Hate has no home in York Region
Hate can take many forms, both hidden and obvious. Hate is seen online and in schools, hospitals, public transit and communities.
Statistics Canada reports that the number of hate crimes reported by police in Canada increased 27% between 2020 and 2021. Locally, York Regional Police recorded an increase in hate crime and hate incident occurrences in recent years.
No one should feel unsafe simply because of who they are
According to 2021 Census Data Report, 1.17 million people call York Region home, speaking over 120 languages, and representing over 230 distinct ethnic origins.
As Co-Chair and member organization of the Municipal Diversity and Inclusion Group (MDIG) and an endorsee of the Inclusion Charter for York Region, York Region is proud to participate in the #EndHateYR education and awareness campaign.
We all have a role to play to make sure York Region is a welcoming, inclusive, and safe place for everyone. Learn more about the Inclusion Charter for York Region and the shared commitment to foster safe, welcoming and inclusive communities for all.
By standing up against hate, we help create communities where diversity is celebrated, everyone feels safe, lives with respect and dignity, develops to their full potential, and participates free from discrimination.
Impacts of Hate
Hate promotes inequality and conflict. It sends a destructive message that people are unsafe in the community simply because of who they are.
The widespread impact of hate also can lead to low confidence levels in police and result in an under-reporting of hate crimes. The reporting of hate crimes continues to be a challenge for many members of our community due to fear of victimization, retaliation, culture, language barriers and uncertainty with the justice system.
The #EndHateYR campaign aims to raise awareness about hate crimes and incidents – and their harmful effects, and inform residents, businesses and groups about how we can work together to end hate across York Region’s nine local towns and cities. In consultation with York Regional Police’s Hate Crime Prevention Unit, this is a collective action of the Municipal Diversity and Inclusion Group (MDIG).
What is a hate crime? What is a hate incident?
A hate crime is a criminal offence* (or act) committed against a person or property motivated by hate, bias or prejudice against an identifiable group. An identifiable group may be defined by race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.
Almost any type of criminal offence can be motivated by hate. The damaging of property, acts of violence, or hostility such as hitting or spitting on someone can be examples of hate crime offences.
*Canada’s Criminal Code also requires a court to take into consideration whether the offence was motivated by hate, bias or prejudice based on any of the identifiable groups or any other similar factor for any offence.
A hate incident is a non-criminal act or behaviour motivated by hate against an identifiable group. Racial slurs and/or insults because of one’s ethnic background or how they dress are some examples of hate incidents.
Hate incidents are generally handled differently than hate crimes. In instances where the hate is non-criminal in nature, federal and provincial human rights codes may provide relief from behaviours such as workplace harassment.
These incidents can be just as harmful as hate crimes and lead to emotional and psychological stress. Reporting incidents is just as important because it allows for intervention, de-escalation, support, the sharing of resources and the opportunity to provide education.
Both hate crimes and hate incidents have harmful effects on the individuals and communities they are directed at. Hate crimes cause an undue ripple effect of harm that not only reaches beyond the individual but also their community. Whether directed at an individual or group, the long-standing effects of hate can leave entire communities feeling isolated and vulnerable.
What Can You Do?
Effective responses against hate crimes include protection (by the law), prevention (through education) and partnerships (community coalition building).
Reporting is a key steps to ending the cycle of hate. No matter how small or minor you think the incident might be, it is important to the whole community that it is acknowledged and reported.
If you have been impacted by hate or if you witness a hate crime or hate incident, consider following these steps:
- Get Help
- Stay calm
- Get medical help if necessary
- If you feel comfortable and from a safe location, call the police and/or local community organizations you trust for help
- Document as much relevant information as you can about the incident
- Get pictures/video and contact information of witnesses
- Keep all relevant evidence
- Support those impacted
- Connect with local community members and organizations you trust to get advice and support
- Inquire about the support that organizations, such as your place of work or school, may have for reporting and addressing incidents of hate.
How Can You Report a Hate Crime?
In an emergency – including where there is an immediate threat to life or property – please call 9-1-1.
In non-emergency situations, to report a hate incident, call 1-866-876-5423, or contact a member of York Regional Police’s Hate Crime Unit at @email; or anonymously report to the Crime Stoppers at 1-888-222-TIPS.
By reaching out to the police, the incident can be addressed immediately those impacted can be connected to the services and supports they need.
Your report will be taken seriously and may help prevent these incidents from happening to somebody else in your community. It will also help the police understand the extent of hate crime in your local area so they can better respond to it.
About York Regional Police Hate Crime Prevention Unit
How can York Regional Police’s Hate Crime Prevention Unit help?
York Regional Police’s Hate Crime Prevention Unit is a dedicated team of specially trained officers who assist in investigations where hate may have played a role. The unit also works in partnership with our diverse communities to develop strategies to prevent hate in York Region through prevention, education and enforcement.
Learn more about York Regional Police’s Hate Crimes Unit.
Hate Prevention Resources
Human rights commissions
Human rights tribunals
Social media and cyber safety
About the Inclusion Charter for York Region
This campaign is one of many actions resulting from the Inclusion Charter for York Region. The Inclusion Charter for York Region is a community initiative and commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for all who live, work and play in York Region.
The Inclusion Charter was developed by the Municipal Diversity and Inclusion Group (MDIG), which comprises 20 member organizations, including all nine local municipalities, police services, hospitals, school boards, conservation authorities, and agencies.
Learn more about the Inclusion Charter for York Region.
If you have any questions, please email [email protected]