Faced with the rise in hate crimes, organizations are calling for funding and support
Organizations are urging Ottawa to allocate $44 million to fund support services for victims. (File photo)
The government must act quickly to contain the explosion of hate crimes against members of the LGBTQ2+ community and racialized people in the country, argue two organizations that say they are horrified by the data released Wednesday morning by Statistics Canada.
We learned that the number of hate crimes reported by police in the country had increased by 27% from 2020 to 2021, after a jump of 36% the previous year.
The annual data released this morning is worrying, but not surprising. They may reflect a worsening of social polarization as well as a greater awareness of discrimination and denunciation, reacted in a joint press release the Enchanted Network and the Canadian Foundation of Race Relations (CRRF). They are convinced that the reality is even more distressing since only a small fraction of the number of hate crimes are denounced and defined as such by law enforcement.
On the one hand, hate crimes against sexual diversity increased by 64% between 2020 and 2021. It's not a question of being surprised, but rather of saying: now, how do we reacts to all this, said its general manager Tyler Boyce, during a telephone interview.
It mentions that many manifestations of intolerance, threats and attacks have been perpetrated and observed, among other things in public transport, and against homosexual, transgender or transvestite people. Demonstrations against members of the LGBTQ2+ communities have also been held in public.
Non-cisgender people, that is, people who do not x27;not identify with the sex assigned to them at birth, face more violent experiences than others, says Boyle. We need to document these situations and establish statistics for this purpose, he adds, specifying that most forms include a binary choice for the mention of sex, which complicates the review of the reality of these people.
On the other hand, hate crimes targeting a religion or ethnicity increased by 67% and 6% respectively. Jewish people as well as people of Arab or Asian origin are the most targeted.
Behind all the numbers released today are one or more people who have suffered or have to live with trauma related to a hate crime, and we know that they do not take into account the lived experiences of many. ;other victims. In 2023, we must do better, demands Mohammed Hashim, Managing Director of CRRF.
The two organizations are urging Ottawa, which is currently working on its National Action Plan to Combat Hate, to allocate $44 million to fund support services for victims, a request already made. last summer by CRRF. It had conducted a survey which concluded that many victims have no support and that there are significant gaps and inconsistencies in the services offered to victims.
The coveted sum would, among other things, make it possible to create a national fund for organizations that support victims, as well as another fund to pay for certain expenses related to the care of victims, including mental health care, casualties salary, therapy or medical equipment.
It should be noted, says Mr. Boyce in an interview, that there are no statistics that approximate the cost of treatment caused by a hate crime.
Additional investments would be desirable to equip municipalities and community organizations during an emergency intervention in the event of mass violence motivated by hatred as well as for the establishment of a national support center for victims of hatred.
Appropriate action and support from government and the justice system will increase confidence in institutions' ability to deal with hate crimes, Boyce argues.
Over a period of two years, from 2019 to 2021, the number of hate crimes increased by 72%, in part due to a particularly sharp increase during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The federal agency observed that the number of hate crimes increased in all provinces and territories in 2021, with the exception of the Yukon, where it remained unchanged.
Their number went from 454 to 488 in Quebec and from 19 to 39 in New Brunswick. A significant increase was observed in Ontario, from 1159 to 1629.
In Nova Scotia, 72 hate crimes were recorded in 2021, compared to 58 the previous year. Over the same period, they increased from 8 to 19 in Prince Edward Island.