November 29, 2017 1:18 am

B.C. hate crimes climbed by nearly 30 per cent last year

A parent scrubs away swastika tagged onto the van of Poco Dots Child Care Centre. Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

John Hua/Global News
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Hate crimes are on the rise in British Columbia.

That’s according to the latest data from Statistics Canada, which found that crimes motivated by hatred towards an identifiable group climbed by nearly 29 per cent in B.C. between 2015 and 2016.

According to the statistics agency, B.C. saw 211 police-reported hate crimes in 2016, up from 164 the previous year.

READ MORE: Hate crimes against Muslims are down as overall number of hate crimes increases

It said the increase was largely attributable to crimes against South Asian and East or Southeast Asian people, both of which more than doubled.

Quebec also saw a major spike in hate crimes, with a 21 per cent climb — driven mostly by crimes against Arabs and Jews or based on sexual orientation.

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In Alberta, meanwhile, hate crimes dropped by almost 28 per cent, a change driven by fewer incidents targeting people based on their religion.

READ MORE: Hate crimes against Muslims in Canada increase 253% over four years

Canada-wide, the agency found, hate crimes climbed about three per cent in 2016, with more incidents targeting South Asians, Arabs, Jews and people based on their sexual orientation.

Nationally, hate crimes against Muslims and Catholics declined in 2016, according to the Statistics Canada.

However, the agency noted that the numbers may not tell the full picture, with statistics reliant on the willingness of victims to come forward to police.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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