Hate & racism

Updated: February 2, 2022

B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner urges people to share experiences via Inquiry into hate in the pandemic

Vancouver B.C. – A new poll by BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner (BCOHRC) confirms a disturbing number of hate incidents during the pandemic. One in four people in B.C. have experienced or witnessed a hate incident since the start of the pandemic.

“It is an ugly and disturbing trend. Some members of our communities are being treated as less than human and therefore somehow deserving of vitriol and violence. It is devastating and unacceptable,” said Commissioner Kasari Govender. “But hate is not inevitable. That’s why we are conducting a public inquiry into hate in the pandemic and why we need to hear from people who have firsthand experiences of hate. We want to ensure our recommendations are rooted in the experiences of those most impacted.”

Note: Translations of the Commissioner’s quote are available below in the following languages: Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Farsi, French, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Punjabi, Spanish, Tagalog, Urdu and Vietnamese.

BCOHRC launched its year-long inquiry in August 2021. The intent of the inquiry is to examine hate in all its forms: not only racism and racial hate, but also hate directed at groups protected under B.C.’s Human Rights Code—including hate perpetuated on the basis of religion, gender identity, disability, Indigeneity, sexual orientation, poverty or homelessness.

People who have experiences to share are asked to fill out a confidential, online survey: bchumanrights.ca/hate-survey

The survey is available online from January 31 to March 6, 2022 in 15 languages. It is also available by phone at 1-855-412-1933 or with peer support by emailing inquiry@bchumanrights.ca. You can find more information about these options here.

“By sharing their experiences, people can make a difference,” said Govender. “If you are one of the 26 per cent of British Columbians impacted by hate during the pandemic, our inquiry team wants to hear from you.”

At the close of the Inquiry, the Commissioner will release a final report with recommendations to address, prevent and eliminate incidents of hate during times of crisis—including the COVID-19 pandemic—and in future.

 Poll highlights

Research.co conducted an online survey of 800 B.C. adults for BCOHRC in December 2021. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.


Media contact

To request an interview with Commissioner Kasari Govender, please contact Charlotte Kingston, Director, Communications, at media@bchumanrights.ca or 1-250-216-4534.

Media kit

Download our media kit for images of Commissioner Kasari Govender.


BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner exists to address the root causes of inequality, discrimination and injustice in B.C. by shifting laws, policies, practices and cultures. We do this work through education, research, advocacy, inquiry and monitoring.

About the Inquiry

In September 2020, legal changes came into force in B.C.’s Human Rights Code that gave the Commissioner new, broad powers to inquire into matters that would serve to promote or protect human rights in B.C., including through a public inquiry, and to report our findings publicly and to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.

A public inquiry is an official review of major events or issues to establish facts and make recommendations for change. It is an opportunity to delve deeply into the human rights implications of a particular incident or issue, to gather factual and expert evidence, to hear directly from people impacted through witness statements or surveys and to make recommendations to address the human rights issues raised. An inquiry is not a court of law and cannot make legal findings of guilt or liability or compel governments to accept inquiry recommendations.

The Inquiry into hate in the pandemic is the first conducted by an independent human rights commissioner in B.C. Learn more via our Inquiry website: hateinquiry.bchumanrights.ca

About the Commissioner

B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner, Kasari Govender, started her five-year term on Sept. 3, 2019. Since then, our Office has been working swiftly to build a strong team, to listen deeply to the concerns of British Columbians, to deliver education materials on our rights and responsibilities, to issue policy guidance to protect marginalized communities and to lay a human rights-based foundation for our work. As an independent officer of the Legislature, the Commissioner is uniquely positioned to ensure human rights in B.C. are protected, respected and advanced on a systemic level throughout our society.

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Translated quotes


قال المفوض كساري جوفندر: “إنه تَوَجُّه قبيح ومثير للقلق. إذ يُعامَل بعض أفراد مجتمعاتنا على أنهم أدنى من البشر وبالتالي هم يستحقون النقد اللاذع والعنف بطريقة ما. هذا أمر مُرَوع وغير مقبول.”
“لكن الكراهية ليست حتمية. ولهذا السبب نقوم بإجراء تحقيق شعبي في الكراهية أثناء الجائحة، ولذلك نحتاج أن نسمع من الأشخاص الذين لديهم تجارب مباشرة في الكراهية. نريد أن نضمن أن تكون توصياتنا متجذرة في تجارب أكثر المتأثرين”.

