Calgary is no longer the hate-crime capital of Canada, but city police say the numbers in a new Statistics Canada report can be misleading.
While the report released yesterday indicated there were 1,036 reported hate crimes in the country in 2008 — a 35 per cent spike — Calgary dropped to 57 reported hate crimes, down from a leading 83 in 2007.
But Calgary police hate-crimes co-ordinator Const. Brian Denison said he is reluctant to get too excited about the statistics, since most hate crimes and hate-motivated incidents go unreported.
“In reality we know hate crimes are under-reported, and our goal is to educate people and let people know every hate incident and every hate crime should be reported,” Denison said.
According to the report, 55 per cent of national hate crimes were related to ethnicity — with 43 incidents in Calgary alone.
Calgary musician Tristin Chanel is not surprised as she was the recent victim of an extreme case of racism in the city.
“I am really disappointed but I do see it all the time, and even though I’ve lived in New York, Toronto and other big cities, I see racism the most in Calgary,” Chanel said.
“It’s really sad because you would think it would going away, but it seems like it’s getting worse and being instilled in children.”