Canadian Jews were most-targeted religious minority for police-reported hate crimes last year

(Ottawa) – Statistics Canada has 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.

“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.”

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.

According to Statistics Canada, only Black Canadians, who make up about 3.5% of the country’s population, reported more hate crimes.

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.

“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,” said 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.

“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.”

Canada’s official tally showed the same trend as tallies of antisemitic incidents in other countries last year. The Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom all reported increased incidents of antisemitism, while the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit in the United States, said it recorded more antisemitic incidents last year than at any time since it began tracking incidents in 1979.

Statistics Canada cautioned in its crime report that “fluctuations in the number of reported incidents may be attributable to a true change in the volume of hate crimes, but they might also reflect changes in reporting by the public because of increased community outreach by police or heightened sensitivity after high-profile events.”

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