New statistics require supporters of the Ottawa government to pass the anti-racism law.
Canada has seen a sharp rise in hate crimes against religion, sexual orientation and race since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data released this week by Statistic Canada.
Canada, which prides itself on being a diverse and welcoming country for immigrants and refugees, has seen a 72% increase in the rate of hate crime between 2019 and 2021, Statistics Canada said.
This increase was partly due to the pandemic, which exposed and exacerbated security and discrimination problems. Chinese Canadians reported increased discrimination. Wuhan, China, was the epicenter of the virus. The World Health Organization said in June that its latest investigation into the origins of COVID-19 was not conclusive, mostly because there is a lack of data from China.
In 2021, hate crimes against religion increased by 67%, those against sexual orientation increased by 64% and those against race or ethnicity increased by 6%.
This prompted minority groups to urge the government to pass a law against racism.
“We simply cannot afford any further delays in actions to stop anti-Asian hatred and racism,” Amy Go, chairman of the Canadian National Council for Social Justice, told Reuters news agency.
The council asked the federal government to pass an anti-racism law to gather specific information about the perpetrators, where the crime occurs and the circumstances under which it occurs to hold those responsible.
Go said the government is reviewing the request. The Canadian government did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
Migration is a crucial growth engine for the Canadian economy, with immigrant workers accounting for 84% of total labor force growth in the 2010s, according to Statistics Canada.
Canada welcomed a record 401,000 new permanent residents in 2021, and Ottawa has set an ambitious goal of 432,000 newcomers this year.
Several incidents affecting Asians have questioned Manan Doshi, an international student who recently came to Canada, to stay in the country.
Doshi said his family asked him to return to India after witnessing some fatalities in Toronto subway stations that scared him.
Mohammed Hashim, executive director of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, has recommended that the federal government invest C $ 15 million ($ 11.6 million) to help victims of hate crime.
“This is unacceptable because hatred can forever damage people’s ability to participate in society,” Hashim said.
The new statistics documented a 71% increase in hate crimes against Muslims in 2021 compared to 2020, during which 144 incidents occurred.
“This year, there has been a dramatic spike in anti-Muslim hatred, according to numbers from Stats Canada,” the National Council of Canadian Muslims said in a tweet earlier this week.
“We lost Canadian Muslims to hatred in 2021. Even these numbers do not tell the whole story: we know that the number of hate crimes far exceeds what is shown by the statistics on hate crimes.” .
Muslims in Canada have been targeted by major hate attacks in recent years, including a mass shooting claimed six faithful at a mosque in Quebec City in 2017. Last year, an attacker hit a Muslim family with his truck in London, Ontario, killing four people in what police described as an Islamophobic attack.