British Columbia

Hundreds gather in Vancouver to protest anti-Asian hate

Similar protests are being held in cities across Canada and the U.S.

Police say anti-Asian crimes have sharply increased during the pandemic

About 500 people were at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday to express their concern about a sharp rise in anti-Asian hate since the pandemic began. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

About 500 people gathered in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery Sunday afternoon to rally against anti-Asian hate and racism.

On Facebook, organizers said the gathering was to oppose discrimination against Asians and to mourn the victims of the recent Atlanta shooting, six of whom were identified as Asian women. 

Similar protests are being held Sunday in cities across Canada and the U.S. 

Data from the Vancouver Police Department shows the number of anti-Asian hate crimes rose from a dozen incidents in 2019 to 98 in 2020, while general hate incidents nearly doubled. 

Vancouver police confirmed that the spike in anti-Asian hate crimes coincided with the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in March 2020. 

Earlier this month, Premier John Horgan said there are difficulties in prosecuting hate crimes, opposed to violent crimes, but it is important to do so.

With files from Jon Hernandez