Apr 28, 2022
By Jane Brown
The number of hate crimes in Toronto reported to police rose again in 2021, during a year that saw the Jewish community as the most targeted group and a significant increase in anti-Asian incidents.
The Toronto Police Annual Hate Crime Statistical Report will be presented to members of the police board next week.
It reveals there were 257 hate motivated incidents reported last year, from 210 in 2020, and way above the 10 year average of 167 cases.
The report’s authors say the increases are believed to be attributed to international and geo-political events, including the pandemic.
Bernie Farber is chair of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network and says it’s sad to say, but hate crimes against Jews is nothing new.
“Antisemitism has been with us literally since time immemorial. And when hate crimes generally rise, Jews are sadly on the top of that list. It affects people personally. It is a scary situation for all members of the Jewish community,” Farber explained to CP24.
(Entrance to Auschwitz death camp in Poland)
The report was released ahead of a memorial Wednesday evening at Toronto’s Earl Bales Park to recognize the 6-million Jews killed in the Holocaust.
Organizer Dara Solomon says she feels that hate crimes affect some people in a way that they fear expressing their Judaism, which she acknowledges is a challenge.
“As the director of the Holocaust Education Centre we can’t help but think about 1930s Germany when the Jewish community started to be targeted and started to be scared and this is not acceptable in 21st century Canada,” Solomon said.
People in Israel stopped down on Thursday for 2 minutes to remember those murdered in the Holocaust and pay tribute to the survivors, 165,000 of whom are said to live in Israel.