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End Racism and Hate: Your Right. Your Responsibility.

What’s Happening Around BC

Initial Report on the Inquiry into Hate in the Pandemic

Posted on November 23, 2022

Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network supports communities across B.C. that are experiencing incidents of racism and hate, including by engaging with and supporting the B.C.’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner (BCOHRC). As the province saw a surge of racism and hate incidents during the pandemic, the BCOHRC began conducting an Inquiry into Hate in the Pandemic.

The first phase of the Inquiry was collecting data surrounding racism and hate incidents to determine appropriate strategies and tools to address them. Over 930 people who witnessed, experienced or were affected by hate incidents during the pandemic participated in an online survey. In June 2022, the BCOHRC released a report on the survey that revealed the following key findings:

  • 38% reported they witnessed or experienced a hate incident for the first time after the start of the pandemic in early 2020;
  • 60% reported that the hate incidents were motivated by race, ethnicity, or ancestry;
  • 56% felt the increase in hate incidents was because of a normalization of hate incidents both online and in-person;
  • 39% of the hate incidents happened on social media
  • 48% reported that the incidents occurred in outdoor public spaces;
  • 72% did not report the hate incident they experienced or witnessed to any individual or organization, including police;
  • 68% said they didn’t think a report would make a difference.

The Inquiry is crucial in creating a safer and more welcoming space for all British Columbians. Recognizing that more work needs to be done, Resilience BC Anti-Racism Network echoes the words of Commissioner Karasi Govender who said, To address the rise of hate in our communities, people who experience hate need to feel that they have somewhere safe to turn to seek support, and we need mechanisms in place to hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. Without safe and credible responses and supports, we risk sending the message that hate is okay in our society and allowing it to flourish.”

BCOHRC will release its final report on the Inquiry along with recommendations in early 2023.

Learn more about the report here.