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Government reports on hate crime

Reports from Canadian Government Departments and Affiliates

  • Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics

    Allen, M., Boyce, J., Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, & Statistics Canada. (2013). Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2011. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

    Allen and Boyce provide an analysis of police-reported hate incidents in Canada in 2011 using data from the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey. They find that hate incidents had decreased by 5% below the 2010 rate, with hatred of a race or ethnicity being the most common motivation (52% of all incidents), followed by hatred of a religion (25%), hatred towards a sexual orientation (18%), and hatred motivated by another characteristic such as language, disability, or sex (5%). While 2011 saw a decrease in incidents motivated by race or ethnicity (-4%) and religion (-17%), incidents motivated by sexual orientation rose by 10%. Crimes targeting Black (21% of all incidents) and Jewish (15% of all incidents) populations were most common.

    Non-violent offences comprised a majority of hate crime in 2011, with mischief offences alone accounting for 50% of all hate incidents. Violent hate crime accounted for 39% of all hate incident in 2011, a rise of 5% over 2010 numbers due largely to an increase in the number of violent crimes motivated by race or religion (non-violent incidents fell by 16% in the same period). Of violent hate incidents, assault was the most common offence (22% of all incidents). A majority (51%) of hate incidents in 2011 occurred in Ontario, with the Northwest Territories and Prince Edward Island both reporting increases in their hate crime rates. Census metropolitan areas were the location of the majority (79%) of hate crime activity, with Peterborough and Hamilton having the highest rates of hate incidents in 2011.

    Hate crime victims were found to often be male (75%) and young (41% of victims were under the age of 25), with victims targeted for sexual orientation particularly fitting this profile (85% male and 50% aged under 25). 61% of victims reported not knowing their attacker. For those accused of hate crime, 60% were aged 12 to 24 and 88% were male. Youth accused of hate crime were particularly well-represented in incidents which targeted sexual orientation (70% of such incidents) and those which involved mischief offences (85%), criminal harassment (67%), and hate crime assaults (58%).

    Allen, M., Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, & Statistics Canada. (2014). Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2012. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

    Allen examines Canadian police-reported hate crime in 2012 using data collected through the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey. She finds that of the 1,414 hate incidents reported to police in 2012, 51% were motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity, 30% were motivated by religious hatred, 13% were motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation, and 6% were motivated by hate of another characteristic (language, disability, sex, age, etc.). A majority (69%) of reported hate incidents in 2012 were non-violent in nature, with mischief being the most common non-violent offence. Violent hate incidents were more likely to be found in cases where sexual orientation was targeted, with 67% of crimes committed against LGBTQ persons being violent offences which included assault (38%), uttering threats (12%), and criminal harassment (10%).

    Allen finds that the rate of reported hate incidents had climbed by 6% over 2011 numbers, largely attributed to improvements in reporting by police services in Hamilton and Thunder Bay. This increase in incidents was found to be comprised primarily of non-violent mischief offences targeting Black and Jewish populations, with violent incidents being fewer in number than in 2011 (down 16%). Police-reported hate incidents were largely committed in Ontario (53% of all hate  incidents), with Alberta, Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, the Yukon, and Nunavut (as well as in Ontario) reporting increases in their hate crime rates. Further, 82% of hate crimes reported in 2012 occurred in census metropolitan areas, with Hamilton, Thunder Bay, and Peterborough featuring the highest rates of hate incidents.

    Victims of violent hate crime in 2012 are found to be largely male (72%) and under the age of 25 (40%), with 80% of male victims being targeted due to sexual orientation and 62% of all victims not personally knowing their accused attacker. Persons accused of committing hate crimes also tended to be male (84%) and young (57% of accused were aged 12 to 24). These youth comprised 75% of those accused of a non-violent hate offence and 44% of those accused of a violent hate offence in 2012.

    Allen, M., Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, & Statistics Canada. (2015). Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2013. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

    Allen offers an overview of police-reported hate crime incidents in Canada in 2013 on behalf of the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics and finds that there were 17% less hate-motivated incidents committed than had occurred in 2012. Of hate crimes committed in 2013, 51% were motivated by racial or ethnic hatred, 28% were motivated by religious hatred, 16% were motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation, and 5% were motivated by hatred directed towards another characteristic (language, disability, sex, etc.). The majority (60%) of reported hate incidents in 2013 were non-violent in nature and generally included mischief offences. Violent hate incidents were less common, accounting for 40% of offences, most commonly assault (21% of all offences) and uttering threats (11% of all offences).

    The decrease in hate crime from 2012 levels is attributed mainly to a 30% reduction in non-violent incidents, with Allen reporting a corresponding increase of 4% in violent hate incidents. Ontario (which reported 51% of all 2013 hate incidents in Canada) saw 150 fewer incidents than the previous year, with British Columbia (34 fewer incidents) and Nova Scotia (29 fewer incidents) also seeing a decline in numbers. The Northwest Territories is reported to be the only province or territory to see an increase in hate incidents since 2012. Additionally, 87% of all Canadian hate incidents are reported to have occurred within census metropolitan areas, with Thunder Bay and Hamilton having the highest hate crime rates in 2013.

    Victims of hate crime in 2013 are found to be older than in 2012, with 69% of victims being aged 25 or older (an increase of 9%). This was more pronounced for victims of crimes motivated by religious hatred (77%), by racial or ethnic hatred (67%), and by hatred of sexual orientation (65%). Further, a majority (69%) of victims were male and did not know their attacker (63%). As for those accused of committing a hate crime, 37% fewer incidents were attributed to youth aged 12 to 17 years in 2013 than in 2012 (25% vs. 35%), although 2013 did see an increase of 8% in violent hate crimes attributed to youth.

    Armstrong, A., Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, & Statistics Canada. (2019). Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2017. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

    This annual report that tracks police-reported hate crimes across Canada serves as an illustration of year-over-year trends in hate and bias-related criminal activity. 2017 saw a 47% increase in hate crimes (or 664 incidents), although hate crimes accounted for less than 0.1% of all police-reported crimes. Crimes motivated by hatred of a religion (+382 incidents) and of a race/ethnicity (+212 incidents) were the main reasons for the overall increase. Hate crimes motivated by religion saw a staggering 83% increase, with hate against Muslims (349 incidents) increasing 151% and hate against the Jewish population (360 incidents) increasing 63%. Crimes targeting the Black population remained one of the most common types of hate crimes (16% of all hate crimes), with an increase of +107 incidents and the targeting of Arab and West Asian populations rose as well with +30 incidents. Hate crimes targeting sexual orientation rose 16% (204 incidents). Ontario accounted for +411 incidents (with Toronto experiencing +229 incidents, mostly targeting Muslim, Black and Jewish communities) and Quebec accounted for +162 incidents (with Montreal experiencing +117 incidents, mostly targeting Muslim, Arab, and West Asian communities). Of total incidents that recorded hate crime characteristics, there was a 64% increase in non-violent crimes (1239 incidents), mainly consisting of mischief (+378 incidents) and public incitement of hatred (+52 incidents). Hate crimes targeting sexual orientation (64%), South Asian populations (63%) and Arab and West Asian populations (60%) serve as the most likely to be violent. Worryingly, only 28% of hate crimes were solved by police in 2017.

    Arora, A., & Statistics Canada. (2019). A data story on ethnocultural diversity and inclusion: Vancouver. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

    Arora analyzes ethnocultural diversity trends in British Columbia to stimulate a discussion regarding the challenges and issues which will need to be grappled with in order to foster inclusion and equity within the province. Net international migration is identified as a main driver of B.C.’s population growth, with immigrants representing 28% of the province’s total population in 2016. Of immigrants who reside in B.C., most are found to have come from Asia, in particular China, India, the Philippines, Iran, and South Korea. The population of Vancouver is found to speak 180 different languages, with 41.9% having a mother tongue which is not English or French (Cantonese, Mandarin, Punjabi, and Tagalog are common).

    Inclusion and equity challenges and issues are next detailed, with Arora pointing to several situations which may pose barriers to full and fair inclusion in Canadian society for immigrants. In regard to language, it is found that between 2006 and 2017 approximately 25% of immigrants (in particular, refugees and family-sponsored immigrants) were not able to conduct a conversation in English or French when being admitted to the country. When examining employment, a significant gap is found to exist within the employment rate for immigrant women (though less so for immigrant men) and that the unemployment rate for immigrants was higher than for Canadian-born citizens. Socioeconomic factors are next explored and it is found that the proportion of immigrants who were low-income was much higher than for those born in Canada, that the proportion of immigrants who possessed a foreign university degree but were working in fields which required a high school diploma or less was much higher than for those born in Canada, and that many recent immigrants were living in unaffordable and/or unsuitable housing (although immigrants tended to have higher rates of home ownership than did those born in Canada). Rates of discrimination and prejudice are examined last, with Arora noting that although the number of police-reported hate crimes (particularly those motivated by hatred of race, ethnicity, or religion) have risen steadily since 2015, less than 1 in 6 immigrants report facing discrimination between 2009 and 2014.

    Beauchamp, D.L. (2008). Sexual orientation and victimization, 2004. Ottawa, ON: Statistics Canada’s Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.

    Beauchamp draws on data collected on behalf of the 2004 General Social Survey to examine how sexual orientation impacted victimization for Canada’s lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) population. Of the 1.5% of Canadian adults (aged 18+) who reported being LGB in 2004, it is found that they experienced violent victimization at significantly higher rates than did heterosexual adults. Lesbian and gay Canadians reported rates of violent victimization almost 2.5 times higher than did heterosexual Canadians (242 incidents vs. 99 incidents per 1,000 population) and bisexual Canadians reported rates of violent victimization 4 times higher than did heterosexual Canadians (415 incidents vs. 99 incidents per 1,000 population). Sexual orientation was shown to play a significant role in LGB violent victimization, as when factors related to higher rates of victimization (such as being young and/or a student, being single, being low income, living in an urban area, or engaging in a high number of evening activities) were held constant, LGB respondents still faced rates of victimization 2 to 4.5 times greater than did heterosexual respondents.

