Hate crimes rise across the nation, but not here

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A spike in hate crimes in Canada -- mostly related to race and ethnicity -- didn't occur in Winnipeg, Statistics Canada reports.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 08/06/2011 (4089 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A spike in hate crimes in Canada — mostly related to race and ethnicity — didn’t occur in Winnipeg, Statistics Canada reports.

The report, entitled Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2009, says the number of hate crimes across the country rose 42 per cent from 2008.

Winnipeg, which ranked 23rd among urban areas for the number of reported hate crimes, experienced no increase from 2008 to 2009, according to Statistics Canada.

Does it mean Winnipeg — with its growing populations of new Canadians and aboriginals — is a more inclusive, welcoming place?

Yes and no, community leaders say.

“People in Winnipeg… are a cut above the rest,” Hamza Mbabaali, who immigrated to Canada from Africa three decades ago, said when told of the report’s findings. Mbabaali is a leader in the Ugandan community in Manitoba.

“This explains why my wife and I have lived here close to 30 years since leaving Uganda. (But) I am not naive (enough) to suggest that it is all rosy and everything is nice and dandy.”

Some people intimidated by authority wouldn’t report a hate crime, he said.

“A large number of cases go unreported because people do not want the public attention or to deal with the long and complicated process of filing a complaint,” Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Ron Evans said in a prepared statement. “One of the worst hate crimes in Canada today is missing and murdered aboriginal women.”

The places with the highest rates of hate crimes in 2009 weren’t major centres, but smaller cities in Ontario. Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo had the most — close to 18 incidents per 100,000 population. Guelph was second with 17 incidents per 100,000, while Peterborough was third with 15 per 100,000.

Ottawa was fourth at 14 per 100,000.

Winnipeg had two reported hate crimes per 100,000 people.

Police services were asked to indicate the primary motive for each incident. In 2009, there were no hate-motivated homicides, the report said.

More than half of the crimes in 2009 were non-violent offences, predominantly mischief. Among violent hate crimes, the most common offences were minor assaults (13 per cent) and uttering threats (10 per cent).

Nationally, most of the incidents were motivated by race and ethnicity. In Winnipeg, religion was the main motivator.

carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

Carol Sanders

Carol Sanders
Legislature reporter

After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.

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