Almost one-third of reported hate crimes in Canada in 2015 where Indigenous people were the victims occurred in Thunder Bay, Ont., according to new data from Statistics Canada.
The federal agency released its latest report on police-reported hate crime in Canada on Tuesday. In 2015, Thunder Bay had the highest rate of hate crime reported to statisticians by police among the country's census metropolitan areas with 22.3 per 100,000 people.
Next on the list is Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo with a rate of 9.4 reported hate crimes per 100,000 people.
Statistics Canada attributed Thunder Bay's rate in 2015 to "mostly the result of 10 incidents against Aboriginal populations, which accounted for 29 per cent of the total anti-Aboriginal hate crimes reported in Canada in 2015," according to the report.
The study also noted that Thunder Bay's high rate was "influenced by the introduction of a hate crime awareness campaign in 2012." Around that time, Thunder Bay police also began changing how they tracked and reported hate crimes.
Thunder Bay's reported hate crime rate in 2012 was 16.6 per 100,000 people. Only one hate crime was reported the previous year.
Statistics Canada said hate crimes can mean reported offences like assault or mischief where there is evidence that the crime was motivated by prejudice or hatred, as well as the four specific offences listed in the Criminal Code as stand-alone hate crimes.
The agency also noted that the information in its report only covers incidents that were reported to police. The agency added that, according to another one of its surveys, about two-thirds of individuals who said they had been victims of hate-motivated incidents did not report them to police.