    Discrimination is also shown to have been more prevalent for LGB respondents, as 44% of gays and lesbians and 41% of bisexuals reported experiencing some form of discrimination (compared to 14% of heterosexuals), with 78% of gays and lesbians and 29% of bisexuals believing that the discrimination was due to their sexual orientation. Despite significantly higher rates of victimization, approximately 90% of LGB respondents reported satisfaction with their sense of personal safety. They reported less satisfaction with police, as only 42% of lesbians and gays and 47% of bisexuals felt that police were treating people fairly (compared to 60% of heterosexuals).


    Conroy, S., Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, & Statistics Canada. (2018). Police-reported violence against girls and young women in Canada, 2017. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

    Conroy uses data drawn from the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey and the Homicide Survey to examine the prevalence and nature of police-reported violence committed against girls and young women (aged 18 to 24) in Canada in 2017. She finds that female victims represented the majority (53%) of victims of police-reported violent crime in 2017, with younger women facing more violence than their older counterparts (the rate of violence against women and girls peaked overall at the age of 15 and then steadily dropped). Overall police-reported violence against women is found to have decreased by 16% between the years of 2009 and 2017, with rates of sexual violence offences committed against girls and young women having increased by 31% and rates of physical assault offences and other violent offences having decreased (-24% and -38%, respectively). Violent offences committed against women and girls in 2017 are reported to most often be in the form of physical assaults (50%), sexual offences (29% compared), and other violent offences (21%), with homicides being rare (0.2%). Girls and young women victims faced a rate of sexual assault that was seven times higher than that faced by boys and young men victims (407 per 100,000 population vs. 58 per 100,000 population).

    81% of perpetrators of violence against girls and women in 2017 were male, most often a male aged 18 to 24. Almost all (98%) of the perpetrators of sexual offences against women and girls were male. Young female victims are found to have been victimized most often by someone close to them (57% of victims), most often a family member, an intimate partner, or a friend. The victimization of girls and young women is found to occur frequently on private property (62% of overall incidents), often within a home shared by the victim and the accused (34% of incidents which occurred on private property) or within the victim’s home (31%). Further, most violence committed against girls and young women is found to take place in the afternoon (32%), in the evening (31%), and on weekends (30%). Violence against girls and young women are found to have the highest rates in the territories, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba and was more prevalent in rural areas than in urban areas (1.8 times higher).

    Girls and young women are found to experience homicide at a rate that was three times lower than that of boys and young men (0.83 vs. 2.49 per 100,000 population), though Aboriginal girls and young women are found to be overrepresented as homicide victims (34% of girls and young women who were murdered while accounting for only 7% of girls and young women in Canada). The murder of girls and young women are found to most often be committed by a male accused (78%), though a female accused was more often found in the murder of younger girls (44%). The accused was found to be close to the victim (a family member or intimate partner) in a majority of cases.

    Dauvergne, M., Brennan, S., Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, & Statistics Canada. (2011). Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2009. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

    Dauvergne and Brennan examine the rate and nature of police-reported hate crime in Canada for the year of 2009 using data from the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey. They find a 42% increase in hate incidents from 2008, with an increase in both non-violent offences (mischief accounted for 54% of all 2009 incidents) and violent offences (minor assaults accounted for 13% of all incidents and uttering threats accounted for 10%). Most offences were committed within large central metropolitan areas, with Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo (18 incidents per 100,000 population), Guelph (17), and Peterborough (15) reporting the highest rates of hate crime.

    Hatred of a race or ethnicity was the most common motivation for hate crime in 2009, accounting for 54% of all hate incidents committed. Hatred of a religion (29% of all incidents), hatred of a sexual orientation (13%), and hatred of another characteristic such as language, disability, or sex (4%) accounted for the remainder of 2009 hate incidents. Of racially motivated hate crime, Black persons were targeted most and accounted for 38% of such incidents. Notably, racially motivated hate incidents against Arab and West Asian persons doubled to account for 75 hate incidents in 2009. Hate incidents targeting the Jewish faith were the most common crimes motivated by religious hate and saw an increase of 71% in 2009, accounting for about 70% of such incidents overall. Hate crime directed towards the Muslim faith (+38%) and the Catholic religion (+10%) also increased. Incidents motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation are reported to have been the most violent (74% of homophobic incidents were violent). Persons accused of hate crime in 2009 are found to generally be young (rates peaked among those aged 12 to 17) and male (92% of accused), a profile similar to hate crime victims (rates peaked for youth aged 12-17 and males accounted for 73% of victims).

    Dauvergne, M., Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, & Statistics Canada. (2010). Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2008. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

    Dauvergne examines the prevalence of police-reported hate crime in Canada and finds an increase of 765 hate incidents reported in 2008 (compared to 2007) for a total of 1,036 incidents. Census metropolitan areas are found to have experienced almost double the number of hate incidents than did non-census metropolitan areas (4.0 vs. 2.4 per 100,000 population). Toronto and Vancouver reported the largest number of incidents (271 incident and 143 incidents, respectively), though London, Guelph, Kingston, and Brantford reported the highest rates of hate crime. With the exception of Brantford, all of the above areas saw an increase in hate crime in 2008, with Vancouver reporting almost double the number of incidents experienced there in 2007.

    Motivation for hate crime remained stable from previous years, with hatred of a race or ethnicity accounting for 55% of incidents, hatred of a religion accounting for 26% of incidents, and hatred of a sexual orientation accounting for 16% of incidents. Of these categories, crimes motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation rose most sharply (approximately double the number of incidents in 2008), although all categories experienced an increase in numbers (religiously-motivated crimes by 53% and racially-motivated crimes by 15%). Black persons and the Jewish faith were the most common targets of their respective categories, comprising 37% of racially motivated crimes and 64% of religiously motivated crimes. Crimes motivated by sexual orientation are reported to have been the most violent (75% of such incidents were violent). Further, two hate-based homicides were reported in 2008.

    Dowden, C., Brennan, S., Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, & Statistics Canada. (2012). Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2010. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

    Dowden and Brennan examine the annual rate of police-reported hate crime in Canada and find that it accounted for less than one% of Criminal Code offences in 2010 (a total of 1,401 incidents). This represents an 18% decrease in hate incidents compared to 2009. Of reported hate incidents in 2010, 66% were non-violent offences, predominantly mischief (56% of all incidents). The rate of violent hate offences decreased in 2010, with minor assaults (11% of all incidents) and uttering threats (9%) being most common. Ontario saw the highest rate of hate incidents in 2010 (5.7 incidents per 100,000 population), followed by Manitoba (4.6) and British Columbia (4.0). Nunavut was the only province or territory to report no hate crime in 2010. The census metropolitan area of Guelph reported the highest rate of hate incidents (15 per 100,000 population), followed by Ottawa (14), and Peterborough (12). Conversely, Thunder Bay, Saint John, Greater Sudbury, and Saguenay experienced no reported hate incidents in 2010.

    As with previous years, crimes motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity (52% of all hate incidents), religious hatred (29%), and hatred of sexual orientation (16%) were most common in 2010. Of racially motivated hate incidents, those which targeted the Black population were most prevalent and accounted for approximately 20% of all hate incidents. Of hate crime motivated by religious hatred, the Jewish population was targeted most often and accounted for 55% of such hate incidents. Hate incidents which targeted sexual orientation were reported to be the most likely to be violent (65% of such incidents were violent offences). Persons accused of hate crime in 2010 tended to be young (often between the ages of 12 and 17) and male (88% of all hate incidents). This was also true of victims of hate crime (the median age of a hate crime victim was 22 and victims were male in 75% of incidents). Further, victims of hate crime in 2010 reported not knowing their attacker in 57% of cases.

    Gaudet, M., Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, & Statistics Canada. (2018). Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2016. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

    With a rising population of visible minorities, an increase in non-Christian religious affiliation, and the continued emergence of non-heterosexual sexualities, this report written on behalf of the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics (CCJS) outlines a modest growth in the number of police-reported hate crimes in Canada. The article summaries what constitutes a hate crime in Canadian law and places the occurrence of such crimes within the context of national diversity. Using data collected from police forces across Canada through the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey, Statistics Canada, and the CCJS, hate crime incidents are compared to victim data on behalf of the 2014 General Social Survey on Canadians’ Safety to illustrate changes in the hate crime landscape. Results point to a significant increase in crimes targeting sexual orientation and race/ethnicity, with a slight decrease in crimes targeting religious affiliation. Quebec and British Columbia stand as sites with the greatest increase in hate crimes, though Ontario accounts for the greatest number of crimes. Violent offences rose 16% to account for 43% of all hate crimes, with sexual orientation drawing the most violence. Concurrently, non-violent offences dropped 6% and were mainly composed of mischief offences such as vandalism and graffiti. The report serves as a roadmap for potential areas of further study and offers a glimpse of the changing landscape of criminal hate in Canada.

    Ibrahim, D., Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, & Statistics Canada. (2018). Violent victimization, discrimination and perceptions of safety: An immigrant perspective, Canada, 2014. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

    Ibrahim examines data collected as part of the 2014 General Social Survey to find the rate of violent victimisation and discrimination experienced by Canada’s immigrant population, as well as how these incidents impact their perception of safety. In 2014, Canada was home to nearly 6 million immigrants aged 15 and over, with most coming from Asia (41%), Europe (32%), and the Americas (16%). A majority were established immigrants (73% compared to 23% recent immigrants) and 58% identified as a visible minority. Most immigrants reported living in a census metropolitan area (91%), largely in Toronto (38% of immigrants), Montreal (12%), and Vancouver (12%).

    Ibrahim next reports that in 2014 immigrants reported experiencing violent victimization (most often physical assault) at a rate less than half of that experienced by non-immigrants (39 incidents per 1,000 population compared to 86 incidents per 1,000 population), a rate which had decreased by 43% between 2004 and 2014. Of immigrants who had experienced violent victimization in 2014, no significant difference was found in rates of victimization between men and women or between visible and non-visible minorities. Age was found to be a considerable factor in victimization, with immigrants aged 15 to 24 years reporting a rate almost three times as high as those aged 25 or older. More than half (53%) of violent incidents faced by immigrants were not reported to police and of those that were, 55% of immigrant victims reported dissatisfaction with actions taken by police.

