November 30, 2021
Ottawa, ON – Today, a newly released national study from the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) and Nanos Research confirms that the vast majority of Canadians want action to combat hate online and in the real world.
Of note, the survey found:
- 72% of Canadians support ensuring that all major cities have dedicated hate crime units within local police forces.
- 79% of Canadians support introducing legislation to combat serious forms of harmful online content.
- 75% of Canadians support strengthening the Canada Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code to combat online hate more effectively.
- 58% of Canadians say online hatred is a major problem.
- 77% of Canadians agree or somewhat agree that the federal government should be doing more to stop the spread of hateful and racist content online.
In response, Richard Marceau, Vice President External Relations and General Counsel, issued the following:
“We applaud the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and Nanos Research for undertaking this important study. It validates something we have long known: Canadians want swift action to combat hatred online and in the real world.
“According to Statistics Canada, Jewish Canadians remain the most targeted religious minority in the country, a fact exacerbated by the pandemic and by the conflict between the terror group Hamas and Israel in May when we witnessed a new, continuous, and dangerous surge in antisemitism.This poll confirms what Jewish Canadians – and many others – know from first-hand experience:Canadians need and want swift action to remove hate from our online communities.
“We have long advocated for the Federal Government to create a national strategy to combat online hate, which should include clear direction to social media companies active in Canada that they must clean up their platforms. CIJA has also led in calling for legal gaps regarding hate speech to be closed and for the creation of dedicated hate crime units within all law enforcement services across the country. The poll shows that Canadians overwhelmingly agree and want action.
“We are eagerly looking forward to the Federal Government tabling legislation to combat online hate.
“Jewish Canadians are not alone. Hate impacts us all. If we aspire to build a society where everyone truly belongs, then there is no time to lose. Together with partners from many other vulnerable communities, CIJA will continue to be a constructive partner advocating for practical solutions to combat hate and to build a safer, fairer, more just Canada.
“We also share the perspective of 85% of Canadians who support action on reconciliation, including by ensuring that, by 2026, there is safe drinking water in all First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities. As a rich country, Canada can and should do better.”
- From July 27 to September 25, 2021, the Federal Government held a consultation on the proposed approach to address harmful online content, including hate and antisemitism.
- In 2021, there was a dangerous surge in antisemitic incidents across the country. UJA Community Security, on behalf of the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, noted a five-fold increase in antisemitic incidents in the Greater Toronto Area in May compared to previous months.
- In response this year’s surge in antisemitism, the Federal Government convened an Emergency National Summit to combat antisemitism.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations across Canada.