COVID-19: Anti-Asian hate crimes in Vancouver skyrocketed by over 700 percent in 2020

February 21, 2021

By Straight |

Although many Asian Canadian communities have been celebrating Lunar New Year, newly released statistics about hate crimes in Vancouver cast a pall over the previous year.

In its year-end report for 2020 released on February 3, the Vancouver Police Department stated that hate crimes increased by 97 percent from 142 incidents in 2019 to 280 in 2020.

More specifically, anti-Asian hate crimes escalated by 717 percent from 2019 (12 cases) to 2020 (98 cases).

After the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in B.C., numerous reports of anti-Asian attacks and vandalism arose, including the lions at the Millennium Gate and the Chinese Cultural Centre in Chinatown being defaced with racist graffiti, and several individuals being verbally or physically attacked (including non-Asian people mistaken for being Asian).

At a news conference today, Premier John Horgan said that the provincial government will bring forward anti-racism legislation this year.

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