Hate crimes in Canada: Most violent against gays, black people most targeted racial group

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With inroads made by social movements and an increase in Canada's population diversity, the potential for hate crimes to occur remains a pressing concern.

The good news is that violent hate crimes against specific groups are decreasing. Unfortunately, hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation are primarily violent, with the largest group of victims being male. Also, black Canadians remain the most targeted racial group for hate crimes.

While hate crimes represented only a very small percentage of all police-reported crime in Canada, police reported 1,414 hate-motivated criminal incidents in 2012.

According to Statistics Canada, the majority of all hate crimes (704 incidents, or 52 percent) were racially or ethnically motivated hatred while 419 incidents (30 percent) were religious-related hate crimes and 185 incidents (13 percent) were motivated by hatred of sexual orientation.

Although hate crime incidents related to sexual orientation were the smallest of the three most reported hate crimes, they were also the most violent, with 67 percent being violent offences. (The majority of hate crimes against religion or race/ethnicity were mischief.)

Sexual-orientation-related hate crimes had the highest percentage of male victims at 80 percent, and just over a half were youth (56 percent under the age of 25). Overall, the majority of hate-crime victims were male (72 percent) and youth (40 percent were under the age of 25).

In spite of these numbers, violent hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation decreased by 23 percent, and violent hate crimes motivated by race/ethnicity were down by 16 percent.

Among race- or ethnicity-related hate crimes, black people were targeted for 295 hate crimes (42 percent). Other populations were reported as victims significantly less, including Arab and West Asian (9 percent), South Asian (8 percent), East and Southeast Asian (7 percent), and aboriginal (5 percent).

Of the 419 religion-related hate crimes, 58 percent were against Jewish people, with the majority of these incidents being nonviolent (85 percent).

Overall, police-reported hate crimes increased by 82 incidents (a six percent increase) from 2011 to 2012. Hate crimes mostly increased in Ontario, Alberta, and Quebec, while British Columbia's number decreased by 11 fewer incidents from the previous year.

Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver accounted for 35 percent of police-reported hate crimes while Hamilton, Thunder Bay, and Peterborough had the highest rates of hate crimes.

Statistics Canada pointed out that differences in demographic groups in cities influence where hate crimes take place. For instance, although same-sex couples only make up one percent of Canadian couples, almost half (47 percent) live in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. Visible minorities make up 47 percent of Toronto and 45 percent of Vancouver while 20 percent live in Montreal.

However, higher rates of police-reported hate crimes can reflect changes or improvements made in the recognition, reporting, and investigation of these incidents by police and civilians.

The full report can be found at the Statistics Canada website.

Comments (6) Add New Comment
Lefty Nutbars
Maybe to lefty nutbars who don't believe in the free market these are the largest sort of hate-crimes, but intelligent people know that the bulk of hate-crime is conducted by the state, which hates illicit drugs, especially those that expand consciousness and threaten the status quo, against largely pacifist drug users.
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antiantiintellectualism
Are you kidding? The state loves illegal drugs that pacify people who would otherwise grow some balls, become belligerent, and demand responsible, representative, democratic governments instead of the inverted totalitarian nation in which Canadians live.
Demeaning actual hate crimes like you did, Lefty, is reprehensible. May you continue to be so lucky to never suffer a violent assault yourself because of your birth or your beliefs.
And may you learn something about the "free-market", the dangers of an unregulated market and the extreme injustice that creates. The current state in which you live is anti-regulation unless you haven't noticed - so the state which threatens you is actually party to your beliefs. Duh.
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@antiantiintellectualism
Your argument is incoherent. If illegal drugs pacify people, and if this is the main counter-revolutionary aim of Government, to have a pacific population that is non-belligerent, it makes no sense that drugs would remain illegal---they would be legalized and we could be done with juvenile revolutionaries like yourself once and for all.

Canada is not a totalitarian nation---if we had better environmental protection, legal drugs, and a bit of re-orientation of public monetary policy, it would represent more or less the zenith of industrial nation-state development. The problems of nations like Canada are mostly created by reactionaries like yourself who think that there are circumstances which justify "belligerence." War is never justified. Given the choice between being high and making war, I would pick being high every time. Being high is a good trip. War is a bad trip.

The idea that the state is anti-regulation on the drug file is nonsensical. The Harper Government has instituted mandatory minimums, added psychedelic amphetamines (with no big record of abuse) to the drug schedules, etc. etc.

Basically, you are a militarist who believes that belligerence will somehow bring about a more desirable world. The last century with its world wars proves you wrong. War is undesirable, and if you cannot think of any solution other than war, I submit it is because you have not considered the full spectrum of pharmacological effects available in the chemist's toolbox.

As Dr. Leary said, "the only hope is dope." Militant reactionaries like you who want people to be under-dosed and easily propagandized into belligerence are a big problem.
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@ lefty nut bars
You need to define what a hate crime is. You're way off point. Disagreeing with illegal drugs is not the definition of a hate crime.
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@@ lefty nut bars
It certainly is. People who're against drugs hate high people. The drugs aren't what is really prohibited; getting high is prohibited.
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@@@wtf
how did this turn into a conversation about drugs? Drugs is not a hate crime and has nothing to do with what the article is saying. If you people are taking this so lightly as to change the topic you have clearly never witnessed or experienced a hate crime. you have never been beaten or chastized for being who you are and for that you are very lucky however not everyone is so lucky so how about you stop debating the issue of drugs and start speaking up for the injustice that is happening to these people. stop being so self absorbed
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