Hate crimes on the rise in Quebec

Hate crimes on the rise in Quebec

Service Quebec City police opened an investigation when the first act of vandalism to the Black Lives Matter mural by artist Wartin Pantois was reported in August.

For a fourth consecutive year, the number of hate crimes is on the rise in Quebec. According to data released by Statistics Canada, 76 hate crimes were reported in 2021, nine more than the previous year.

A text by Louis-Simon Lapointe

Quebec is one of the Canadian cities where this type of crime is most prevalent, surpassing Calgary, Edmonton and Montreal. The rate per 100,000 population was 9.2 last year, higher than the Canadian average of 8.8.

Scientific Director and strategy of the Center for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence, Louis Audet Gosselin, calls for caution.

That gives us a general idea of ​​the situation in terms of this which is declared by the police, he explains to Radio-Canada.

“It doesn't necessarily give us a real picture, since we know that the majority of hate crimes go unreported. »

— Louis Audet Gosselin, Scientific and Strategic Director of the Center for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence

He adds that the police are perhaps more sensitive to this reality and better trained to detect them.

Since the events at the mosque in January 2017, the Service de police de la Ville de Québec (SPVQ) has put in place a new structure where patrol officers have been made more aware of detecting events with possible hateful connotations.

As soon as they have the slightest doubt, they will mention it. When a hate crime is reported, it is quickly assigned to an investigator and becomes a priority, indicates the SPVQ's Communications Department.

The Police Department says it is very proactive in terms of media coverage of hate crimes and invites citizens to denounce any situation that may be similar to this type of event.

He adds that he is in contact with members of cultural communities so that they share the incidents of which they are victims.

This increase is also noticeable nationally. In 2018, 1817 hate crimes were reported in the country, compared to 3360 last year.

Louis Audet Gosselin, Scientific and Strategic Director of the Center for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence.

< p class="e-p">It is clear that there has been an increase in social tension in general for two years and that hate crimes follow the news, analyzes Louis Audet Gosselin. He points out that if there is a debate that is focused on a specific community, they will notice an increase in hate incidents and crimes towards them.

“What people in different cultural, religious and sexual diversity communities tell us is that there is a climate of insecurity that is more big. »

— Louis Audet Gosselin, Scientific and Strategic Director of the Center for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence

National Institute for Scientific Research Professor Denise Helly explains that in Canada, a hate crime can be a hate speech, either an insult, or violence body with a word that expresses hate.

She is adamant there has been an increase in serious crime in Canada in 2021, that is, x27;there has been an increase in social violence.

She notes that COVID-19 has had an impact on the increase in hate crimes in the country in recent years.

With COVID, there has been a rise in hate crimes multiplied by 300 in the United States, in Canada it's a little less, against anyone who is perceived to be from East Asia, i.e. Chinese, Japanese, Korean and some don't the difference with the Vietnamese, she says. Apparently, this COVID effect continues.

She adds a structural effect as a cause: With algorithms on social media pushing more and more towards radical, often right-wing positions, one has a proliferation of hate speech on the web.

This increase curve is not about to level off, according to Denise Helly. She believes that until the government legislates platforms for spreading hateful or misogynistic content, there will be an increase in hate crimes.

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