OTTAWA: The number of hate crimes reported to police in Canada jumped by 47 percent in 2017 from the previous year, targeting mostly Muslim, Jewish or black people, the government statistical agency said Thursday.
“For the year, police reported 2,073 hate crimes, 664 more than in 2016,” with most of the uptick in graffiti and vandalism, incitement of hatred, assaults, and uttering threats in Ontario and Quebec provinces, said Statistics Canada.
This followed steady but relatively small increases in previous years, the agency said.
Property crimes played the biggest role in the increase while violent hate crimes grew by 25 percent, it said.
These were motivated primarily by hatred of a race or ethnicity (878 crimes, up 32 percent), religion (842 crimes, up 83 percent), or sexual orientation (204 crimes, up 16 percent).
In particular, hate crimes against Muslims rose 151 percent to 349 in 2017 — a year marked by a xenophobic young man’s killing of six worshippers at a Quebec mosque.
Hate crimes against Jews rose 63 percent to 360, while those targeting blacks increased by 50 percent to 321.
Overall hate crimes accounted for a mere 0.1 percent of the 1.9 million crimes reported to police that year, excluding highway traffic offenses.