Standing up to hate will take collective action
(March 21, 2022 – Toronto) – The CRRF reaffirms its commitments on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
The examples of hate in our communities have become all too common.
We’ve seen hate on display during the recent trucker occupation in Ottawa; we’ve learned about anti-Semitic incidents on the rise in schools and at places of worship in Toronto; we’ve learned of hate motivated assaults and slurs in coffee shops and while walking down the street in Edmonton.
This is only a snapshot of the several racist and hate driven incidents that have occurred this year alone causing people to increasingly feel disrespected and unsafe in their own communities, schools and places of worship. These are only the situations we know about, much is unreported. What we do know is that racism is experienced by racialized people in Canada in every part of their lives, online and in-person.
Statistics Canada released an in-depth analysis of its 2020 statistics on police-reported hate crimes last week. The report found that hate-motivated crime rose sharply in 2020, reaching the highest number recorded since data has been available. Police-reported hate crimes motivated by hatred of a race or ethnicity nearly doubled. Racially/ethnically motivated hate crimes targeted predominantly Black, East or Southeast Asian, Indigenous and South Asian populations. The largest increases in the number of hate crimes were reported in Ontario, British Columbia, Quebec, and Alberta. The majority of the provinces and two territories reported increases.
Hate finds its targets online as well. A poll conducted in 2021 by CRRF and Abacus Data indicated that racialized Canadians are three times more likely to experience online hate speech. Ninety-three percent of Canadians believe that online hate speech and racism are a problem. The majority of Canadians (79%) want online hate speech and racism treated with the same seriousness as in-person hate crimes by lawmakers.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe in Canada, regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, or any other characteristic that makes them who they are,” said Mohammed Hashim, Executive Director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF). “Today, on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the CRRF joins communities in calling for more swift, meaningful action to address this troubling phenomenon.”
To delve deeper into exploring solutions, strategies and next steps on mitigating hate crimes in Canada, on March 22, 2022, CRRF in partnership with the Globe and Mail, will host a policy conference entitled: “Hate Crimes in Canada – Justice System Gaps and Strengths”. We encourage all those on the journey to combat racism and hate to join us in this discussion. Registration for online participation continues until 9am EST March, 22, 2022. Register here: Hate Crimes in Canada: Justice system gaps and strengths.
Additionally, CRRF is supporting organizations in their efforts to combat racism through the National Anti-Racism Fund (NARF). NARF is a three million dollar fund that will be disbursed over two years to support work that seeks to address systemic racial barriers; promote and increase availability and accessibility of data, evidence, and community insights on race relations; informs public policies and increases public awareness; and enhances cultural and intercultural community building. Organizations are encouraged to apply for the events and youth initiatives funds, which are being accepted until December 2022.
CRRF remains firmly committed and dedicated in our efforts to make Canada more racially equitable and looks forward to charting the path forward with communities in an effort to mobilize responsive, meaningful and effective change across the country.
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation was created in 1996 to reaffirm the principles of justice and equality for all in Canada. The mandate of the Foundation is to facilitate throughout Canada the development, sharing, and application of knowledge and expertise to contribute to the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination in Canadian society.