Ottawa had one of the highest rates of hate crime among Canadian cities last year, according to numbers released Monday by Statistics Canada.
There were 105 hate crimes reported to police in 2018 in the capital, or 9.8 incidents per 100,000 people.
That placed Ottawa third behind only Hamilton, where there were 17.1 hate crimes per 100,000 last year, and Quebec City, where there were 11 per 100,000.
César Ndéma-Moussa, president of Roots and Culture, an Ottawa organization that advocates for members of black and racialized communities, as well as other vulnerable groups, found those numbers “disturbing, yet unsurprising.”
“Of course, this contradicts the vision that we have of peaceful Ottawa,” Ndéma-Moussa said.
César Ndéma-Moussa of Ottawa advocacy group Roots and Culture said hate crime has become a bleak reality for some communities. (CBC/Simon Gohier)
“When we look … at a global context in terms of rise of white supremacy and white nationalism, we cannot be surprised,” he said.
Those incidents have spilled over into 2019: There were four incidents in recent months of graffiti targeting Ottawa’s black community, including one family who found their garage door spray-painted with the N-word in May.
In recent years, vandals have also targeted Jewish and Muslim communities in Ottawa, and the city has been the site of anti-immigration rallies.
“This is the reality of Ottawa today,” Ndéma-Moussa said.
Amira Elghawaby, a board member with…