Canada’s current system of reporting hate crimes, both by police forces to government, and by government to the public, is badly fractured and inconsistent. Unlike other G7 nations, Canada lacks an advisory body through which communities most affected by hate crimes could communicate with the government regarding community safety.
No government agency – including Statistics Canada – currently provides a comprehensive breakdown of this crucial data either weekly, monthly, or quarterly; or by city or province.
With a more granular overview of this data, the Government of Canada, provincial counterparts, and affected communities could identify vulnerable periods and regions as part of preventing and mitigating potential risks. This granular approach would better position law enforcement and policymakers both to respond to and prevent future hate crimes.
A more harmonized approach of police services’ procedures for reporting hate crimes is needed. At present, varying procedures and protocols within each police district make it challenging to compile a comprehensive, national picture of hate crime trends. While municipal police services are regulated by the provinces, improved federal standards for the collection of hate crime data from police forces will encourage a more consistent reporting approach across the country. Standardized reporting protocols would enhance data comparability, enrich our understanding of the spread and prevalence of hate crimes, and enable more effective strategies to combat them
Immediately appoint a representative either at Public Safety Canada or the Prime Minister’s Office to collect monthly or quarterly statistics pertaining to hate crimes and hate incidents from every police force in the country, divided by the community targeted.
Establish a National Advisory Board on Community Security consisting of security representatives from vulnerable communities. Reporting to the Prime Minister, this advisory board would serve as a conduit between the government and the communities and address issues of hate crimes and community security. This could be modeled after the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) in the United States.
Announce a national program to train law enforcement on hate crimes and hate incidents. This should flow from the work already done by the RCMP/CRRF table; this training should be anchored in Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy.
Establish a standardized reporting protocol on hate crimes for police services across Canada to the federal government, including more frequent, detailed, and consistent reporting.
Improve Statistics Canada’s reporting on hate crime data, including more frequent updates,
more detailed information, and increased data releases to the public.