OTTAWA - New figures released by Statistics Canada show hate crimes reported to police continued to spike across the country in the second year of the pandemic as people were targeted by race, religion and sexual orientation.
The agency says in a news release that all provinces and territories experienced increases in hate crime reports in 2021 except Yukon, where they were unchanged.
Incidents motivated by religion were up 67 per cent across Canada, while reports to police involving sexual orientation rose by 63 per cent, and race-related incidents were up six per cent.
The statistics agency says the pandemic "exacerbated experiences of discrimination," including hate crimes, and "underscored an increase in discourse" about the issue.
Overall, there were 3,360 hate crimes of all motivations reported to police in 2021, up by 27 per cent, after a 35 per cent increase in 2020.
Reports of hate crime targeting East or Southeast Asians rose 16 per cent to 305 incidents in 2021, a level that is more than four times higher than it was in 2019.
Statistics Canada says community awareness and relations with police can influence whether incidents get reported at all, and just over one in five reported incidents result in charges being laid or recommended.
It says the victims and those accused of reported hate crimes are most often men and boys.
In British Columbia, religious hate crime reports more than doubled to 150 in 2021, while in Alberta they tripled to 91 incidents.
In Ontario, hate crimes based on sexual orientation were up 107 per cent.