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Jews Again Most Targeted Group in GTA Municipalities

June 17, 2020
B’nai Brith Canada
TORONTO – Newly revealed police data shows that Jews were once again the most targeted group for hate crimes in both Toronto and York Region in 2019.

These numbers are consistent with what was recently reported in B’nai Brith Canada’s 2019 Annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, which found an alarming 62.8 per cent increase in the number of incidents in Ontario compared to the previous year.

In total, 44 out of 139 hate-related incidents recorded in the city of Toronto last year targeted the Jewish community, amounting to 32% of all hate crimes. The Toronto Police Service (TPS) recorded incidents targeting Israelis separately from incidents targeting Jews, noting there were also five of the former. With Israelis and multi-bias cases included, the total number of incidents involving antisemitism in Toronto adds up to about 57, or 41% of the city’s hate crimes.

Meanwhile, in nearby York Region, Jews were targeted in 40 out of 133 total recorded incidents, amounting to 30% of all incidents there.

Despite Jews making up only a fraction of the populations in these municipalities, this is far from the first time antisemitism has disproportionately appeared. Canadian Jews have been the country’s most targeted minority for the past three consecutive years according to government data.

“We are sad to see that the trends we’ve been warning of for some time now are coming to fruition, and the alarming rise of antisemitism is continuing to expand,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “We call on all levels of government to recognize this problem and combat it immediately by adopting B’nai Brith’s Eight-Point Plan to Tackle Antisemitism.”

In Toronto, the second and third most targeted minorities were the LGBTQ and Muslim communities, respectively. In York Region, they were the black and LGBTQ communities, respectively.