Announcing launch of national task force to address hate crimes in Canada
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation and the Chiefs of Police National Roundtable announce formation of joint task force at national hate crimes conference
(Toronto, March 22, 2022) – The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) and the Chiefs of Police National Roundtable are today announcing the creation of a Task Force on Hate Crimes. The task force will be co-chaired by the CRRF and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).
The announcement was made this morning at a national hate crimes summit taking place in Toronto.
The task force will be focused on increasing awareness of the scope, nature and impact of hate crimes across Canada and to create national standards to better support targeted communities across the country. This will include police training, effective engagement with victims and communities, and supporting hate crime units across the country.
“Hate crimes erode the social fabric of our nation because they send a message to members of minority groups that they are despised and hated. These message crimes put individuals, families, and communities at great risk of harassment, violence, and can be fatal as we have tragically witnessed in too many heartbreaking instances including in London, Quebec City, and in Toronto,” said Mohammed Hashim, executive director at the CRRF and a co-chair of the task force. “This collaborative effort will send a signal to communities that their safety and well-being are a public safety priority.”
The task force participants represent police services across Canada with a range of experience and expertise, including working in front line policing, outreach and engagement, hate crime units, victims’ services, and training and education.
“We welcome the opportunity to convene this task force and to work closely with the CRRF to understand how police services across the country can better prevent and respond to this worrying and growing problem,” said Alison Whelan, the RCMP’s Chief Strategic Policy and External Relations Officer and task force co-chair. “The RCMP and all partners involved in the Chiefs of Police National Roundtable are committed to the success of this task force and we look forward to making meaningful improvements to how hate-motivated crimes and incidents are dealt with across jurisdictions.”
Hate crimes are reportedly on the rise in Canada, and have widespread impacts, not only on individual victims, but also on communities that can lead to feelings of exclusion, and low confidence levels in police resulting in an under-reporting of these crimes.
Police in Canada recognize that low confidence levels are compounded by historical discrimination practices, feelings that community members who report instances of hate crime will not be investigated, and community members feeling safer approaching a community group rather than the police. This contributes to diminished trust and confidence in policing. The Hate Crime Task Force will focus its efforts on interpersonal hate crimes impacting communities across Canada.
The Hate Crimes Task Force will convene throughout the year, over the course of 2022 and 2023, with the possibility of additional extensions. The organizations represented on the task force are listed below.
The Hate Crimes Task Force
- Edmonton Police Service
- Calgary Police Service
- Service de police de la Ville de Montréal
- Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service
- Sûreté du Québec
- Toronto Police Service
- Vancouver Police Department
- Ottawa Police Service
- Saskatoon Police Service
- Statistics Canada
Director of Strategic Communications and Campaigns, CRRF