Canadian flag
Canadian flag iStock

Statistics Canada on Tuesday released police-reported hate crime data for 2021 revealing, once again, that hate crimes targeting the Black and Jewish populations remained the most common reported by police.

Overall, hate crimes targeting religious groups increased 67 percent from 2020, breaking an encouraging three-year downturn. Incidents targeting the Jewish community grew dramatically by 47 percent since 2020, and cumulatively 59 percent over the last two years. Statistically, this reflects 1.3 in a thousand members of Canada’s Jewish community reporting having been the target of a hate crime in 2021.

Jewish Canadians remain the most targeted religious minority for hate crime and second overall. There are approximately 380,000 Jews in Canada, representing only one percent of the population, yet members of the Jewish community were victims of 14 percent of all reported hate crime in 2021.

“We are deeply concerned that incidents of hate crime rose yet again in Canada in 2021,” said Shimon Koffler Fogel, President and CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). “This disturbing trend clearly proves the need for proactive measures to stop the rising hate targeting diverse Canadians based on their identity.”

“Statistically, Canadian Jews were more than 10 times more likely than any other Canadian religious minority to report being the target of a hate crime. This is alarming,” added Fogel.

“This report should be a call to action for all Canadians to stand against antisemitism and all forms of hate. Like the Jewish community, many racialized and minority communities experienced a spike in hate crime last year, further underscoring the need for concerted efforts to stop this worrying trend,” he said.

“We are grateful that police services across the country take these incidents seriously, but more needs to be done to protect vulnerable communities. This includes greater support for security and safety at community institutions such as houses of worship; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion education that includes training on antisemitism; 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. One hate crime is one too many.”

The numbers released on Wednesday come just over three months after B’nai Brith Canada released its Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, which found that Canadian Jews experienced a record level of antisemitism in 2021.

For the sixth consecutive year, records were set for antisemitic incidents in the country, with a 7.2 percent increase over 2020, the report found.

The audit, which tracks and monitors trends in antisemitic hatred, also found that eight antisemitic incidents occurred per day in Canada in 2021, for a total of 2,799 reported cases. For the past four years, incidents have exceeded 2,000.