OTTAWA, ON– On Thursday, Statistics Canada released police-reported hate crime data for 2020 revealing that hate crimes targeting the Black and Jewish populations remained the most common reported by police, representing 26% and 13% of all hate crimes, respectively.
“We are concerned that incidents of hate crime increased again in Canada in 2020, with the largest number since recording began in 2009,” said Shimon Koffler Fogel, President and CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). “This 37% increase demonstrates the continuing need for action to stop the rising hate targeting diverse Canadians based on their identity.”
Overall, hate crimes targeting religious groups decreased for the third consecutive year, down 16% in 2020, but incidents targeting the Jewish community rose by 5%. On average, an antisemitic hate crime was reported almost every day.
“Jewish Canadians remain the most targeted religious minority for hate crime and second overall. This is deeply alarming when balancing the number of hate-motivated attacks against the relatively small Jewish population. There are approximately 380,000 Jews in Canada, representing only 1% of the population. Yet the Jewish community were victims of 13% of all hate crime in 2020.
“This report should be a call to action for all Canadians to stand against hate and antisemitism. The Jewish community experienced a significant spike in antisemitic incidents across the country in May 2021, further underscoring the need for concerted efforts to stop this worrying trend. We are grateful that police services across the country take these incidents seriously, but more needs to be done to prevent them and protect vulnerable communities. This includes greater support for security and safety at community institutions such as houses of worship; criminalization of Holocaust denial, which is a gateway to hate; and a national strategy to target online hate and radicalization.
“Although Canada remains one of the best countries in the world in which to be Jewish, or any other minority for that matter, these numbers should concern all Canadians of good will.”
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