    Discrimination is next examined, with Ibrahim noting that 17% of immigrants in 2014 reported experiencing discrimination (compared to 12% of non-immigrants) and with recent immigrants facing more discrimination than established immigrants (20% and 16%, respectively). Discrimination was most often reported in relation to employment (54%), when receiving services (41%), and when crossing the Canadian border (12%) and was often felt to be have been targeting the victim’s ethnicity or culture (54%), race or skin colour (47%), language (31%), or religion (20%). Immigrants who were visible minorities reported overall similar rates of discrimination as did non-immigrant visible minority persons.

    A vast majority (91%) of immigrants in 2014 reported feeling safe from crime when walking alone at night in their neighbourhood, also generally feeling safe when alone at home in the eventing (87%) and when taking public transportation alone after dark (64%). Most immigrants also reported feeling that their neighbourhood had less crime than other areas of Canada (75%) and less social disorder (76%-91%). Despite generally positive feelings for their community in Canada, recent immigrants were less likely to report feeling a strong sense of belonging than did established immigrants (70% vs. 75%). Most immigrants also reported confidence in police (91%) and the Canadian criminal court system (approximately 70%).

    Ibrahim, D., Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, & Statistics Canada. (2018). Violent victimization and discrimination, by religious affiliation in Canada, 2014. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

    Ibrahim reports on data collected as part of the 2014 General Social Survey and provides a snapshot of violent victimization and discrimination experienced by Canadians based on religious affiliation. Christian is found to be the most common religious affiliation in Canada in 2014 (69.8% of respondents), followed by no religious affiliation (20%) and non-Christian religious affiliation (7.2%). Of non-Christian affiliations reported, Muslim was the most common (2.7% of respondents), followed by Hindu (1.2%), Sikh (1%), Jewish (0.9%), Buddhist (0.9%), Aboriginal spirituality (0.1%), and other (0.4%).

    While violent victimization experienced by Canadians with no religious affiliation was higher than that of Christians (113 incidents per 1,000 population vs. 67 incidents per 1,000 per 1,000 population), Canadians of other religious affiliations are not found to have significantly elevated rates of victimization (this is largely attributed to the young age of those reporting no affiliation). Violent victimization incidents were found to generally have been of a similar nature (i.e. a single incident that was not believed to be a hate crime and which featured a male offender) and were often not reported to police (68% of incidents experienced by Christians, 71% of incidents experienced by those with no affiliation, and 46% of incidents experienced by those of other religious affiliations). Discrimination based on religion is reported to have been experienced by 2% of respondents, with those affiliated with a non-Christian religion reporting a higher level of discrimination than did Christians (11% of individuals vs. 1%).

    Perceptions of safety from crime are next examined, with Ibrahim finding that despite Canadians overall reporting high levels of perceived safety, those who reported an affiliation with a religion other than Christianity generally felt less safe than did Christians or those with no affiliation (32% of non-Christians vs. 38% of Christians and 40% of non-affiliated individuals). Of these, Sikhs (25%), Hindus (29%), and Buddhists (28%) felt the least safe. Jewish persons were conversely found to express a higher level of safety than did Christians (48% vs. 38%). Perceptions of police varied, with Jewish persons, Buddhists, Sikhs and those of Aboriginal spirituality reporting less satisfaction with police than did Christians, and Muslims reporting higher satisfaction with police than did Christians.

    Janhevich, D. E., Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, & Statistics Canada. (2002). Hate crime study: An overview of issues and data sources. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

    The article begins with a discussion of how it is crucial to policy-making in Canada to be able to understand the experiences of people of various backgrounds. It speaks to the need for more data and further study in the area. The purpose of this article is to create a better understanding of hate and the viability of collecting hate crime statistics from police departments in Canada. This is done through a review on literature pertaining to hate crime, ensuring that hate crimes’ important issues are better understood. The literature includes a history of hate crime in Canada, definitional issues, and available research and data. Next, it examines the benefits and disadvantages of collecting hate crime statistics in Canada, and compares data collection techniques in Canada and other countries around the world. The third section of the article focuses on police policies and procedures. It finds that the problem is not lack of interest but the uncertainty of the best way to collect hate crime data. The article’s final section focuses on results from the 1999 General Social Survey which, for the first time, included measures to assess the level of hate crime in Canada. There continues to be a need for data on the nature and extent of hate crime in Canada to better help inform policy makers and create better legislation on hate crime in the country.

    Leber, B., Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, & Statistics Canada. (2017). Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2015. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

    Reporting on behalf of the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, Leber examines police-reported hate crime incidents recorded in 2015. He finds an increase of 5% in police-reported hate incidents compared to 2014 for a total of 1362 incidents. This increase is attributed mainly to a rise in crimes motivated by religious hate and racial and/or ethnic hate, particularly against Muslims, Arabs, and West Asians. Overall, 48% of 2015 police-reported hate crimes were motivated by racial and/or ethnic hatred, 35% were motivated by religious hatred, 11% were motivated by hatred of a sexual orientation, and 6% relating to other targeted characteristics. Violent hate crime rates also rose by 15% in 2015 (over 2014 numbers) due to an increase of 13% in hate-motivated assaults and an increase of 22% in uttering threats. Violent crimes motivated by sexual orientation were fewer in 2015 than in 2014 by 9%, though violent crimes targeting religion increased by 59% and violent crimes targeting race or ethnicity rose by 15%. Non-violent hate crime (primarily mischief offences) also increased by 5% in 2015 compared to 2014.

    While eight out of the ten provinces reported a surge in hate-motivated incidents, Alberta led the pack with an increase in police-reported hate crimes of 39% in 2015. Conversely, Ontario reported a decrease of 5% over 2014 numbers. Large cities (census metropolitan areas) were the setting for 83% of police-reported hate crimes in 2015, with Thunder Bay experiencing the highest rate (largely due to anti-Indigenous hate crimes which had occurred there that year). A majority (58%) of victims of hate crime in 2015 are reported to have been younger than 35 years of age, an insignificant change from 2014 (56%). Persons accused of committing hate crimes are shown to be male in 87% of cases and are found to often be younger (24 years of age or less) in crimes targeting religion (51%) or sexual orientation (45%), though crimes targeting race or ethnicity were often attributed to those 25 years of age or older (63% of cases).

    Moreau, G. (2019). Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2018. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

    This annual report published by Statistics Canada tracks police-reported crime in Canada for the year of 2018. Hate-motivated crimes are found to have decreased by 13% over 2017 levels (which had seen a 47% increase over 2016 levels), dropping to 1,798 incidents in 2018. The report notes that despite this decrease, the number of incidents in 2018 still remains higher than any other year (not including 2017) since 2009 and fits with an upward trend observed since 2014. The decrease is due in large part to a decline in Ontario. 2018 also saw a 50% decrease in hate crimes targeting the Muslim population, a 12% decrease in hate crimes targeting the Black population, a 15% decrease in hate crimes targeting sexual orientation, and a 4% decrease in hate crimes targeting the Jewish population. Non-violent hate crimes are found to have declined more than violent hate crimes, with a 23% decrease for the former and a 7% decrease for the latter.

    Moreau, G. (2020). Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2018. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

    Using data collected through the Uniform Crime Reporting Survey, Moreau provides an overview of police-reported hate crime in Canada for 2018. It is found that although overall hate crime numbers were down 13% from 2017, this decrease followed a 47% increase in 2017 (a year which saw the highest number of hate crimes since 2009). The decrease is mostly attributed to a 26% decline in incidents in Ontario, with Quebec and British Columbia also seeing a decrease in hate incidents (the rest of the provinces and territories experienced increases, particularly in Alberta which experienced an 8% increase). Further, 2018 saw a 50% decline in Islamophobic incidents, a 15% decline in homophobic incidents, a 12% decline in anti-Black incidents, and a 4% decline in antisemitic incidents. Hate incidents which target the Arab and West Asian populations are found to have decreased by 22% (the first decline seen for these groups since 2013), although hate crimes targeting Indigenous peoples rose for the second year in a row and hate crime targeting transgender or agender persons rose for the third year.

    Hate incidents motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity were the most common and accounted for 44% of all hate crime in 2018, followed by crimes motivated by a hatred of religion (36% of all incidents), a hatred of a sexual orientation (10%), and a hatred of another characteristic (10%). A majority (57%) of 2018 hate incidents were non-violent in nature, a decrease of 21% from 2017. The most common type of hate offence in 2018 is found to be mischief offences which accounted for 45% of all incidents. Violence was found to be more common in incidents which targeted gender expression/identity (80% of such incidents being violent), sexual orientation (64% of incidents), the South Asian population (64% of incidents), the Arab and West Asian population (63% of incidents), and the East and Southeast Asian population (56% of incidents). The rate of cyber hate crime is found to have remained relatively stable at 5.1% of hate incidents in 2018, the most common offense being uttering threats. As with previous years, most hate incidents occurred in census metropolitan areas, with 50% of all incidents occurring in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary. The highest rates of hate crime based on population were found in Hamilton, Quebec, and Ottawa.

    Victims of hate crime in 2018 are found to generally be male, with female victims only accounting for about one-third of all hate crime victims (this proportion rose for incidents which targeted Muslim and Indigenous persons). LGBTQ victims and Indigenous victims are found to generally be younger than other victims in 2018 and are also found to have been most likely to have sustained injury. Overall, most victims (63% of all hate crime victims) are found to have been victimized by a stranger. Persons accused of hate crime are found to have generally been male and young, with the accused in crimes targeting sexual orientation (90% of accused), religion (89%), and race/ethnicity (84%) being male. Youth aged 12 to 17 accounted for 24% of all those accused of a hate crime.

    Perreault, S. (2008). Immigrants and victimization, 2004. Ottawa, ON: Statistics Canada’s Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.

