Highest for hate crimes

Metro Vancouver had the highest rate of hate crimes reported to police in 2018 of Canada’s three largest metropolitan areas, according to data released Monday by Statistics Canada.

A hate crime was reported to police at a rate of 7.1 times per 100,000 people in Metro Vancouver last year, moving the region from third place in 2017 to surpass the metro regions of Montreal (6.5) and Toronto (6.4).

Nico Slobinsky, Pacific region director of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said the statistics show “a very problematic trend” in Vancouver and the region.

“We need to close the door on these types of racism and discriminatory behaviours,” he said, noting the data indicates the Jewish community remains the most frequently targeted group in Canada.

The data doesn’t break down the number of hate crime reports by municipality in Metro Vancouver, but statistics released by the Vancouver Police Department last month showed hate crimes and hate crime incidents in the city increased from 61 in 2016 to 141 in 2018.

Of those 141 cases, Jewish people and property were the main targets, followed by the LGTBQ2S+ and black communities.

In the first quarter of this year, anti-Asian hate motivated incidents were as common as crimes and incidents in the LGTBQ2S+ community, police reported.

Police have said the types of crimes or incidents most commonly investigated are related to graffiti, harassment, assaults and suspicious circumstances.

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