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Hate Crimes

Our Commitment to You

Incidents and crimes rooted in hate continue to be underreported in Canada. Kingston Police recognizes that stigma, bias, prejudice and discrimination exist in our community. We are committed to taking a stance against hate by making hate crime investigations a high priority and ensuring proper support for victims to create a safer and more inclusive community. Hate has no place in our communities. We encourage residents to report any incident that is motivated by hate or bias. We appreciate your cooperation in helping to eliminate these types of incidents from our communities.

There is no specific offence of Hate Crime in the Criminal Code of Canada. There are only three offences in the Code that specifically pertain to hate, they fall under the Hate-Propaganda section and they are as follows:

  1. Section 318 - Advocating Genocide.
  2. Section 319(1) - Public Incitement of Hatred
  3. Section 319(2) - Wilful Promotion of Hatred.

Besides these offences, there are many other offences the public often refer to as Hate Crimes, however police reference these as Hate-Motivated or Bias-Motivated Crime.

Hate-Motivated or Bias-Motivated Crime involves the commission of a criminal offence based solely upon the victims race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender, disability, or any other similar factor(s). 


In order for police to lay a Hate-Motivated or Bias-Motivated criminal charge, there are two things that must first occur: 

  1. A criminal offence must have occurred against a person or property (e.g. an assault, mischief, harassment, uttering threats, etc.).
  2. Hate or Bias toward a victim must have motivated the criminal offence (e.g. because of the victim's race, nationality, ethnic origin, language, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender, disability or any other similar factor(s))


PenaltiesIf convicted of a criminal offence and it is proven to be motivated by hate or bias, higher penalties may be imposed by the judge during sentencing.

  • Write down all information about what happened (date, time, location, etc.)
  • Any witnesses
  • Any video
  • Take photos of anything you see/saw (license plate numbers, description of suspect (s) and/or vehicles, etc.)
  • Keep any evidence
  • Write down any other pertinent information

Hate/bias motivated crimes and incidents impact our community members in a number of negative ways. The residual impact of such crimes and incidents often result in feelings of fear, marginalization and alienation.

In an effort to ensure that the members of our community who are victimized by hate motivated crimes and incidents receive the necessary support and reassurance, and to help mitigate and minimize the above noted concerns, Kingston Police Reassurance Protocol/Program has been formally implemented by the Community Oriented Response and Engagement (CORE) Unit:

  • The Equity, Diversity & Inclusion officer or designate will ensure that they follow up with the victim / complainant of all Hate Crime and Hate Incidents.
  • Follow ups with the victims / complainants will be done in a timely manner. Timely follow ups are imperative in these matters where re-assurance and public / personal safety is part of our service delivery. During the follow up process, Victim Services, and any other relevant social support service, will be offered.
  • The Equity, Diversity & Inclusion officer that conducts the follow up will ensure that a supplementary narrative is added to the original occurrence report
  • The Equity, Diversity & inclusion officer will also track all hate-motivated and bias-motivated incidents and criminal offences to develop proactive strategies aimed at reducing hate-motivated and bias-motivated crimes.

Freedom of expression is an enshrined fundamental freedom in Section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

Section 2 of the Charter reads:

Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

  1. Freedom of conscience and religion;
  2. Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
  3. Freedom of peaceful assembly; and
  4. Freedom of association.

Hate speech is NOT protected by the Charter.

How to Report a Hate Crime


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