Hate Crime

Incidents and crimes rooted in hate continue to be underreported in Canada. But your voice can change that. If you see or experience hate, report it. We want everyone to live in a safe space, and by reporting, we can investigate these matters, bring appropriate charges, help support victims to create a safer, inclusive community.

Together we can stop the hate.

See or experience hate? Report it. 

The first step in stopping hate is speaking up. So don’t hesitate to report any incident you believe to be motivated by hate. We will investigate all crimes and matters surrounding hate. We will also ensure victims get the support and resources needed to feel safe and protected in our community.

When a hate incident is reported, we begin an investigation that involves a specialized team trained in hate crimes. A victim-centered approach is always at the forefront. Our investigators will work with victims to provide resources for healing, help them understand the investigative process, and determine ways to reduce the harm.

Emergency: 911

Non-emergency: 519-570-9777

How do we classify hate and crime?

In Canada, knowing how to classify hate and crime can be confusing. This can be because hate, prejudice and bias are covered by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, The Criminal Code of Canada, provincial human rights codes, and precedent from previous court cases. These documents are created by provincial and federal governments and only some aspects are enforced by police. When you make a hate-related complaint, there are three ways to classify the behaviour: 

 Hate Crime
  • Hate crimes are criminal offences based on race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or any other similar factor. 
  • A hate crime is a crime that can be changed using one of three laws under the Criminal Code of Canada.
  • The three laws are Advocating Genocide, Public Incitement of Hatred and Wilful Promotion of Hatred.

  • The definition of these three crimes is very narrow and often only covers a portion of what people consider is a hate crime. Very few incidents meet this legal standard.


 Hate-motivated Crime
  •  A section of the criminal code allows for an increased sentence if another crime was motivated by hate, prejudice, or bias factors.
  • In the example of hate-motivated graffiti, graffiti is the underlying crime, but a judge could increase the sentence using the hate-motivated factors.

 Hate-motivated Incident
  •  Hate-motivated incidents are classified as incidents rooted in hate, bias, prejudice, or discrimination but are not breaches of any code or charter.
  • In these situations, we will investigate to determine if an offence has occurred and will always make attempts to ensure that victims are provided support by community agencies and police.

Additional support and community resources

Hate crimes and incidents can be traumatic for the victim and their family and community members. Several organizations work together to provide support and resources.

 Anishnabeg Outreach

Anishnabeg Outreach provides Indigenous people with access to culturally appropriate services that work to support individuals to heal and overcome trauma. Anishnabeg Outreach provides various support programs aimed at healing all aspects of self; spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental realms including support for those who have experienced hate crimes.     

Visit www.aocan.org

Waterloo Regional Police Service's Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Unit

The Waterloo Regional Police Service’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Unit was inaugurated in 2017 and began to lead the Service in actively pursuing a diverse and inclusive workforce, as well as creating equitable outcomes for our members and the community we serve. 

Learn more about the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Unit

 The Coalition of Muslim Women of Kitchener Waterloo

The Coalition of Muslim Women of KW has long understood the need to document and fully track hate crimes, hate incidents and discrimination, and has laid strong foundations over the past ten years to ramp up this work. This site provides a reporting system to document incidents of hate and discrimination motivated by Islamophobia, Racism, and/or Xenophobia within the Waterloo Region and surrounding areas.

Visit www.reportinghate.ca

 SPECTRUM Waterloo Region's Rainbow Community Space

SPECTRUM Waterloo Region's Rainbow Community Space is an organization that serves, affirms, and supports the well-being of 2SLGBTQ+ individuals in Waterloo Region. They have a variety of peer support groups that can help victims of hate crimes, hate incidents, and discrimination to find community and connect with resources. 

Visit www.ourspectrum.com

Sulah by Community Justice Initiatives (CJI)

CJI has partnered with the Coalition of Muslim Women of KW to offer restorative approaches in situations of harm stemming from Islamophobia, racism or xenophobia (anti-immigrant sentiment) and as a pro-active measure to build relationships across cultures. 

Learn more about Sulah

Victim Services of Waterloo Region

Victim Services of Waterloo Region is a community based non-profit organization that provides support and services to victims of crime and tragic circumstances within the Region of Waterloo.

Our Service Delivery Model is based on empowerment through information, options and alternatives, so individuals can make well informed choices to assist them in their personal paths to recovery.

Visit www.vswr.ca

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