Today, B'nai Brith Canada, an organization that advocates for Jewish Canadians, released its Annual Audit of anti-Semitic incidents and the results paint a distressing portrait of the state of Canadian culture and public discourse.
According to the report, there were 2,014 reported anti-Semitic incidents in Canada in 2018. Not only does this figure represent "a 16.5% increase over 2017," it also marks "the first time since 1982 that there have been more than 2,000 incidents," shattering a shameful record.
In Canada this year, the Prairies have been the site of the most striking spike in incidents: "there were 131 recorded incidents of antisemitism in the Prairies, up from 54 the previous year" and representing a 143% increase according to the B'nai Brith Canada report.
The report executive summary also highlights the troubling fact that "perpetrators are rarely held accountable for antisemitic harassment and vandalism."
"We are nearly two decades into the 21st century, yet we continue to witness a regrettably continuous evolution of antisemitism in Canada," writes Ran Ukashi, National Director for The League For Human Rights.
"What was once a fringe phenomenon now attracts mainstream legitimacy among a small element of Canadian society," he continues.
Anti-Semitic hate crimes continue to dominate headlines. Just this past weekend, residents of the Jewish community in Vaughan, Ontario woke up to find anti-Semitic and neo-Nazi graffiti spray-painted on a home garage, according to Narcity.
Despite this disturbing trend, Ukashi states that "Canada remains a fundamentally decent and tolerant society."
"But to maintain its multicultural and inclusive character, more must be done by elected officials, police agencies, civil society, and the public at large. We cannot afford to be silent when asked by future generations what we could have done to combat antisemitism, racism, and bigotry in all its forms."