Chinese – Simplified

人权专员卡萨里·戈文德(Kasari Govender)表示:“我们发现了一个丑陋且令人感到不安的趋势——我们社区中的部分成员受到非人的对待,并在某种程度上受到了言语攻击和暴力。这是令人震惊、让人无法容忍的情况。然而,仇恨并非难以避免。这就是我们需要对疫情期间发生中的仇恨事件进行公开调查,向亲身经历过仇恨事件的省民了解其想法的原因。我们希望确保我们给出的建议,能够真正地帮助最受影响的民众。”

Chinese – Traditional

人權專員卡薩利·戈文德(Kasari Govender)表示:「我們發現一個醜陋並且令人感到不安的趨勢——我們社區中有部分成員受到非人對待,他們於某種程度上受到言語攻擊及暴力。這是令人震驚並且令人無法容忍的情況。


کاساری گوندر، کمیسیونر گفت: «این یک روند زشت و آزاردهنده است. با بعضی اعضای محله ما مثل انسان برخورد نمی‌شود و از این رو، تا حدی شایسته انتقاد و خشونت پنداشته شده‌اند. این ناخوشایند و غیرقابل قبول است.»
«اما نفرت اجتناب‌ناپذیر است. به همین علت ما یک تحقیق عمومی درباره نفرت در دوره این همه‌گیری و اهمیت دانستن نظرات افرادی انجام می‌دهیم که نفرت را مستقیم تجربه کرده‌اند. ما می‌خواهیم اطمینان حاصل کنیم که منشا توصیه‌های ما تجارب افرادی است که تحت بیش‌ترین تاثیر قرار گرفته‌اند.»


« C’est une tendance affreuse et inquiétante. On traite certains citoyens comme des êtres inférieurs et comme s’ils méritaient en quelque sorte le vitriol et la violence. C’est dévastateur et inacceptable », a déclaré la commissaire Kasari Govender. « On peut toutefois vaincre la haine. C’est pourquoi nous menons une enquête publique sur la haine dans le cadre de la pandémie et nous devons recueillir les témoignages de personnes qui ont vécu la haine. Nous voulons nous assurer que nos recommandations soient ancrées dans les expériences des personnes les plus touchées. »


“זוהי מגמה מכוערת ומטרידה. חלק מחברי הקהילות שלנו זוכים ליחס תת אנושי לכן הם ראויים לכאורה לארס ואלימות. זה הרסני ובלתי מתקבל על הדעת”, אמר הנציב קסארי גובנדר.
“אבל שנאה אינה בלתי נמנעת. זו הסיבה שאנחנו עורכים חקירה ציבורית על אירועי שנאה במהלך המגיפה ולכן אנחנו צריכים לשמוע מאנשים שחוו אירועי שנאה ממקור ראשון. אנחנו רוצים להבטיח שההמלצות שלנו מבוססות על החוויות של אלה שנפגעו בצורה המשמעותית ביותר”.


कमिश्नर कसारी गोवेन्दर ने कहा, “यह एक घिनौनी और परेशान करने वाली प्रवृत्ति है। हमारे समुदायों के कुछ सदस्यों को इंसानों से कम समझा जा रहा है और इसलिए उन्हें कटुता और हिंसा का पात्र समझा जा रहा है। यह विनाशकारी और अस्वीकार्य है।”
“लेकिन नफरत ना टल सकने वाली नहीं है। इसलिए हम महामारी में नफरत की सार्वजनिक जांच कर रहे हैं और हमें ऐसे लोगों से सुनने की जरूरत क्यों है जिन्हें नफरत का प्रत्यक्ष अनुभव हुआ है। हम यह सुनिश्चित करना चाहते हैं कि हमारी सिफारिशें सबसे अधिक प्रभावित लोगों के अनुभवों पर आधारित हों।”




“추악하고 불편한 추세이다. 우리 지역사회의 일부 구성원들이 마치 독설과 폭력을 당해야 마땅한 듯 인간 이하의 대우를 받고 있다. 우리 사회를 파괴시키는, 도저히 용납할 수 없는 행위”라고 카사리 고벤더 인권위원장이 말했습니다. “하지만 증오는 불가피한 것이다. 그래서 우리가 팬데믹 중의 증오에 관해 공공 협의를 하는 것이고, 증오를 직접 겪은 사람들의 이야기를 들어봐야 하는 것이다. 우리는 가장 큰 영향이 미친 사람들의 경험을 바탕으로 한 권고안을 내고자 한다.”


