VICTORIA – Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives, has issued the following statement on the release of new data from Statistics Canada on police-reported hate crimes for 2021:

“It is very upsetting to see the number of hate crimes reported to police increase again in 2021. Across Canada, police-reported hate crimes have increased by 27%. It’s even more distressing to know that many racially motivated crimes go unreported.

“While the impacts of the pandemic, the war in the Ukraine and other factors have led to a high level of anxiety and anger in people across this province, this misplaced vitriol is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. Nobody should be made to feel unsafe or put at risk anywhere.

“In 2021, hate crimes based on religion increased by 67%, based on sexual orientation by 64%, and based on race or ethnicity by 6%. Here in B.C., we continue to see people of Asian descent unfairly targeted and scapegoated, leading to increased attacks against them and their businesses.

“Our government is working to dismantle systemic racism and discrimination in B.C. We’re supporting anti-racism work in communities throughout the province through the Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network, providing local organizations with information, supports and training on how to fight hate and respond to incidents of racism and hate in their communities.

“We recently introduced the Anti-Racism Data Act to identify systemic barriers facing Indigenous people, Black people and people of colour so we can make government programs and services work better for more people. We’re also developing a broader Anti-Racism Act that will be introduced next year and will help make B.C. a safer, more equitable province for everyone, regardless of their race, ethnicity or faith.

“There is more work to do, and we can all help make our communities more inclusive and safer for everyone. We all must commit to being anti-racist and standing up against discrimination in all forms. I encourage all British Columbians to join me in this important work. Together, we can build a better, more equitable province for everyone.”