    Using data drawn from the 2004 General Social Survey, Perreault examines the victimization of immigrants in Canada. The report begins with a demographic profile of Canada’s immigrant population and finds that they accounted for 20% of the national population, with most residing in an urban area (95%). Recent immigrants are found to experience an unemployment rate almost double that of non-immigrants and their average income is found to be significantly lower than that of the Canadian-born population (though these gaps narrow the longer an immigrant has been in Canada). Most recent immigrants in 2004 had come from Asia (58%), Europe (16%), South/Central America or the Caribbean (11%), or Africa (11%).

    Immigrants in Canada in 2004 are found to experience a rate of violent victimization that was significantly lower than non-immigrants (68 incidents per 1,000 population vs. 116 incidents per 1,000 population), which Perreault attributes in part to the fact that the immigrant population was older (a large proportion were over the age of 45) and were more often married - factors which have been shown to lower victimization risk. Despite this lowered rate, the characteristics of violent victimization against immigrants were similar to those of violent victimization against non-immigrants: a lone male perpetrator; victimization often taking place on the street, in a commercial establishment, or in the victim’s home; injuries occurring in about one quarter of cases; and only about one third of cases being reported to police. Immigrants also reported higher levels of fear of crime than did Canadian-born individuals, despite lower overall rates of victimization.

    Immigrants are found to generally have been satisfied with Canada’s criminal justice system in 2004, though immigrants in Ontario, British Columbia, and the Atlantic provinces reported less satisfaction with the police than did non-immigrants. Discrimination is found to be more prevalent for immigrants than for Canadian-born individuals (1 in 5 immigrants reported discrimination compared to 1 in 10 non-immigrants), with a higher percentage of immigrants reporting discrimination while at work (10% of immigrants vs. 7% of non-immigrants), while shopping (7% vs. 4%), and while on the street (6% vs. 4%). Discrimination was more prevalent for recent immigrants than for established immigrants (26% of recent immigrants vs. 18% of established immigrants), which may be explained in part due to a higher number of recent immigrants being a visible minority (75% of recent immigrants). 70% of immigrants who reported discrimination felt that their ethnic origin, culture, or skin colour was a factor in their victimization.

    Perreault, S. (2008). Visible minorities and victimization, 2004. Ottawa, ON: Statistics Canada’s Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.

    Perreault analyzes data collected through the General Social Survey to offer a profile of Canada’s visible minority population and the victimization which they faced in 2004. It is found that 4 million Canadians reported being a visible minority in 2004, representing 13.4% of the overall population. Chinese persons accounted for 3.5% of the overall Canadian population aged 15 and over in 2004, followed by South Asian persons (2.9%) and Black persons (2%). 80% of visible minorities aged 15 and over were found to be immigrants. The visible minority population overall tended to be younger (20.9% of persons aged 15 to 24), urban (98% resided in an urban centre), and better educated (23.6% held a university degree) than did the non-visible minority population. Despite being better educated, visible minorities reported a higher unemployment rate (9.5%) and a greater chance of belonging to a low-income family (26%) than did non-visible minorities. Black persons reported the highest unemployment rate (11.5%) and were more likely to live in a low-income family (32.5%) compared to other visible minorities.

    Rates of violent victimization for visible minorities in 2004 were found to be similar to those of non-visible minorities (98 incidents vs. 107 incidents per 1,000 population). Rates of violent victimization were found to increase when a visible minority was Canadian-born (211 incidents per 1,000 population vs. 107 incidents for non-visible minorities and 69 incidents for visible minorities born elsewhere), which Perrault attributes to a higher proportion of Canadian-born visible minorities being young, single, low income, and participating in a greater number of evening activities (all factors related to a higher risk of victimization). Visible minorities also reported experiencing discrimination at twice the rate of non-visible minorities (28% vs. 13%), with 81% of visible minorities who reported discrimination believing that it was due to their race or ethnic origin. Black persons and Latin American persons were the most likely to be discriminated against (36% of both groups reported discrimination).

    Perceptions of safety among visible minorities tended to be weaker than those of non-visible minorities in 2004. In particular, female visible minorities and Chinese persons reported lower levels of perceived personal safety while waiting for public transportation at night. Conversely, Black persons reported higher levels of perceived safety in the same situation. Lowered perceptions of safety are linked by Perrault to both a higher tendency by visible minorities to feel that there was more social disorder in their neighbourhoods and to the in terrorem effects of hate crime. Further, visible minorities were found to report lower satisfaction with the approachability and attitudes of police, with those visible minority persons who had experienced recent contact with police reporting less satisfaction than those who had not.

    Rotenberg, C. (2019). Police-reported violent crimes against young women and girls in Canada’s Provincial North and Territories, 2017. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

    Rotenberg offers an overview of police-reported violent crime committed against girls and young women (aged 24 and under) in northern Canada (the territories and the northern parts of most provinces) in 2017. It is found that police-reported crime rates were 2.4 times higher in northern Canada than in southern Canada, with the violent crime rate also being significantly higher in the North (2.8 times higher than in the South). The rate of violent victimization committed against northern young women and girls is found to have increased year-over-year since 2015 after seeing a steady decline between 2009 and 2015 (Rotenberg attributes this increase to an upsurge in the reporting of sexual assaults). A significant gap is also found between the rate of violent crime experienced by young women and girls in the territories versus in Provincial North areas overall (the rate was 2.1 times higher in the territories). Higher rates of violence are also found in northern rural areas compared to northern urban areas (2.1 times higher), with Northern Saskatchewan found to have the highest reported rate of violent crime committed against young women and girls.

    Of violent crimes committed in the North, young women and girls are found to be overrepresented as victims (48% of the northern population but 62% of victims). Further, it is found that young women and girls in the North faced a rate of violent crime victimization that was higher than all other combinations of sex and age groups in Canada. They are found to face higher rates of all major violent offence types, particularly physical assault-related offences (at a rate 3.9 times higher than their southern counterparts). Younger victims are found to have more often been sexually victimized, while older victims faced more physical violence. Violent offences committed against young women and girls in the North are found to be more severe than in the South, with aggravated physical assault, level 2 physical assault, and homicide or other offences causing death being committed at rates 3.4 to 7 times higher in the North than in the South.

    Of those accused of a violent crime against young women and girls in the North, it is found that most were male (77%) and older than the victim (82%). Accused were less often a stranger to the victim in North, with intimate partners (44%, a rate 3.5x as high as in the South), casual acquaintances (22%), or family members (20%) being the most common perpetrators. This pattern was also found in relation to homicides committed against young women and girls in the North, as victims were generally killed by an intimate partner (38%), a casual acquaintance (26%), or a family member (25%). Homicides against young women and girls in the North were also found to occur at a rate 3.4 times higher than in the South, with young Indigenous women and girls accounting for 76% of the homicide victims studied.

    Silver, W., Minorean, K., & Taylor-Butts, A. (2004). Hate crime in Canada [1999-2002 data]. Ottawa: Juristat: Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics.

    The authors examine Canadian hate crime data between the years 1999 and 2002 in this pilot survey which seeks to assess both the prevalence of hate crime in Canada in the years surrounding the 2001 9/11 terrorist attacks and to gauge the feasibility of undertaking ongoing national police-reported hate crime reporting. The first section of the report provides a snapshot of diversity in Canada by offering census data on a number of population characteristics: immigration (Canada contains more than 200 ethnic groups); visible minorities (13.4% of the 2001 Canadian population identified as a visible minority); language (18% of the 2001 Canadian population spoke a mother tongue that was neither English nor French); religious groups (the number Canadians who report being Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, or Buddhist had grown significantly by 2001); Indigenous peoples (accounting for 3.3% of the population in 2001); and sexual orientation (0.5% of all couples in 2001 were in same-sex common law partnerships).

    Information about hate crime victimization is next explored using data drawn from the 1999 General Social Survey. The authors find that approximately 4% of crime victims describe their mistreatment as being motivated by hate, with 43% of these offences being committed due to race and 77% being personal offences (largely assaults). 46% of these hate incidents are found to have been committed by someone unknown to the victims and 45% of these incidents were reported to the police. Sex was not found to be a significant factor in hate crime victimization, but age and visible minority status is found to have influenced victimization (those aged 15 to 24 were twice as likely to be victimized and visible minorities were almost three times more likely to be victimized).

    Ethno-cultural hate crime victimization is next examined using data drawn from the Ethnic Diversity Survey. The authors find that 9% of those criminally victimized reported that their abuse was motivated by hate, with visible minorities being over-represented within this group. Further, immigrants who were visible minorities reported hate-motivated victimization at a rate of more than twice that of non-visible minority immigrants, with Canadian-born visible minorities having the overall highest hate crime victimization rate (31 per 1,000 population). Visible minorities also reported nearly three times as much fear of being the victim of a hate crime than did those who were not a visible minority, although the overall rate of fear was low (approximately 5% of Canadians).

    Police-reported hate crime data from 12 major police forces across Canada is next examined. The authors find a total of 928 hate incidents had occurred between 2001 and 2002, of which 52% were offences against the person and 31% were property offences. 57% of these incidents were motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity, with incidents motivated by religious hatred (43%) and hatred of a sexual orientation (10%) also being prevalent. Jewish persons and institutions were the most common targets (25% of all hate crimes), with Black persons (17%), Muslims (11%), South Asians (10%), and gay and lesbian persons (9%) also being commonly targeted. Those accused of hate crime are generally found to have been male (84% of accused), fairly young (the average age of the accused was 29.5 years) and generally unknown to their victim (83% of accused).  

    Simpson, L., Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, & Statistics Canada. (2018). Violent victimization of lesbians, gays and bisexuals in Canada, 2014. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

    Simpson analyzes self-reported data collected through the 2014 General Social Survey to gauge the prevalence of victimization experienced by lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) persons in Canada. She finds that LGB persons reported generally being younger (40% of bisexual and 54% of lesbian and gay respondents were aged between 18 and 34) and urban (78% of respondents lived in a census metropolitan area). The young age of the LGB population and the riskier behaviours which are common in youth are suggested as a possible factor by Simpson in the high rates of victimization of LGB persons.

