 38 per cent in 2015.
Hate crimes targeting sexual orientation continued to be the most violent hate crimes. In 2016, 71 per cent of hate crimes motivated by hatred of the victims’ sexual orientation were violent crimes. By comparison, 27 per cent of hate crimes targeting religion and 45 per cent targeting ethnicity were violent.
More stats from the report are available here.