This Act Doesn't Represent Us:A five-year (2018 - 2022) study on Canadian race-based hate incidents collected through English media-reported incidents
People from around the world cross land and sea to reach the promised land of Canadian multiculturalism and diversity — an international image that Canada eagerly promotes and prides itself on as one of its greatest strengths.
Beneath that veneer, however, is racism ingrained so deeply in Canadian society that it appears natural to the naked eye — normalized so extensively, since the first moment of colonial contact, that it is the prevailing factor in how people engage not just with their neighbours, but also with the institutions that run the nation. While Canadians may clutch their pearls in horror at the rawer, more physically violent forms of race-based hate incidents, the daily experiences of racialized and Indigenous peoples are obscured behind the veil of purported multiculturalism.
So what does racism in Canada really look like?
This first-of-its-kind research project seeks to answer this question by tracking and collecting data on race-based hate incidents reported by mainstream, English-language media sources in Canada. Over a five-year period (2018-2022), Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation collected and analyzed race-based hate incidents, creating a unique data set that begins to paint a fuller picture of interpersonal, systemic and other forms of racism across the nation. The research illustrates characteristics such as frequency and locations of incidents, ethnicities targeted, intersectionalities (religion, gender identity, sexuality, etc.) and more.
This unprecedented data set highlights the varied nature and complexity of race-based hate incidents perpetrated against racialized and Indigenous peoples in Canada as reported by the media. The harm caused by such incidents is both palpable and clearly pervasive. As such, we are sharing our data with researchers, governments and institutions to build towards a more equitable future for all Canadians. We hope this data will inspire more Canadians to advocate change locally in their respective communities. Our dashboard houses all data collected, including links to the original media sources with the option to download raw data for further analysis.
Snapshot of the data
This unique race-based data set begins to paint a fuller picture of interpersonal, systemic and other forms of racism in Canada, through incidents in:
The above findings illustrate the profound way in which racism is deeply woven into the foundational fabric of Canadian society — with far-reaching and devastating implications. These are the areas we must focus on for reform.
Call to Action
Government policies and practices currently in place to address racism are insufficient, at best. Our primary purpose for this study has always been to highlight the critical need for nation-wide data on race-based hate incidents to drive necessary anti-racist reform. Canada must become a data-driven country to improve equity and outcomes for racialized and Indigenous peoples, thereby creating transparency so all Canadians understand the importance of anti-racism work in Canada.
We ask the Government of Canada to hire an independent agency — not Statistics Canada or law enforcement/policing organizations, due to broken trust in racialized communities — to collect national data on race-based hate incidents and their characteristics. As previous initiatives have failed due to government agendas and lack of funding, it is paramount that this work is data-driven and done in partnership with provincial and municipal governments, but without interference from any governments, including law enforcement or the wider justice system. The independent agency must receive adequate, ongoing funding (separate from Canada’s Anti-Racism Strategy budget), in order to collect data as trends evolve over time, and a comprehensive understanding of anti-racism pedagogy.
While our study is urging one major recommendation — for the federal government to hire an independent agency to collect nation-wide data on race-based hate incidents — we encourage policy-makers to use our data to generate further recommendations in areas such as politics, government services, media, policing, education, sports, workplaces, businesses, online and other industries/sectors where racialized Canadians are negatively impacted.
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