Statistics Canada has released a new report on police-reported hate crimes. Hate crimes are defined as criminal incidents based on race or ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. Of the 1,473 hate crimes reported in 2009, the greatest increases were those related to religion, which rose by 55 per cent. Racial or ethnic hate crimes went up 35 per cent and those related to sexual orientation rose 18 per cent. Of these, 54 per cent of the reports were mischief offences (graffiti or vandalism); forty per cent were violent crimes, such as assault.
Although hate crimes against all racial groups rose in 2009, those against individuals of Arabic or West Asian descent had the largest increase from 37 in 2008 to 75 in 2009. The Black population remains the most targeted group, with 272 reports, or 38 per cent of the racially motivated incidents.
Jewish, Muslim and Catholic individuals reported religiously motivated hate crimes against them. Most were against those of the Jewish faith (70 per cent of religiously motivated hate crimes). Muslim individuals had an increase of ten incidents, and Catholic individuals by three since 2008.
Furthermore, there were four areas of Ontario that reported the largest increase in police-reported hate crimes: Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (+11.8 per cent), Guelph (+8.9 per cent), Peterborough (+11.5 per cent) and Ottawa (+8.9 per cent).
To access the full report, visit www.statcan.gc.ca.