Over 1,100 Anti-Asian Attacks Reported in Canada During COVID-19 Pandemic

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Over a thousand Asian Canadians were spit on, coughed at, verbally and physically assaulted, among other abuses, during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report from the Chinese Canadian National Council (CCNC) revealed.

The CCNC Toronto chapter found 1,150 incidents of anti-Asian racism after compiling surveys from websites, Fight COVID Racism and Elimin8hate, reports Global News.

The surveys covered incidents of hate in Canada between March 10, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021. Between Jan. 1, 2021, and the end of February alone, respondents reported 507 attacks.

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In the 643 incidents that happened between March 10, 2020, and the end of December 2020, CCNC was able to break down the details. 

It found 73.4% of reports involved verbal harassment, 10.7% were cases of physical force, aggression or unwanted physical contact, 10% were coughed at or spit on, while 3.9% said they experienced anti-Asian vandalism.

British Columbia experienced the most number of incidents, accounting for 44.4% of the 2020 findings. This is followed by Ontario with 39.6 % and then Quebec with 6.5%.

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The statistics showed that victims of physical assault were mostly seniors above 55 years old, representing 57%, followed by children and youth under 18 years of age, representing 42% of the total. The report also revealed that women represented the majority of the cases at nearly 60%.

Many of the victims felt mental distress and emotional harm, representing 73.2% of the survey. Meanwhile, 8.4% said the incidents resulted in physical harm.

The group was unable to perform the same breakdown for the 2021 survey results due to a lack of resources.

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CCNC executive director Justin Kong noted the report “highlights the seriousness of anti-Asian racism in Canada as well.”

“Our per capita instance count is even greater than the United States — so while we often sometimes think anti-Asian racism only happens in the United States, in this instance, you can see in terms of the per capita rates, it’s even more serious than the United States.”

According to Kong, anti-Asian racism has long been a problem in Canada, but the pandemic has caused the attacks to happen with more severity, frequency and pervasiveness.

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Back in February, a separate report presented to the Vancouver police board revealed hate crime incidents against Asians in the city increased by 717% in 2020, NextShark previously reported.

Kong added he hoped all levels of government continue to provide the resources to track anti-Asian racism incidents which were recorded until the end of 2020.

The CNCC also suggested measures to protect Asian Canadians against racist attacks, such as educating the public to prevent misinformation about Asian Canadians and protecting some of the communities’ most vulnerable populations, such as seniors and new immigrants.

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