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StatsCan Reports Record-High Number Of Hate Crimes Targeting LGBTQ+ Community In 2019

Hate-motivated crime up from 2018 and remains higher than previous 10-year average…

Statistics Canada has released their 2019 annual report on police-reported hate crimes and according to the report there has been a disturbing surge in the number of hate crimes targeting the LGBTQ+ community across the country.

In 2019 there were 1,946 police-reported hate crimes in Canada, up 7% from a year earlier. From that total number there were 263 police-reported hate crimes specifically targeting sexual orientation in 2019, which is up 41% from 2018. This is the highest number of police-reported hate crimes targeting the LGBTQ+ community in Canada since 2009. Not only that, but as was the case in previous years, violent crimes accounted for more than half (53%) of hate crimes targeting sexual orientation.

StatsCan collects data on the number and nature of hate crimes reported to police in any given year and monitors trends over time. As with any report, it is crucial to remember these figures are underreported, and don’t articulate the full landscape of hate crime in Canada. Overall LGBTQ+ Canadians are less likely to report physical violence to the police than other groups.

Other findings from StatsCan’s 2019 annual report on police-reported hate crimes include: Police-reported hate crime targeting sexual orientation as well as the South Asian, the Arab or West Asian, and the East and Southeast Asian populations was more often violent and LGBTQ and Indigenous victims of hate crimes skew younger than other victims, with median ages of 27 and 28, respectively.

Egale, Canada’s national LGBTQ+ human rights organization, released a statement in response to the report on police-reported hate crimes saying “With 2SLGBTQI communities witnessing a record-high number of hate crimes in 2019, the Canadian government and community need to be more pro-active in addressing these incidents targeting sexual orientation and gender minority communities. Every year the data paints the same picture, yet there is an inadequate response from the Canadian Government on how to address this violence in a meaningful way.”

“Furthermore, while ‘gender identity or expression’ as a motivation for hate crime was amended in 2017 (Bill C-16), we continue to see little to no data collection on this topic; which continues to look over gender minority communities like trans, non-binary, gender diverse, and gender non-conforming people. That of which, exacerbates the lack of information and underreporting within these communities.”

StatsCan’s 2019 police-reported hate crimes report mirrors recent reports coming from south of the border. Hate crimes in the U.S. has risen to the highest level in more than a decade as federal officials also recorded the highest number of hate-motivated assaults and killings since the FBI began collecting that data in the early 1990s, according to a recent FBI report.

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