Tuesday, April 27, 2021

More than seven anti-Semitic acts a day in Canada in 2020 

More than seven anti-Semitic acts a day, on average,  were committed in Canada in 2020, the latest B'nai Brith Canada League for Human Rights Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents says.

"As Canadians spent much of 2020 under pandemic restrictions and lockdown, anti-Semitism did not take the year off," stated Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B'nai Brith Canada. "Though physical attacks decreased last year, online hate continues to skyrocket, particularly during a year that, more than ever, forced many of us to interact virtually rather than in-person.

"B'nai Brith Canada's Eight-Point Plan to Tackle Antisemitism remains as relevant as ever, especially its prescient call for government action to combat online hatred."

"Records for anti-Semitism in this country were set for a fifth consecutive year," says a B'nai Brith Canada statement. "There was an increase of 18.3 percent of recorded anti-Semitic incidents in comparison to 2019. The actual number of anti-Semitic incidents recorded in 2020 was 2,610. This marked the third successive year in which the 2,000 plateau was exceeded."

In Quebec, though, reported anti-Semitic incidents as a whole fell 13.8 percent, from 796 to 686. Incidents were lower in Alberta, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon, increased 226 percent in Atlantic Canada, increased 44.3 percent in Ontario and fell 2.9 percent in the Prairies and Nunavut.

Still, "Quebec was also the region with one-third of recorded violent incidents in Canada, largely targeting the visibly observant Jewish community," the report says.

The audit adds that more than 44 percent of the violent incidents across the country were COVID-19-related.

"Violent incidents in 2020 decreased to their lowest levels in years – perhaps aided by repeated lockdowns — but were characterized primarily by discrimination attributable to COVID-19. The majority of these incidents targeted Hasidic individuals in Broisbriand, Que., after misinformation was reported surrounding a local Hasidic community not abiding by legally mandated COVID-19 measures."

Other physical attacks took place outside Quebec.


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