Jewish Canadians are the most targeted religious group for hate crimes in the country, a new study from Statistics Canada found.
The study analyzed some 1,946 hate crimes reported to the police in 2019. This number alone is not only a 7% increase from 2018, but represents the second-highest number of hate crimes reported to the police per year in Canadian history, with only 2017 seeing more (2,073 reported hate crimes).
However, the number of religious hate crimes reported to the police actually saw a 7% decrease compared to 2018, with just 608 cases reported. However, this is still higher than the numbers reported prior to the peak in 2017.
The report noted though that while the number of police-reported hate crimes targeting Jews decreased, an annual independent audit conducted by B'nai Brith Canada found a record number of antisemitic incidents for the fourth year in a row.
According to the audit, an average of six antisemitic incidents occurred every day in 2019, and was an 8% increase compared to 2018. In addition, there was an increase of over 11% in anonymous online antisemitic harassment. A total of 2,207 incidents were reported by the audit.
By contrast, the Statistics Canada study averaged out 296 hate crimes targeting Jews, with an average of five hate crimes per week.
The Centre for Israel for Jewish Affairs (CIJA) responded to these findings expressing concern in the rise of hate crimes in the country, noting in a statement that "those numbers are particularly troubling since the Jewish community accounts for only 1% of the population and yet are the targets of 17% of police-reported hate crime."