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Hate crimes in Ottawa: Number of hate incidents drops, while numbers for Jewish and Muslim communities rise significantly

Hate crimes in Ottawa: Number of hate incidents drops, while numbers for Jewish and Muslim communities rise significantly

Ottawa police reported a slight decrease in reported incidents of hate and bias compared to the same period last year. However, there was a significant increase in incidents targeting Muslim and Jewish populations.

According to police, reported hate crimes are down two percent compared to 2023 statistics so far. There have been 225 reported hate-motivated incidents so far this year. There were 230 reported hate crimes by this time in 2023.

Seventy-four incidents targeted the Jewish community in 2024, compared to 36 in 2023, an increase of more than 100 percent. Incidents against Muslims also rose by more than 100 percent, with 15 incidents in 2024 compared to seven in 2023.

Police and politicians are sounding the alarm over a significant increase in anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim incidents in Canada since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas on October 7, 2023.

Of the hate crimes reported this year, 174 were classified as criminal and 51 as hate-motivated but non-criminal. Twenty-six people have been charged with 65 counts of hate-motivated offences, with four formal warnings under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

In addition, there have been 36 incidents against Ottawa’s Black population so far this year, 24 against the LGBTQ+ community, and 14 against the Arab population (made up of people from West Asia, the Middle East and North Africa).

“The OPS Hate and Bias Crime Unit is actively working with the Attorney General’s Office to thoroughly investigate all reported incidents,” police said in a press release on Monday.