Canada’s criminal code doesn’t mention ‘hate crime’ — so how do we hold people accountable?

By Maham Abedi
Global News | July 20, 2018

A 38-year-old Muslim father is in hospital after being beaten in what police are investigating as a “hate-motivated crime.”

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Leila Nasr, who works with the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), explained to Global News that it’s important to remember these numbers offer a limited perspective into the issue.

“The numbers we might actually be seeing from police regarding hate crimes in Canada, it might just be a small fraction or the tip of the iceberg of what we’re actually seeing in reality,” Nasr said, noting that Stats Canada says many hate crimes don’t get reported to police.

Stats Canada explained in a 2017 report that two-thirds of individuals who said they had been victim of a hate crime did not report it to police.

Nasr added that in other instances police may not have kept adequate records. She explained that those in imminent danger from a hate crime should contact police.

“Even if you’re not sure whether it can be classified as a hate crime, report it to police anyway,” she said, noting law enforcement can still provide help and advice.

Individuals who may not be in direct danger have other options such as contacting the NCCM, or other relevant advocacy organizations, to anonymously ask for help.

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