Hate and hate crime in Canada
This chapter discusses the hate crime problem in Canada, and examines the challenges faced by law enforcement and the legal communities when dealing with hate crimes. In the United States the term “hate crime” was first coined in the mid-1980s with reference to crimes and incidents directed at specific ethnic and other identifiable groups. In Canada, hate crime is dealt with in Sections 318, 319, and 320 of the Canadian Criminal Code. Canadian legislation requires the police officer to obtain written consent from the Attorney General in order to proceed with charges under the hate crime laws. The fact that only a handful of people in Canada have been prosecuted under hate crime legislation since the 1970s speaks volumes about the legal issues facing the Canadian judicial system. Communities, and members of the judiciary, must speak out against intolerance, racism, and hate crime.