Source: Facebook

Statistics Canada data shows that police in Canada reported 3,576 hate crime incidents in 2022, marking a 7% increase from the 3,355 cases reported in 2021.

The slight rise follows two sharp increases in prior years, resulting in a cumulative rise of 83% from 2019 to 2022.

Police-reported data on hate crimes only capture incidents that are brought to police attention and are identified as either confirmed or suspected hate-motivated crimes.

The 2019 General Social Survey on Canadian’s Safety (Victimization) showed that 223,000 criminal incidents perceived to be motivated by hate in the 12 prior months were self-reported by respondents. Only nearly one in five of these incidents were reported to police.

Ontario had the most police-reported hate crimes in 2022 at 12.7 incidents per 100,000 people, followed by Nova Scotia and British Columbia.

From 2019 to 2021, British Columbia led the provinces in police-reported hate crimes per 100,000 people.

Newfoundland and Labrador had the lowest amount of police-reported hate crimes every year between 2019 and 2022.

Hate crimes targeting race or ethnicity were the most prevalent. This was followed by religion, sexual orientation, other motivation, and sex or gender had the lowest amount of motivation.

The majority of hate crimes were non-violent, but violent hate crimes increased more than non-violent hate crimes.

In 2022, general mischief represented 38% of all hate crime incidents, making the largest portion of hate crimes reported. The least reported type of violent or non-violent hate crime was public incitement of hatred and advocating genocide, accounting for only 2% of types of offences.

One of the Liberals’ selling points for the Online Harms Act is to increase the punishment for advocating genocide from two to five years to life in prison.

The number of police-reported hate crimes recorded as cyber crimes has more than doubled in the last five years, as has those not considered hate-motivated.

Hate crimes targeting a race or ethnicity rose by 12% between 2021 and 2022. Incidents targeting the black community accounted for 57% of the increase in these types of hate crimes, rising by 28%. Hate crimes targeting white people rose at an even greater rate of 54%.

While hate crimes targeting most races and ethnicities rose, such offences targeting Indigenous, Arab and West Asian, and East and Southeast Asian people all saw decreases between 2021 and 2022.

Police-reported hate crimes targeting Catholics fell drastically, decreasing 66% from 2021 to 2022. Meanwhile, hate crimes against Muslim people also decreased by 24%. Hate crimes targeting Jewish people rose by 2%. However, hate crimes targeting the Jewish population accounted for 67% of all hate crimes targeting a religion.

The information in the report reflects data from 2022, before Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, 2023. The data also does not cover the stark increase in church arsons over the last few years.

Data for 2023 will be released in summer 2024.

The majority of police-reported violent hate crime victims are men and boys, 63%. While men and boys were targeted more often in hate crimes targeting sexual orientation, race or ethnicity, and religion, hate crimes targeting sex or gender affected more women and girls, 73%. 

The number of hate crimes targeting children and youth increased by 198% between 2019 and 2022. The most staggering increase was among young girl victims, which saw a rise of 232%.

Between 2018 and 2022, victims in the majority of violent hate crimes sustained no physical injuries. Only 3% of victims had major injuries requiring professional treatment or resulting in death. 

Men and boys were more likely to sustain an injury.

The majority of people accused of hate crimes were also young men and boys. Between 2018 and 202, 86% of people accused of committing a hate crime were men and boys. 

In 2022, only 29% of hate crimes were solved, compared to a rate of 34% for all criminal incidents, excluding traffic offences, reported to police that year.

For cases that were solved, 73% resulted in charges being laid. The remainder were solved without charges being laid. The rate of cases being solved for non-violent hate crimes was 12%, while violent hate crimes were solved at a rate of 48%.

“In 2022, three-quarters of unsolved police-reported hate crimes were due to insufficient evidence to proceed,” reads the report. It added that non-violent hate crimes such as mischief can have low rates of being solved because it is often difficult to identify who committed the crime.