THE B.C. government, in partnership with the BC Hate Crimes Team and Abbotsford Community Services, has launched the Know Hate campaign and resource to raise awareness about online hate crime, Teresa Wat, Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism announced Monday.
This resource – available at www.HateCrimeBC.ca – provides information for the public about what constitutes a hate crime, reporting information and links to resources for victims.
The Know Hate campaign – available in print, social media, television, radio and transit ads – will run for six weeks in communities throughout British Columbia including Vancouver, Victoria, Richmond, Surrey, Coquitlam, North Vancouver, Abbotsford, Kelowna and Prince George.
In November 2013, Abbotsford Community Services was awarded a $150,000 contract to develop the campaign. The social service agency fosters community well-being and social justice through positive action and leadership.
A hate crime is defined as a criminal offence motivated by hate towards an identifiable group. According to Statistics Canada (2011 report), the primary motive of over half (52%) of all incidents of hate crime in Canada is race or ethnicity. The second-highest motivation is religion (25%).
Communities in British Columbia are increasingly culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse with immigrants now accounting for approximately 27% of our population and an additional 5% comprised of indigenous Aboriginal populations.
The purpose of EmbraceBC public education is to engage the public around issues of racism, multiculturalism and inclusion and to facilitate awareness and understanding of the social, cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity throughout British Columbia.
The B.C. Hate Crime Team was created in 1996 with a mandate to ensure the effective identification, investigation and prosecution of crimes motivated by hate.
Wat said: “The Know Hate campaign and resource will help educate people about hate crime – how to recognize it and how to report it. As Canada’s most ethnically diverse province, B.C. benefits greatly from its diverse population. There are still people who lack the openness to accept different beliefs, backgrounds or lifestyle choices and this sometimes lead to hate. Hate crimes are not acceptable.”
Suzanne Anton, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, said: “Our police forces reflect and support the rich diversity of our population. The public can play an important role in police efforts to curb hate crime and help hold those who perpetuate it to account. This campaign will help more British Columbians to recognize, report and reduce hate crimes, which can detract in profound ways from people’s sense of safety and security.”
Manpreet Grewal, Director of Multicultural and Immigration Integration Services with Abbotsford Community Services, said: “Hate has always been a disease in our society, albeit in different forms, shapes and degrees over the years. Its new face on the internet can be dangerous and we are pleased to be a part of the process in raising awareness and providing information and online tools to combat it.”
Chief Superintendent Jim Gresham, Officer in Charge of BC RCMP Major Crime Section, said: “The RCMP fully supports this online resource centre and any other forum in which the public can learn more about hate crime and how to report it to police. This is one method for us to spread the word that hate crimes are not tolerated in our communities. The police throughout British Columbia take these matters seriously by conducting thorough investigations and action will be taken against the offenders.”
* Since 2002, over $9.1 million has been spent on funding programs and initiatives promoting multiculturalism, addressing racism and building inclusive communities in British Columbia.
* The most ethnically diverse province in Canada, B.C. welcomes nearly 40,000 new immigrants every year.
* In 2010, the Provincial Multiculturalism Vision was adopted: British Columbia is a model society that embraces the cultures and traditions of its people with opportunities for all to live and grow.
* Every year, the third week of November in British Columbia is proclaimed as Multiculturalism Week.
* Know Hate video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wl8ZEpxDgvk
* EmbraceBC – Province of B.C. multiculturalism site: www.embracebc.ca
* B.C. Multicultural Advisory Council: http://tinyurl.com/n4nvauv
* End Hate Crime booklet: http://www.embracebc.ca/embracebc/resources/index.page?WT.svl=LeftNav#end_hate_crime
* Unlearn Racism Educational resource: www.UnlearnRacism.ca