Jews Remain Most-Targeted Religious Group for Hate Crimes in Canada, New Stats Show

A store in Toronto, Canada, was vandalized with graffiti reading, "This is a Nazi Country," on top of a Star of David, in October 2021.

August 4, 2022

The number of antisemitic hate crimes in Canada rose 47% in 2021 from the previous year, and Jews remained the country’s most-targeted religious group, according to new police-reported crime data published by Statistics Canada on Tuesday.

There were a total of 487 hate crimes against Canadian Jews last year, up from 331 in 2020 and 306 in 2019. Offenses targeting Jews comprised 14% of all reported hate crimes in Canada in 2021, even though Jews comprise merely one percent of the overall Canadian population.

“We are deeply concerned that incidents of hate crime rose yet again in Canada in 2021,” Shimon Koffler Fogel — President and CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) — stated. “This disturbing trend clearly proves the need for proactive measures to stop the rising hate targeting diverse Canadians based on their identity.”

“Statistically, Canadian Jews were more than 10 times more likely than any other Canadian religious minority to report being the target of a hate crime,” he added. “This is alarming. This report should be a call to action for all Canadians to stand against antisemitism and all forms of hate.”

“We are grateful that police services across the country take these incidents seriously, but more needs to be done to protect vulnerable communities,” Fogel said. “This includes greater support for security and safety at community institutions such as houses of worship; Equity, Diversity and Inclusion education that includes training on antisemitism; and a national strategy to target online hate and radicalization.”

Jaime Kirzner-Roberts — Director of Policy at Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) — commented, “Once again, the Jewish community has remained one of the leading groups victimized by hate crimes in Canada, news that comes as no surprise as we’ve continued to witness a dramatic rise in reports of antisemitic incidents over the past few years. Unfortunately, in reality, the number of hate crimes targeting Jews and other minority groups is much higher than stated in the report, as many incidents go unreported. All Canadians must remain vigilant and call police when they witness or are the victims of hate crimes.”

An annual audit conducted by B’nai Brith Canada showed a rise in antisemitic incidents for a sixth consecutive year in Canada in 2021.