Toronto
Toronto iStock

The city of Toronto is allocating additional funds to fight hate crime, with the move being praised by a leading Canadian Jewish advocacy organization.

In its 2022 municipal budget, which has been passed by city council, Toronto has earmarked money to expand the Toronto Police Service’s Neighbourhood Community Officer program.

It has also allocated new funds to address and combat hate crime.

A report from April 2021 found that hate crime in Toronto had increased by more than 50 percent. The Jewish community, at only 3.8 percent of the city’s population, remained the most frequently targeted group for hate crime.

Reported hate crimes against Jewish Torontonians increased by more than 40 percent compared to 2019. More than one in third of all hate crimes in Toronto were antisemitic in nature.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) has long been urging Toronto city council and the Toronto Police Services board to increase resources to fight hate crime.

They applauded the new budget for building on the doubling of the Toronto Police hate crime unit in 2021.

“We are grateful to Mayor John Tory and Toronto City Council for passing a budget that will provide more resources for police to address hate crime in the city, to grow the Neighbourhood Community Officer program, and keep our communities safe,” CIJA Vice President Noah Shack said.

Shack noted that Toronto has experienced an “alarming rise in hate crime.” Hate crime surged 51 percent in 2020.

“It is essential for police to have the resources to address this deeply concerning trend,” he said.

He praised the budget for sending a message that “hate has no place in our city.”

“This is not only vital for the Jewish community, which was the target of more than one third of all hate crime in Toronto in 2020 but is also critical for the wellbeing of our entire city,” he said. “Hate crime does not impact only the targeted individuals or groups. It attacks the very fabric of our society and the values we share.”

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)