Farber: The under reporting of hate crimes in Canada

Of note:

Seven months after 58-year-old Mohamed-Aslim Zafis was brutally slain outside a Rexdale mosque, Toronto police have released a new report that details statistics and specific types of hate-motivated offences committed against individuals in 2020.

Zafis’s killing is not among those crimes.

The glaring omission of the slaying is striking — especially consideringZafis’s family and the community itself pleaded with police to treat it as a hate crime.

When the suspect’s name was released, the Canadian Anti-Hate Network immediately reviewed his social media. Our findings suggested that the suspect is someone who subscribes to the most dangerous hate-promoting conspiracy theories, including “the Great Replacement.”

The theory dangerously asserts that white Europeans — and North Americans — are being intentionally replaced through immigration and low birth rates. While the original theory focused on an alleged Muslim invasion, more recent proponents of the theory overlay it with antisemitism

In August 2017, it inspired over 200 American neo-Nazis to march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in a torch light parade bellowing “Jews will not replace us,” injuries, and the tragic murder of anti-racist Heather Heyer by one of the white supremacists. 

In March 2019, another hate-monger attacked the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, N.Z., murdering 51 innocent Muslims and leaving 40 injured. The New Zealand government’s Royal Commission on the attack singled out the terrorist’s belief in the Great Replacement as one motivating racist factor.

While the story of Zafis’s death made worldwide news, the issue of police not treating what are arguably self-evident hate crimes as hate crimes is not new.

An Angus Reid survey, released in mid-2020, revealed that almost one-third of Chinese Canadians report being physically attacked during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet only 12 incidents of hate-motivated crimes against Chinese Canadians are included in the report. 

Studies tell us that only one to five per cent of hate incidents in Canada are reported to police. The real number of hate crimes and incidents is actually 20 to 100 times higher.

Members of communities targeted by hate-motivated attacks often don’t report them. In some cases, the number of victims who don’t report is over two-thirds. When attacks are reported, the police treat many as unfounded — they either don’t believe the victim, don’t see the point in pursuing the report, or are unsuccessful in their investigations. They only report forward a small subset that they have at least partially successfully investigated. 

Laudably, Toronto police made an arrest within a week of Zafis’s slaying. So why was his death not included in the 2020 hate crimes report? Some answers may lie in a new study by Barbara Perry of Ontario Tech University’s Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism that involved interviewing police officers in Ontario. 

Officers expressed frustrations with the process. The only hate crime under the Criminal Code is wilful promotion of hatred. Other offences, such as assault or vandalism, could be subject to enhanced sentencing provisions if the offence is hate-motivated, with police providing evidence to the Crown. Officers told Perry that they are usually not successful and cases just “disappear into a vacuum.” 

Some officers candidly admitted that they feel police departments are falling short in their obligations to ensure communities feel comfortable coming forward. 

“I don’t think we do enough to ensure the community feels that it will be taken seriously,” one officer noted.

So, then, what does this tell the Muslim community when Zafis’s slaying is not counted among hate crimes? 

The alleged killer’s YouTube channel had saved xenophobic videos perpetuating the myth of roving migrant gangs, and clips from Russian propaganda outlets about the “Belgian Muslim State.” 

And, of course, the Great Replacement. 

It isn’t hard to draw the line between those toxic ideas and the cold-blooded killing of a Muslim man serving his community in front of his neighbourhood mosque. 

Surely one can understand the fear within racialized communities when self-evident hate crimes like the Zafis death is not seen as such.

According to the new report, hate crimes in Toronto have risen 51 per cent. But considering only 1 to 5 per cent of hate incidents and crimes are reported, the question remains: what about the other 95 per cent?

Source: https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2021/04/27/the-under-reporting-of-hate-crimes-in-canada.html

Recent immigrants and non-permanent residents missed in the 2011 Census

May have missed this but important analysis of the data limitations regarding immigrants and non-permanent residents in the 2011 NHS, regarding the characteristics of those missed and plausible explanations.

No discussion as to whether the shift from the mandatory long-form census questionnaire to the voluntary NHS questionnaire made a difference and we will see once an equivalent analysis is done for the 2016 census:

Recent immigrants and NPRs are growing segments of the Canadian population. While censuses strive to provide comprehensive coverage of the population, these groups are less likely to be enumerated. The purpose of this analysis was to examine the factors associated with the propensity for being missed in the 2011 Census for recent immigrants and NPRs using RRC data.

According to the RRC, just under 20% of recent immigrants and more than 40% of NPRs were missed by the 2011 Census, compared with 8.3% of the total population. While missed rates are not a direct reflection of undercoverage but are rather one of the elements of undercoverage, they are still a clear sign that these two populations could have been less covered than the rest of the population in the 2011 Census.

Some characteristics of recent immigrants and NPRs are associated with the propensity for being missed.

First of all, this study highlighted the close links between the year at landing and the propensity of recent immigrants for being missed. More than one-third of immigrants who settled in 2011 and almost a quarter of those who settled in 2010 were missed in the 2011 Census. Immigrants who held a temporary residence permit before being admitted as immigrants were also slightly less likely to be missed, when the effect of other characteristics are accounted for.

About 30% of recent immigrants whose mother tongue was Punjabi were missed in the 2011 Census. The multivariate analysis also highlighted the higher likelihood for immigrants with an Arabic mother tongue to be missed. These results might stem from cultural factors specific to immigrants from certain countries, notably regarding social integration to Canada.

The context in which immigrants are admitted to the country might also affect the likelihood to be missed in the census. While a fifth of immigrants were missed in 2011, 12.3% of refugees were missed. These immigrants fled very difficult situations in their home country and usually maintain contacts with the Canadian government on a regular basis. For these reasons, they may have a better relationship with the government.

Multivariate analysis identified additional correlates of the likelihood for recent immigrants to be missed. Immigrants who were in a couple, who were living in Quebec and who were under the age of 20 were less likely to be missed. These results are similar to the ones observed for the entire Canadian population.

Knowledge of the official languages is a very important marker of integration into a new country. Recent immigrants who reported not speaking English or French at landing seem to be less likely to be missed. This could be because they take language training classes, which might introduce them to the topic of the census, because they learn an official language shortly after landing, and because of differences in concepts and measurement of concepts between census data and IRCC data. It would be very relevant to examine the 2016 RRC data when they become available to see if there is the same finding.

For NPRs, the duration of the permit held by NPRs played a role in being missed in the 2011 Census. For example, more than half of NPRs who received their temporary resident permit no more than six months before the census were missed in 2011. Because they arrived in the country very recently, these NPRs may consider their usual residence to still be in their country of origin, and therefore not consider themselves part of the census universe. Conversely, 36.4% of NPRs who were granted temporary residence two or more years before census day were missed.

Missed rates for NPRs were above 45% for NPRs who were not in a couple. NPRs in their twenties were also more likely to be missed. As with immigrants, these results tend to be similar to the results of the general population.

When accounting for the effect of other factors, NPRs who held their first temporary permit were less likely to be missed than those who already had a permit in the past. This is difficult to interpret and could be studied a second time when the 2016 RRC data become available. It should be noted that the sample from the NPR frame was increased in 2016; as a result, more precise analyses could be conducted for this subpopulation when the data become available.

Refugee status claimants were less likely to be missed than other NPRs. However, the multivariate analysis revealed that much of this difference could come from the specific characteristics of refugee claimants, including their length of stay in the country.

Source: Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-657-X2019008 25 –Recent immigrants and non-permanent residents missed in the 2011 Census (NHS)