    Violent victimization (sexual assault, robbery, and physical assault) was experienced by 19% of adult respondents at least once in the preceding year, with bisexuals being overrepresented within this group at a rate of 267 per 1,000 population compared to 142 per 1,000 for lesbian and gay persons. Women are found to have experienced more violent victimization overall and particularly in the case of sexual assault, with bisexual women being four times as likely to experience violent victimization and seven times as likely to experience sexual assault than did heterosexual women. LGB persons are found to experience violent victimization at a rate twice as high as do heterosexuals, though violent victimization rates for lesbian and gay persons decreased by 67% between 2009 and 2014 (rates for bisexuals remained steady).

    Simpson next examines the characteristics and effects of violent victimization against LGB persons. She finds that victimization characteristics tended to be similar across the group: most experienced victimization at the hands of a single male offender (86% of incidents) who did not possess a weapon (69% of incidents). Homelessness (which has been positively correlated with an increased chance of violent victimization) is found to be more prevalent for bisexuals, a group which is also found to be less likely than their heterosexual, lesbian, or gay counterparts to report their victimization to the police (85% vs. 64% and 58%, respectively) due to lower levels of satisfaction with police. Finally, LGB persons report a lower sense of belonging to their community, with bisexual persons reporting lower levels than do lesbian or gay persons.

    Statistics Canada. (n.d.). Gender, diversity and inclusion statistics hub.

    This interactive hub provided by Statistics Canada offers the ability to view data relating to gender, diversity and inclusion. Users can view data which pertains to a wide variety of subtopics:

    - business performance and ownership
    - crime and justice
    - education, training and learning
    - families and households
    - health
    - immigration and ethnocultural diversity
    - income, pensions, spending and wealth
    - labour
    - language
    - population and demography
    - science and technology
    - time use

    The site also offers data tables related to gender divisions within a number of areas (education, economic participation, leadership, violence, poverty, etc.), as well as links to Canada’s Gender-Based Analysis Plus initiative and international gender resources.

    Walsh, P., Dauvergne, M., Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics, & Statistics Canada. (2009). Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2007. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

    Walsh and Dauvergne examine police-reported hate crime in Canada in 2007 and find a 13% decrease in the number of reported hate incidents compared to 2006 (785 incidents vs. 892 incidents). Quebec and Ontario are found to have experienced decreases in hate crime of 36% and 14%, respectively, largely due to fewer incidents being reported in Montreal and Toronto. Calgary reported the highest rate of hate crime in the country with 8 incidents per 100,000 population, although the authors caution that this may be due to an anti-hate crime initiative conducted by the Calgary Police Service which encouraged hate crime reporting. Of all hate crime committed in 2007, non-violent offences accounted for about 70% (with mischief offences being the most common hate offence overall). Violent hate incidents were rare and often occurred in the form of minor assaults (14% of incidents) and uttering threats (8% of incidents), although there was one hate-motivated homicide in 2007.

    Motivation for hate crime in 2007 was largely concentrated within three categories: 1) hatred of a race of ethnicity, which accounted for approximately 60% of incidents; 2) hatred of a religion, which accounted for 24% of incidents; and 3) hatred of a sexual orientation, which accounted for 10% of incidents. Of racially motivated incidents, the Black population was targeted most frequently (1/3 of such incidents) despite a substantial decrease in crimes which targeted the Black community (154 incidents in 2007 vs. 238 incidents in 2006). Despite there being fewer crimes motivated by hatred of the Jewish and Muslim faiths in 2007 than in 2006, incidents targeting the Jewish faith still accounted for more than two-thirds of religiously motivated crimes. Those accused of hate crime are found to have been young, with 32% of accused persons being aged 12 to 17 years.

  • Canadian Heritage


    Canadian Heritage. (2019). Building a foundation for change: Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy 2019-2022. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Heritage.

    This document provides an overview of the Canadian federal government’s plan to prevent and to reduce systemic racism and discrimination for the years 2019 to 2022 with its Anti-Racism Strategy. The Strategy seeks to advance an intersectional approach to addressing racism and discrimination, paying special attention to the ways in which Indigenous peoples in Canada experience distinct forms of oppression. The Strategy also places significant emphasis on nurturing an ongoing relationship with Indigenous communities and individuals to help guide Canadian anti-racism programs and policies. To achieve this, the Strategy was crafted to build upon input drawn from public and organizational engagement sessions conducted in 2018 and 2019. The Strategy was built upon three guiding principles in order to “build a foundation for long-term action” where “all Canadians benefit from equitable access to and participation in the economic, cultural, social and political spheres”: 1) federal leadership to address systemic racism and discrimination within federal institutions, policies, programs, and services; 2) community empowerment through an increase in funding and capacity-building at the local level; and 3) raising awareness of Canada’s history of systemic racism and discrimination and better data/evidence collection to allow for proper program and policy evaluation.

    To improve federal leadership, an Anti-Racism Secretariat is to be established within the Department of Canadian Heritage to coordinate government action, to report on progress, and to liaison with partners to the Strategy. To empower communities, an Anti-Racism Action Program is to be established which would invest $30 million to fund anti-racism community-based projects in the key areas of employment, social participation, and justice. Further, additional funding is to be provided to the existing capacity-building Community Support, Multiculturalism and Anti-Racist Initiatives Program (CSMARI). To promote public awareness of Canada’s history of racism and discrimination, an investment of $3.3 million for a National Public Education and Awareness Campaign is to be undertaken. A focus on Canada’s ongoing history of anti-Indigenous systemic racism is to be a prominent part of public education endeavours. Online hate is to be combatted through a continuing commitment to Canada’s Digital Charter (enacted in 2019) which seeks to connect the federal government with digital industry actors to address online hate and extremism, as well as through an investment of $0.9 million to Public Safety Canada to develop a national framework and evidence-based guidelines to improve hate incident response. Finally, $6.3 million is to be invested to “increase reliable, usable and comparable data and evidence regarding racism and discrimination” to allow for a deeper analysis of the state of racism and discrimination in Canada and to provide improved impact measurement and performance reporting for programs and initiatives.

    Canadian Heritage. (2005). Canada’s action plan against racism: A Canada for all. Canada: Department of Canadian Heritage.

    Published by the Department of Canadian Heritage, this document is an overview of a recently devised plan at the federal level to combat racism and hate-motivated crimes. The plan articulates Canada’s commitment to eradicate racism and discrimination through national and international legal frameworks as well as partnerships among various agencies, organizations and citizens. Although the document recognizes the strides Canada has already made on this front, it acknowledges there is still much to achieve, citing recent statistics and opinion polls that suggest many visible minorities remain disadvantaged. Canada’s action plan includes a number of guiding principles and seeks to build partnerships with civil society, employers and associations, and the police. A Canada For All also expresses the federal government’s commitment to reduce hate crime by providing further cultural sensitivity training to police officers, and conducting in-depth research on hate-motivated crimes to reduce the number of repeat offenders. The government also hopes this research will shed light on strategies to address victims’ needs. Furthermore, the Canadian government is working towards reducing the distribution of hate propaganda on the Internet, which presents an ongoing problem. For accountability purposes, the plan also describes ongoing and future evaluations and reports.

    Canadian Heritage. (1998). Hate and bias activity in Canada. Canada: Department of Canadian Heritage.

    This brief article attempts to assess the state of hate crime and bias activity in Canada in 1998. It points to the absence of a single definition of hate crime in Canada as well as inconsistent statistical gathering methods as the source of the uncertainty surrounding the number of hate crimes committed. Despite this, several prominent scholars in the area have estimated this number; they believe that close to 60,000 hate-motivated crimes are committed each year in Canada. Furthermore, the report indicates that several police units and community organizations collect statistics, which suggest that hate crime is on the rise. These statistics also indicate that most assaults are random and unprovoked, and committed by young males alone or in small groups. The article also addresses hate on the Internet, identifying it as a simple and inexpensive medium to dispel hate propaganda to a large audience. The article gives no recommendations to address these issues, but simply highlights their existence.

    Government of Canada. (2018). Evaluation of the Multiculturalism Program 2011-12 to 2016-17. Ottawa, ON: Government of Canada.

    This report examines and evaluates the Multiculturalism Program which was conducted between 2008 and November 2015 as part of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act and which sought to accomplish three objectives: 1) to “build an integrated, socially cohesive society”; 2) to “improve the responsiveness of institutions to the needs of a diverse population”; and 3) to “actively engage in discussions on multiculturalism and diversity at the international level”. The Program attempted to achieve these goals through four key areas of activity: 1) through grants and contributions for appropriate projects and events; 2) through public outreach and the promotion of diversity; 3) through coordination and support to federal and public institutions through activities such as providing annual reports; and 4) through participation in international agreements and institutions which seek to promote multiculturalism and diversity.

    The report finds that due to the continuing prevalence of beliefs and activities which oppose diversity (including populism, anti-immigration sentiment, and hate crime), the Program was and remained relevant. Therefore, the report urges the filling of gaps which had been identified in the Program, including the need for a national strategy to combat racism and discrimination, institutional support and funding to address systemic issues, increased capacity for the Program to achieve the policy directives of the Multiculturalism Act, the need for increased evidence gathering, and changes to the Program’s funding and delivery model. Further, the report calls for the federal government to take a strong leadership role in promoting multiculturalism. A paucity of performance data is found to limit the ability to properly gauge the Program’s effectiveness, but the report notes that while some success was found in public outreach activities, in Inter-Action projects, and in increasing policy awareness about international approaches to diversity, several gaps were also found related to addressing racism, engaging with communities and the private sector, forging strategic partnerships, and in undertaking research endeavours. Design and delivery of the Program is found to have been hampered by challenges related to communication, coordination, and decision-making which are largely attributed to the structure, design and delivery model of the program  (particularly within the funding model and eligibility criteria).

