Key Takeaways

  • The report[1] defines hate crimes as those that target a person’s identity (e.g., race, religion, sexual orientation, and more).[2]
  • Since 2019, hate crimes targeting sexual orientation have risen significantly. In 2019, there were 265 hate crimes that targeted sexual orientation, and in 2021, this number rose to 423. Specifically, hate crimes targeting sexual orientation rose 64% (+165 incidents).
  • Of these 423 hate crimes, a majority (77%) targeted the gay and lesbian community, a small number toward bisexuals (2%) and other sexual orientations (11%), and 10% of incidents had an unknown sexual orientation target.

Background

This report on police-reported hate crime in Canada was released on August 2, 2022. While the 2021 police-reported crime rates remained stable[3], there was an increase in violent crimes (+5%) and hate-reported crimes (+27%) since 2020. The latter increase can be attributed to an increase in hate-crimes targeting sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, and religion. The report defined hate crimes as those that target a person’s identity (e.g., race, religion, sexual orientation, and more).[4] There are several factors that impact police-reported crimes including(but not limited to) an individual’s decision to report a crime to police, differences in police services based on municipality and region, and socioeconomic factors.

The report included statistics on hate crimes targeting sexual orientation, finding that of the 423 hate crimes targeting sexual orientation, most were targeted toward the gay and lesbian community (77%). This is an increase of 64% since 2019. While the report did not provide intersectional data, it is notable that hate crimes relating to race and ethnicity (+6%), as well as religion (+67%), also rose in 2021. Almost one-third of homicide victims were identified by police as persons designated as racialized.

Footnotes

[1] Statistics Canada. (2022, August 2). Police-reported crime statistics in Canada, 2021. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/85-002-x/2022001/article/00013-eng.htm

[2] The full definition of hate crimes, as per the report, is as follows: “Hate crimes target the integral and visible parts of a person’s identity and may disproportionately affect the wider community. A hate crime incident may be carried out against a person or property and may target race, colour, national or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, language, sex, age, mental or physical disability, or any other similar factor.”

[3] As measured by the Crime Severity Index (CSI).

[4] The report defines hate crimes as follows: “Hate crimes target the integral and visible parts of a person’s identity and may disproportionately affect the wider community. A hate crime incident may be carried out against a person or property and may target race, colour, national or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, language, sex, age, mental or physical disability, or any other similar factor.”