We must do better.
That’s what Mayor George Harvie said during an address at the start of Delta council’s meeting on May 31 regarding an increase in anti-Semitism and anti-Asian hate crimes in Canada.
He said there’s an alarming spike in anti-Semitism, in both frequency and severity, across Canada.
Despite accounting for just one per cent of the population, Jewish Canadians are the targets of 17 per cent of all police-reported hate crimes, noted Harvie.
“Recent incidents of violence across the country targeted at Jewish people and Jewish businesses are completely unacceptable and must be stopped. Anti-Semitism cannot be tolerated under any circumstances here in Canada, or anywhere else,” stated Harvie.
“Furthermore, anti-Asian hate is rising across the country, and especially in Vancouver. A recent Bloomberg article depicted Vancouver as the ‘anti-Asian hate crime capital of North America’, demonstrating that Vancouver has the highest number of recorded anti-Asian hate crime incidents on the continent. This is shameful.”
Harvie added, “These incidents are not reflective of a tolerant and inclusive society. We must do better, and doing better starts with speaking out. Only by raising our voices together can these scary trends be reversed.”
Delta Police this April said they were seeing a significant rise in hate crimes, a disturbing trend that was seen across Metro Vancouver.
The DPD noted racial slurs and anti-Semitic graffiti were the most common behaviours noted, but there was also an assault involving racist remarks.
After a series of recent anti-Asian and racist episodes in Richmond, Mayor Malcolm Brodie and Richmond RCMP last week also made a statement that such behaviour must not be tolerated.
Other mayors including Toronto's John Tory also spoke out out against a rise in anti-Semitism following reports of increased incidents.