    Ultimately, six recommendations are made: 1) that the Assistant Deputy Ministers of the Strategic Policy, Planning, and Corporate Affairs branch and the Citizenship, Heritage, and Regions branch (both of the Department of Heritage) undertake a policy development exercise in order to improve the Program’s ability to meet the objectives of the Multiculturalism Act; 2) that more evidence must be gathered going forward so that a proper evaluation of the Program’s effectiveness can be undertaken; 3) that the Program Information Profile be updated to include a) indicators which gauge immediate, intermediate, and long-term program outcomes and b) that data collection instruments and mechanisms be reviewed and revised to effectively collect program outcome data; 4) that communication, collaboration, decision-making, and other governance challenges be improved through a review of and changes to the Program’s structure, roles, and responsibilities; 5) that eligibility criteria for projects be adapted to allow for the Program to better address systemic regional and local issues; and 6) that measures which ensure that Program service standards are being met are implemented to address funding challenges.

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • City of Toronto

    City of Toronto (1998). “Hate activity policy and procedures”. 

    This document reviews the policies and procedures of the City of Toronto (hereafter referred to as the City) for dealing with hate activity. The stated purpose of this policy is to assist key city officials in the identification of hate-motivated crimes and/or incidents by outlining the procedures for responding to hate through the City’s Human Rights Programs. Key parts of this document detail the position of the City on hate crime, including, among other things, its commitment to:

    • Eliminating hate activity and all forms of discrimination.
    • Taking remedial measures to assist victims of hate-motivated crimes.
    • Making public condemnations against the actions of hate groups/individuals and racist organizations.
    • Ensuring people can function in an environment void of hatred through institutional practices and/or individual biases.

    In describing the scope of the policy, the document recognizes multiple grounds of discrimination, including sexual orientation, ancestry, family status, level of literacy, and other personal characteristics. As these grounds go beyond the categories of discrimination that are typically mentioned, such as race, gender and religion, this document has a notable progressive orientation. A main section of the document is devoted to providing key terms relating to hate crime, including definitions of hate crime and hate propaganda as well as explanations of what constitutes advocating genocide and publicly inciting hatred. These terms are referenced from the Criminal Code of Canada. Special attention is also given to the concept of hate crime, as defined by the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Ontario Human Rights Code. The final sections of this document detail the appropriate procedures for dealing with hate activity in the City as well as the institutions responsible for handling those procedures.

  • Department of Justice

    Faulkner, E. (1997). Anti-gay/lesbian violence in Toronto: The impact on individuals and communities. Ottawa: Department of Justice Canada: Research and Statistics Division/Policy Sector. 

    Faulkner, in partnership with the 519 Church Street Community Centre, examines anti-gay and lesbian violence in Toronto and the effects such violence have on individuals and their communities through the analysis of data collected through a survey distributed at the 1995 Toronto Pride Day event. Faulkner finds that of 368 survey respondents, most had experienced some form of homophobic violence: 76% reported experiencing a verbal assault at least once since the age of sixteen; 51% were verbally threatened with physical violence; 38% had been chased or followed; 36% had been sexually harassed (without assault); 26% had objects thrown at them; 21% had been punched, kicked, hit or beaten; 21% had experienced police harassment (without assault); 19% had personal property damaged; 17% were sexually assaulted; 17% were spat on; 7% had been assaulted or wounded with a weapon; and 5% had been beaten or assaulted by police.

    Within homophobic violence experienced by respondents, men reported higher levels of violence and/or harassment in most categories. Women reported more experiences of being spat on, being assaulted with a weapon, and being sexually harassed, possibly due to female respondents being unable to distinguish whether their victimization was a result of their sexual orientation or their gender. Further, male respondents reported more incidents in which attackers made reference to HIV/AIDS than did female respondents. Perpetrators of homophobic violence and harassment were found to often be male, with female respondents reporting that they were victimized by people known to them more often than did male respondents. Faulkner notes that this may be a result of lesbians being perceived as a greater threat to the familial order than are gay men. Six respondents report that they were harassed or assaulted by police due to their sexual orientation.

    Violent incidents are found to occur both in public and in private (including on the street, in lesbian or gay establishments, on school property, on public transit, in the home or car, etc.), often while victims are participating “in (the) ordinary circumstances of work and life”. The street is identified as the most common site of homophobic violence and harassment, with 94 respondents reporting incidents ranging from verbal harassment to physical assault occurring there. Schools are also identified as popular sites of homophobic violence and harassment, with 26 respondents reporting victimization while attending school. As can be expected in light of the ubiquity of homophobic violence, 83% of respondents report that they knew at least one person who had been attacked due to their sexual orientation and 42% reported knowing of more than three people who had been attacked.

    Consequently, 87% of respondents felt that homophobic harassment or violence had “either somewhat or greatly affected how they act or behave”. This was accomplished through acts including the hiding of one’s sexual orientation, a limitation of public displays of affection, the altering of dress, appearance and behaviour to appear heterosexual, the taking of precautions when walking on streets (not alone or at night, etc.), and through political involvement and fighting back. Few respondents are found to have reported their attack to community reporting lines, the police, or to medical professionals, generally due to fears of police being homophobic, fear of public exposure, fear of abuse or indifference, a lack of witnesses, or a feeling that it is not worth the trouble.

    Gilmour, G. A. (1994). Hate-motivated violence. Ottawa: Department of Justice Canada, and Development Directorate, Policy, Programs and Research Sector.

    Representing the Department of Justice, Glenn Gilmour reviews his study, Hate-Motivated Violence, which examined how Canada’s Criminal Code should address racially motivated violence. Gilmour describes related literature, including legal periodicals, government and organizations’ reports, newspapers and magazines. He also briefly reviews current and historical Canadian data as well as Canadian criminal law relevant to hate-motivated violence. Gilmour continues by examining the criminal laws of the United States, England, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany and Sweden to establish possible directions for reform in Canada. The document concludes with a list of 15 options for reform to Canadian criminal law. Many of the recommendations fall into categories such as increased penalties for hate-motivated crimes or the creation of specific hate-motivated crimes. Others suggest altering the definitions of some crimes to include those motivated by hate. There are a number of additional recommendations that cannot be categorized, but that culminate to offer a wide range of options for Canada’s Criminal CodeFurthermore, each of the 15 recommendations is accompanied by a list of advantages and any foreseen disadvantages in order to weigh the options against one another.

    McDonald, S., & Hogue, A. (2007). An exploration of the needs of victims of hate crimes. Ottawa: Department of Justice Canada.

    McDonald and Hogue provide an in-depth examination of hate crime victimization and the needs of hate crime victims. The report offers an overview of hate crime victimization in Canada, noting that 4% of respondents to the 2004 General Social Survey on Victimization felt that they were victims of a hate-motivated crime (largely due to race or ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual orientation). Few of these incidents were likely to have been reported, as the authors find that only 34% of victimization incidents in 2004 were reported to police, with victims instead largely relying on informal support (family or friends) for help.

    Forming a clear picture of the state of hate crime victimization in 2007 was found to  be difficult, as the authors note that in addition to a reluctance to report on the part of victims, there were also regional differences in hate crime reporting and a dearth of Canadian hate crime victimization literature. To help address this, the authors conducted a survey to gauge the availability of services and supports for hate crime victims in jurisdictions across Canada. They find that no jurisdiction provided specific services to victims of hate crime, instead offering generic crime victim services which gave referrals to appropriate community groups for long-term supports. Further, in addition to the general barriers to services faced by all victims of crime (including a lack of awareness of services, a lack of transportation to services, a lack of availability of services in in the local community, and limitations in the range of services offered), victims of hate crime may also experience additional challenges such as language and cultural barriers, reluctance to engage with criminal justice system, and dealing with the in terrorem effects which hate crime inflicts upon the victim’s community.

    To address these problems, the authors point to several practicable next steps. First, jurisdictions which were surveyed identified two prime areas of immediate action: 1) increased training for working with victims and communities which experience hate crime; and 2) better recognition of the impact which hate crime exerts on victims and their communities. Further, despite remarking that some actions had already been taken to improve data collection and to increase awareness and identification of hate crime (such as Canada’s Action Plan Against Racism), the authors note that a body of Canadian research which focused on community and individual victim effects and on sentencing was needed. They also propose three initiatives to aid hate crime victims: 1) nation-wide victim support training; 2) support for funding proposals which aim to reduce access barriers for hate crime victims; and 3) support for funding proposals to develop, implement, and evaluate training programs for those who work with hate crime victims.

    Nelson, J., & Kiefl, G. (1995). Survey of Hate-Motivated Activity. The Federal, Provincial, Territorial Working Group on Multicultural and Race Relations in the Justice System. Ottawa: Department of Justice, Canada

    This report summarizes the findings of a survey on hate-motivated activity in Canada conducted by the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Working Group on Multicultural and Race-Relations in the Justice System. The survey was sent to human rights commissions, justice departments, police and relevant federal agencies, from which 56 responses were received. Respondents were asked about a variety of issues related to hate-motivated activity in their respective areas, including:

    • Whether it was a problem.
    • The types of hate activity that occurred.
    • The most common targets of hate activity.
    • The types of hate activity experienced by targeted groups.
    • The seriousness of and trends in hate crime activity.

    Key findings of the study suggest that hate-motivated activity is a problem across Canada. According to respondents, the primary targets of hate activity are people of colour, Jewish people, and homosexuals. A wide variety of hate activities were identified, such as assaults, homicide, vandalism, written and electronic propaganda and the formation of organized hate groups. A relationship was also identified between the type of hate activity and the targeted group—for example, with assaults directed more towards homosexuals and vandalism directed towards religious institutions. Among respondents, there was no consensus regarding the seriousness of the problem; however, of those reporting a trend in hate-motivated activity, most stated that hate acts were increasing. The report concludes by drawing attention to the need for more data on the nature and extent of hate-motivated activity.

    Rosen presents the arguments for and against the amendment of hate crime legislation in this report published by the Parliamentary Research Branch. Hate propaganda legislation was enacted as part of the Criminal Code in 1970 as a response to widespread hate accompanied by an influx of white supremacist groups and political parties. The document describes the current laws, which are in place to prosecute cases of hate propaganda. It points out the strengths and weaknesses of the legislation and the defences available to those charged with an offence. The proposals for reform stem from the recommendations of The Special Committee on Pornography and Prostitution, The Cohen Committee, the 1982 Vancouver Symposium on Race Relations and the Law, the Special House of Commons Committee, and the Government of Canada in its response to Equality Now! The report also provides a numbered list of arguments for and against hate propaganda legislation and offers a chronologic timeline of legislation related to it.

