Highest rates of hate crime in Calgary and Kingston

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Due to relatively low coverage in some provinces, provincial comparisons of police-reported hate crime are limited to Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia where virtually 100% of all police services and detachments participated in the hate crime study.1

Police-reported hate crimes in these three provinces accounted for roughly 80% of the national total. At 4.1 incidents per 100,000 population, the rate in Ontario was highest, followed by British Columbia (2.5) and Quebec (1.4).

More in-depth information is available for police-reported hate crimes at the level of census metropolitan areas (CMAs).2 In 2006, Toronto reported the highest number of hate crimes, accounting for 30% of the national total. However, when differences in population were taken into account, the rates in Calgary (9.1), Kingston (8.5), Ottawa (6.6) and London (5.9) surpassed the rate in Toronto (5.5) (Chart 4). It is important to point out that the rates in some areas were relatively high even though the actual number of hate crimes was comparatively low. For example, while the 2006 rate of hate crime in Kingston was close to that in Calgary, the number of hate crimes identified by police was quite different: 13 incidents in Kingston and 92 in Calgary.

Chart 4 Police-reported hate crime by census metropolitan area, 2006.

Chart 4
Police-reported hate crime by census metropolitan area, 2006

Among the nine largest CMAs, incidents motivated by race/ethnicity were the most common,3 other than in Ottawa where religion-based hate crimes occurred most often (Table 3).

Table 3 Police-reported hate crime by type of motivation among the nine largest census metropolitan areas, 2006.

Table 3
Police-reported hate crime by type of motivation among the nine largest census metropolitan areas, 2006

There were no hate crimes reported in Saguenay, Sherbrooke, St. Catharines-Niagara and Saskatoon. Relatively low rates were reported in St. John's, Gatineau, Greater Sudbury, Trois-Rivières, and Thunder Bay.

One factor that can affect local rates of hate crime is the internal protocols of individual police services. For instance, many police services have specialized hate crime units and training programs, hot lines, awareness campaigns and/or victim assistance programs aimed at addressing hate-motivated crimes. Still others have adopted zero-tolerance policies on hate crime and are proactive in building partnerships with community groups to encourage the public to report these types of incidents to police. Consequently, what may appear to be high rates of hate crime in certain areas may be a reflection of better reporting practices.


Notes

  1. Comparisons of rates of hate crime victimizations by province were not available from the GSS due to small sample sizes.
  2. A census metropolitan area (CMA) refers to a large urban core (at least 100,000 population) combined with adjacent urban and rural areas that have a high degree of economic and social integration.
  3. Excludes the proportion of hate crimes in which motivation was reported by police as "unknown".