The number of police-reported hate crimes across Canada have increased for the second year in a row.
The latest data from Stats Canada shows hate crimes increased by 27 per cent in 2021 and by 72 per cent over the last two years. Hate crimes rose in every province and territory, except for the Yukon which remained the same.
B.C.’s Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives, Rachna Singh, said the data was upsetting and showed the need for an increased focus on anti-racism initiatives.
“In 2021, hate crimes based on religion increased by 67 per cent, based on sexual orientation by 64 per cent, and based on race or ethnicity by six per cent. Here in B.C., we continue to see people of Asian descent unfairly targeted and scapegoated, leading to increased attacks against them and their businesses.”
Vancouver had the highest number of police-reported hate crimes in B.C. at 429, up from 372 in 2020. Victoria was the second highest at 40, up from 35 in 2020, followed by Kelowna at 24, up from six in 2020, and Abbotsford at 16, up from eight in 2020.
Singh said that B.C. is supporting anti-racism work in communities throughout the province through the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network, providing local organizations with information, supports and training on how to fight hate and respond to incidents of racism and hate in their communities.
“There is more work to do, and we can all help make our communities more inclusive and safer for everyone. We all must commit to being anti-racist and standing up against discrimination in all forms,” she said.