    Roberts, J. V., & Canada. Department of Justice. Research and Statistics Directorate. (1995). Disproportionate harm: Hate crime in Canada : An analysis of recent statistics. Ottawa: Department of Justice Canada, Research, Statistics and Evaluation Directorate.

    Julian V. Roberts discusses the need for systematic research on hate crime. Focusing on hate or bias motivated crimes, Roberts uses three sources to summarize his data:

    • Police services across Canada.
    • B’nai Brith of Canada.
    • Two groups representing the gay and lesbian communities from Toronto and Montreal.

    Roberts found many methodological issues, including definitional issues regarding the research of hate crime. To better explain the differences in definitions, there are a number of examples explaining the way other countries as well as different provinces in Canada define hate crimes. Roberts also discusses classification issues by police officers. They must recognize and know how to properly report when a hate crime has occurred. Another methodological issue discussed was the under-reporting of hate crime. It is a hidden crime and represents a portion of the dark figure of crime. Roberts goes onto describe the findings of his study, discussing hate crime and the collection of data, and comparing the United States, United Kingdom and Canada as well as major cities throughout Canada. Roberts offers many options to improve the collection of hate crime in Canada: one being to create a national approach to hate crime. One advantage of this option: it would be consistent throughout the country. Disadvantages include the lack of resources needed to implement this. Other suggestions include new criminal offences to better reflect the nature of hate crimes, and an increase in the visibility of criminal justice systems response to hate crime. One way to do this is through the news media. Canadians who are not members of communities that are most affected by hate crimes may have difficulty understanding its impact on the individual and the community as a whole. It is important to create surveys for the community to gain a better understanding of the confidence that they have in the police and the experiences of response time of police. Roberts concludes by stating that nothing is more important than having a full understanding of the nature of the problem of hate crimes in Canada. This is crucial to the victims of hate crime and the community because if it is better understood, the criminal justice system and community groups will better be able to help deal with the issue.

  • Library of Parliament
  • Public Health Canada
  • Public Safety Canada

    Canadian Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence. (2018). National Strategy on Countering Radicalization to Violence. Ottawa, ON: Public Safety Canada.

    This report details the Government of Canada’s strategy for preventing and countering radicalization leading to violent extremism, as well as strategies to “increase individual and group resilience to extreme expressions of intolerance and hate, and how to prevent expressions of hate and intolerance from escalating into incidents of violence”. Radicalization to violence is defined as “when a person or group takes on extreme ideas and begins to think they should use violence to support or advance their ideas or beliefs” and is examined in depth. The report notes that radicalization can occur within a wide range of ideologies and that violent radicalization serves to produce a number of harmful social impacts including physical, emotional and psychological harm inflicted on both the victim and their community, the normalization of violent action and rhetoric, the deepening of intergroup polarization, and a reduction in trust of fellow citizens and national institutions.

    The National Strategy is to be used alongside traditional national security measures and has been developed to engage a wide range of actors in a bid to “identify and prevent radicalization to violence before tragedies occur”. Thus, this strategy has three main purposes: 1) to increase knowledge of violent radicalization and its effects to Canadians and their communities; 2) to detail the way in which the government will address violent radicalization through early prevention, at-risk prevention, and disengagement; and 3) to outline priorities identified by consultation with relevant stakeholders and which includes a) the building of a strong knowledge base to inform best practices and the sharing of these practices across a broad range of actors, b) addressing radicalization to violence online through increased digital literacy, the production of alternative narratives, and engagement with youth and technology companies, and c) supporting multi-agency intervention programs alongside increased intervention training for front-line workers.

    Perry, B., & Scrivens, R. (2015). Right-wing extremism in Canada: An environmental scan. Ottawa: Public Safety Canada.

    This landmark study provides a thorough account of the state of right-wing extremism (RWE) in Canada, analyzing the phenomenon through Donald Black’s framework of terrorism as a form of social control used to address deviant behaviour. Perry and Scrivens offer a comprehensive look at the history of RWE in Canada, from which they draw three classes of contemporary right-wing extremists: 1) variants of white supremacists/neo-Nazis; 2) sovereigntists (those who reject the authority of the state); and 3) ideologues/gurus/lone wolves (those not affiliated with any particular group). By analyzing data accrued from hate sites, court records and interviews with law enforcement, intelligence officials, community activists, and hate group activists, the authors find that RWE groups were more numerous and diffused than previously though, with loose organization and a tendency to commit unplanned, opportunistic violence within their own communities. Recent hate campaigns targeting racialized, religious and gender minorities are detailed, and the authors warn that the movement was active and requires closer scrutiny (as much of the focus on terrorist threats by the Canadian government had been on radical Islamist violence).

    Perry and Scrivens next explore endogenous factors which facilitated RWE group formation and behaviour. They find that many members were initiated into the movement by like-minded personal acquaintances, that the white power music scene and the internet have been effective recruitment tools, that adherents were attempting to create a façade of legitimacy and respectability (they point to a handful of right-wing actors who had run for public office in Canada), that connections to international hate organizations and criminal organizations were common, and that alcohol consumption often fueled opportunistic violence. Endogenous inhibiting factors are next detailed and include an overall lack of ideological commitment by members, infighting that rendered most groups short-lived, the transience of members, weak leadership, and a “lone wolf” mentality among many RWE adherents. Exogenous factors that facilitated RWE group cohesion are also discussed, with the authors finding that weak law enforcement response, an history of hate activity within a community/region, a political climate of intolerance, and media reinforcement of negative stereotypes of vilified groups enabled the formation and continuation of RWE groups. Exogenous factors that inhibited group formation include a strong and visible law enforcement response and the presence of anti-racist/anti-fascist community groups, preferably with the two working in concert.

    The study ends with the authors providing a possible framework to debilitate RWE groups and to create safe and inclusive communities drawn from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue: 1) diverting RWE involvement by forging ties across community divides, by offering alternative activities to youth, and by using education and frank dialogue to challenge prejudice; 2) responding to hate speech by limiting its dissemination, by offering alternative narratives, and by challenging extremist propaganda; 3) managing threats to the public order by diverting attendance at right-wing events, by reclaiming public spaces, and by controlling demonstrations; 4) fragmenting movements and ending violence through individual interventions which identify alternative life paths for RWE adherents and support them through the exit process; 5) empowering victims of hate violence by providing adequate support for them and their communities and by improving the response of the justice system to hate crimes; 6) raising awareness of RWE by documenting the problem, by changing the dated stereotypes of what a right-wing extremist looks like, and by challenging the misinformation spread by extremists regarding minority populations; and 7) pushing public agencies to monitor and to act on RWE through public mobilization.

    Pressman, D. (2009). Risk assessment decisions for violent political extremism. Ottawa, ON: Public Safety Canada.

    Public Safety Canada. (2008). Bullying prevention: Nature and extent of bullying in Canada. Ottawa, ON: Public Safety Canada.

    Wesley, M. (2012). Marginalized: The Aboriginal women’s experience in federal corrections. Ottawa, ON: Public Safety Canada’s Aboriginal Corrections Policy Unit.

  • RCMP
  • Toronto Police Service

     (1998). 1998 Annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.

    The Toronto Police Service Hate Crime Unit released a report in 1998 pertaining to statistics and information on the investigation of hate motivated offences, as well as the prosecution of those who commit hate motivated crimes in Toronto. The report provides numerous statistics on patterns, descriptions provided by victims, location of offences, hate crime occurrences, charges, yearly and trend comparisons, and education and training completed within the year. It states that in 1998 there were 228 hate bias criminal offences reported to The Toronto Police Service. The highest-reported offences were consistent with the previous years; assaults were the highest followed by mischief, threats and hate propaganda occurrences. Most of the attacks were random, were generally committed by suspects unknown to the victim, and had occurred in a public area. It is important to note that compared to 1997, there was a 22 per cent increase in reported hate crime. This was explained primarily because of the public becoming more aware as well as comfortable with reporting hate crime to the police, and because of a change in the Police Service’s definition of a hate crime. In regard to offenders, the motivation for older offenders was often a spontaneous action or the suspect's own personal bias. When young offenders where involved, their motivation was based on ethnic polarization, territorial issues and peer acceptance. The report concludes with an explanation of the types of education and training that occurred in regard to hate crime in 1998. Toronto Police have accomplished the following:

    • Training sessions conducted for 400 provincial Crown attorneys.
    • Support provided for front line officers through providing intelligence on hate crimes as well as specific hate groups.
    • Community outreach with local agencies, assisting them in developing strategies for outreach within the community. 

    Toronto Police Service. (1999). 1999 Annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.

    The 1999 report created by the Toronto Police Service Hate Crime Unit states there was a 28 per cent increase in hate bias criminal offences reported to the Hate Crime Unit. There were 292 offences reported in 1999 compared to 228 in 1998. The Toronto Transit Commission also had a marked increase of 15 occurrences in 1998 to 36 hate crime reports in 1999. The Hate Crime Unit believes that the increase in awareness of hate crimes by the community and police directly affected the increase in reported hate crime offences in 1999. Mischief offences preceded assault offences as the most frequent hate bias occurrences in 1999 followed by willful promotion of hatred, threats and criminal harassment. As in previous years, most suspects were unknown to the victim and most offences occurred in public places. The most targeted group of hate-motivated offences was the Black community, followed by multi-bias targets (two or more groups), sexual orientation and religion. Hate-motivated crimes that were against visible minorities continued to be the most frequent occurrence. The Black community was the main target group, followed by multi-bias, anti-Pakistani, and anti-white. A difference was noted regarding the age of the suspects in 1999. According to the description provided by the victims, males between the ages of 26 to 40 committed most of the offences, while in 1998 males aged 18 to 25 were the majority of offenders. The Hate Crime Unit continued to focus on prevention, proactive education and criminal investigations of hate motivated crimes in Toronto in 1999. A sample of the contribution made to the community by the Toronto Police Service Hate Crime Unit includes hate-bias training for police officers, training regarding hate on the Internet, as well as the Respect Certificate Program, which seeks to recognize youth and community members for promoting deeds which positively affect the community.

