As India warns its citizens in Canada about a "sharp increase in hate crimes", data provided by Statistics Canada shows that there has been a 159% increase in the total number of hate crimes in the country since 2014, as reported by the police.
Canadian cities that recorded the highest number of hate crimes in 2021 were Toronto (779), Vancouver (429), Montréal (260), Ottawa (260), and Calgary, (139), as per a report published by Statistics Canada in August.
Hate crimes based on race or ethnicity have also witnessed an increase since 2014. Statistics Canada data showed a 182% increase in such crimes. A 27% increase in hate crimes was recorded since 2020.
A report by the Canadian Centre for Justice and Community Safety Statistics further added that all provinces and territories reported increases in the number of hate crimes in 2021, except for Yukon which remained the same.
"More hate crimes targeting religion (+67%) (including Jewish, Muslim and Catholic) and sexual orientation (+64%) accounted for most of the national change, along with more incidents targeting race or ethnicity (+6%)," the report said.
Among the populations being targeted by crimes motivated by race or ethnicity, a 21% increase was noted in crimes targeting the South Asian population in 2021. In 2019, there were 81 incidents reported which increased to 164 in 2021.
"Much of the rise in hate crimes targeting race or ethnicity was the result of more reported crimes targeting the Arab or West Asian population (+58 incidents or +46%), and following large increases in 2020, more crimes targeting the East or Southeast Asian population (+42 incidents or +16%), and the South Asian population (+29 incidents or +21%)," the report said.
India's advisory was issued in the middle of a huge diplomatic row over a so-called referendum by "pro-Khalistan" elements on a separate homeland for Sikhs.
Canada is home to 1.6 million people of Indian origin and non-resident Indians. This year, there have been at least two incidents of attacks on Hindu temples in the country. On September 15, a temple was defaced with anti-India graffiti.