    Toronto Police Service. (2000). 2000 Annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.

    The Toronto Police Hate Crime Unit’s report in 2000 states there were a total of 204 hate crime offences that year. This represented a 30 per cent decrease from the 1999 figure of 292. The occurrences reported by Toronto Transit Commission dropped from 36 reported in 1999 to 20 reported in 2000. The Hate Crime Unit is not able to provide any specific reasons as to why there was a significant decrease in reported offences; however, the police attended many hate/bias demonstrations in 2000. The presence at these demonstrations sent a message that hate activity would not be tolerated and would have helped deter hate crime. Assaults were the most frequently reported hate occurrence, followed by mischief, threats, willful promotion of hatred, and criminal harassment. Willful promotion of hatred occurrences dropped by 62 per cent to 20, compared to 53 reported in 1999. The most targeted group of hate-motivated offences is the race category, followed by multi-bias, religion and sexual orientation. This remains similar to previous years. The Black community was the most targeted under the race category, followed by Pakistani and white communities. The age of those responsible for hate crimes described by victims climbed to males over the age of 40. In 1999 the highest offence rate was males between the ages of 26 and 40. The Toronto Police Service continued to contribute to the community in 2000 by providing diversity training to police officers and civilians, and meeting and consulting with community organizations in community outreach. 

    Toronto Police Service. (2001). 2001 Annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.

    The 2001 Toronto Police Service Hate Crime Unit’s report showed a significant increase in reported hate crimes. In 2000 there were 204 reported and in 2001 there were 338, a 66 per cent increase. This change is caused by the transforming political and religious climate, causing re-ordering of the victim groups which are most affected by hate. The event which caused this massive increase was the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. The terrorist attacks caused repercussions around the world, and Toronto was not immune to the effects. There were 121 reports directly related to the terrorist attacks. This is 90 per cent of the total increase in hate crimes from the year 2000. The victim groups which were most affected by hate crimes after the events of September 11 were the Muslim community. Regarding the patterns of hate-motivated offences, mischief was the most frequent, followed by threats, assaults, willful promotion of hatred, and criminal harassment. The terrorist attacks changed which victim category is most affected by hate crimes. In 2001 the category most affected was religion, followed by race and multi-bias. In 2000 the most affected was race. In addition, there has been a steady increase in the use of the Internet to communicate hate propaganda, threats and criminal harassment. Similar to the year 2000, males over the age of 40 committed the highest number of hate crimes, followed by males aged 26 to 40. The months with the highest hate crime activity were September, October and November. This is attributed to the September 11 terrorist attacks. Finally, the Toronto Police Service Hate Crime Unit continued to work within the community, providing assistance, education and diversity training to police officers and members of the community.

    Toronto Police Service. (2002). 2002 Annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.

    The 2002 report by the Toronto Police Service Hate Crime Unit explains that the year 2001 marked many changes around the world. Toronto experienced many differences in hate crime statistics; this difference returned to relative normalcy in 2002. There were 338 identified hate crime occurrences in 2001; this number decreased 35 per cent to 219 in 2002. The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 were exceptional circumstances; therefore, it is important to compare last year’s figure without the 121 occurrences directly attributable to the reaction from September 11. The 219 occurrences in 2002 are a one per cent increase from the 217 non-September 11 occurrences in 2001. The Toronto Police Service Hate Crime Unit reported the most noticeable change from 2001 was the decrease in the number of offences committed against the Muslim community in Toronto. In 2001 there were 57 hate occurrences and in 2002 there were 10. This number is still relatively high; in 2000 there was just one reported hate crime against a Muslim. In 2002 the most frequent hate/bias occurrences were mischief, willful promotion of hatred, threats, assaults, and criminal harassment. The changes in victim categories which resulted from the September 11 attacks returned somewhat to the previous year's levels. The victim category most affected by hate crime was race, followed by religion and multi-bias. The over-40 age group was accused or suspected of the most hate crimes in 2002, followed by males aged 18 to 25, and males aged 26 to 40. The Toronto Police Hate Crime Unit continued to work within the community throughout 2002 to promote education and prevention. One of their initiatives was to create a program tailored towards youth. The program includes an anti-hate curriculum with a Youth Violence and Gangs presentation, which was to be delivered to school liaison officers in 2002-2003. 

    This was the 10th year the Toronto Police Hate Crime Unit collected statistics on hate/bias motivated offences. The following are some observations over the past decade:

    • The average number of offences is 235, recorded annually.
    • The lowest number of offences was 155, was recorded in 1993, while the highest was 338, recorded in 2001.

    The 219 offences recorded in 2002 were in the middle range of the 10-year record.

    Toronto Police Service. (2003). 2003 Annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.

    Declining from a spike in previous years, Toronto’s Hate Crime Unit recorded 149 hate crimes in 2003. The 32 per cent decrease was distributed across most victim groups and offence categories. Mischief, willful promotion of hatred, threat and assault offences were again the most frequently reported hate crimes. These incidents took place primarily in apartment buildings, private dwellings, educational facilities and businesses. Tensions on university campuses have also forced police presence and intervention in some cases. The victim categories most affected were race, religion and multi-bias, more specifically Black, Jewish and gay communities. Perpetrators were often left unidentified, but those who were were identified were males within the age categories of 18 to 25, nine to 17, and 26 to 40. Sixteen of the reported incidents resulted in charges, most falling under the willful promotion of hatred. At the time of the report, six of those cases had concluded, while four resulted in guilty pleas and one in a guilty verdict. The Hate Crime unit notes the continuing increase in the use of the Internet as a tool to communicate hateful threats and hate propaganda. In terms of community involvement, Toronto’s Hate Crime Unit began a major educational initiative in partnership with C.O. Bick College, to develop an enhanced hate/bias training program. Frontline officers were trained to recognize and respond to hate and bias activity. In addition, the unit developed anti-hate curriculum materials for a Youth Violence and Gangs presentation, delivered throughout the 2002-2003 school year. The unit also continues to be involved in a number of other community initiatives alongside anti-hate organizations.

    Toronto Police Service. (2004). 2004 Annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service. 

    In 2004 there was a small increase in the number of hate crimes reported to the Toronto Police Service. There were 163 hate crimes, up from the 149 in 2003. Among the most popular crimes were mischief, assaults and threats, which were mostly likely to take place in apartment buildings, educational facilities and on public streets. Mischief and threat offences were focused on religion and race, while assault was most often based on race and nationality. Hate propaganda offences decreased significantly from 31 incidents in 2003 to 12 in 2004. Victim categories most affected by hate crime were religion, race and nationality, with Jewish and Blacks victimized most often. Some of the most notable offences committed this year include the vandalization of several Jewish communal institutions in North York. Three young males were arrested and charged with a number of offences, including hate propaganda offences. Another notable series of events included the distribution of anti-Muslim materials at a downtown university. A young male was charged with several hate related offences for the incident. Ten individuals were arrested and a number of weapons were seized. Overall, there were 23 persons arrested and 57 charges laid in 2004, an increase from recent years. Of those suspects identified, most were men between the ages of 26 to 40, or 40 and older. This year, hate groups maintained their presence primarily through the Internet. Even so, there were a series of events involving neo-Nazi/white supremacists and anti-racist action that culminated in a violent confrontation in downtown Toronto. Following their analysis of hate crimes, the Hate Crime Unit recognizes the importance of community groups in intervening and counseling victims on the importance of reporting hate occurrences to the police. The unit provided training and education to both police officers and to the community while meeting and consulting with community organizations.

    Toronto Police Service. (2005). 2005 Annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.

    2005 marked Toronto’s lowest reported number of hate crimes since the Hate Crime Unit began collecting statistics in 1993. There were 132 incidents reported, representing a 19 per cent reduction from 2004. Although there was a significant decrease, the unit warns it has the potential to be somewhat misleading, as hundreds of anti-Semitic pamphlets can be distributed with only a single crime being reported. The most commonly reported crimes were mischief, assault and threats, which occurred primarily in educational facilities, on public streets and in private dwellings. Blacks and Jews were victimized most often. Many of the perpetrators of the incidents remain unknown, but of those known, most were young males. Overall, 26 people were arrested and 50 charges were laid in 2005, which (at the time of the report) had amounted to five guilty verdicts and penalties such as pre-trial custody, periods of probation with conditions, suspended sentences, peace bonds, and sentencing diversions. This year’s report includes a new section which highlights the population composition and the religious affiliations of Torontonians to help put the number of hate crime incidents into perspective. For example, although Blacks accounted for 67 per cent of the hate crimes committed based on race, they only comprise 8.3 per cent of the Toronto population. In terms of hate groups, there were two major developments in 2005. Wolfgang Droege, former leader of the Heritage Front (one of Canada’s largest and most successful white supremacist organizations) passed away. Also, notorious hate monger Ernst Zundel was extradited to Germany where there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest related to Holocaust denial. The report closes with a brief overview of some of the unit’s education and community outreach initiatives.

    Toronto Police Service. (2007). 2006 annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.

    Toronto Police Service. (2008). 2007 annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.

    Toronto Police Service. (2009). 2008 annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.

    Toronto Police Service. (2010). 2009 annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.

    Toronto Police Service. (2011). 2010 annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.

    Toronto Police Service. (2012). 2011 annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.

    Toronto Police Service. (2013). 2012 annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.

    Toronto Police Service. (2014). 2013 annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.

    Toronto Police Service. (2015). 2014 annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.

    Toronto Police Service. (2016). 2015 annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.

    Toronto Police Service. (2017). 2016 annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.

    Toronto Police Service. (2018). 2017 annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.

    Toronto Police Service. (2019). 2018 annual hate/bias crime statistical report. Toronto: Toronto Police Service.