“É uma tendência feia e perturbadora. Alguns membros de nossas comunidades estão sendo tratados como sub-humanos e, portanto, como merecedores de violência verbal e física. É assolador e inaceitável”, diz a comissária Kasari Govender. “Mas o ódio não é inevitável. É por isso que estamos realizando uma consulta pública sobre ódio durante a pandemia, para ouvirmos pessoas que vivenciaram agressões em primeira mão. Queremos garantir que nossas recomendações se baseiem nas experiências das pessoas mais afetadas.”


ਕਮਿਸ਼ਨਰ ਕਸਾਰੀ ਗੋਵੇਂਦਰ ਨੇ ਕਿਹਾ, “ਇਹ ਘਿਣਾਉਣਾ ਅਤੇ ਪਰੇਸ਼ਾਨ ਕਰਨ ਵਾਲਾ ਰੁਝਾਨ ਹੈ। ਸਾਡੇ ਭਾਈਚਾਰਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਕੁਝ ਮੈਂਬਰਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਮਨੁੱਖਾਂ ਨਾਲੋਂ ਘੱਟ ਸਮਝਿਆ ਜਾ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਇਸ ਲਈ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਕੁੜੱਤਣ ਅਤੇ ਹਿੰਸਾ ਦਾ ਪਾਤਰ ਸਮਝਿਆ ਜਾ ਰਿਹਾ ਹੈ। ਇਹ ਵਿਨਾਸ਼ਕਾਰੀ ਅਤੇ ਅਸਵੀਕਾਰਨਯੋਗ ਹੈ।”
“ਪਰ ਨਫ਼ਰਤ ਨਾ ਟਾਲੀ ਜਾ ਸਕਣ ਵਾਲੀ ਨਹੀਂ ਹੈ। ਇਸ ਲਈ ਅਸੀਂ ਮਹਾਂਮਾਰੀ ਦੇ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਨਫ਼ਰਤ ਦੀ ਜਨਤਕ ਜਾਂਚ ਕਰ ਰਹੇ ਹਾਂ ਅਤੇ ਸਾਨੂੰ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਤੋਂ ਸੁਣਨ ਦੀ ਲੋੜ ਕਿਉਂ ਹੈ ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਨੇ ਨਫ਼ਰਤ ਨੂੰ ਸਿੱਧਾ ਅਨੁਭਵ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ। ਅਸੀਂ ਇਹ ਯਕੀਨੀ ਬਣਾਉਣਾ ਚਾਹੁੰਦੇ ਹਾਂ ਕਿ ਸਾਡੀਆਂ ਸਿਫ਼ਾਰਸ਼ਾਂ ਵੱਧ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਪ੍ਰਭਾਵਿਤ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਦੇ ਤਜਰਬਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਆਧਾਰ ‘ਤੇ ਹੋਣ।”


“Es una tendencia horrible y alarmante. Algunos miembros de nuestras comunidades están siendo tratados de manera infrahumana y, por tanto, como si de alguna forma merecieran ser insultados y atacados. Es devastador e inaceptable”, señaló el Comisario Kasari Govender. “Pero el odio no es inevitable. Por este motivo estamos llevando a cabo una encuesta pública acerca del odio durante la pandemia y necesitamos saber de personas que hayan tenido de primera mano experiencias de odio. Queremos asegurarnos de que nuestras recomendaciones se basen en las experiencias de aquellas personas que han sido más afectadas”.


“Ito ay isang pangit at nakababahalang kalakaran. Ang ilang miyembro ng ating mga komunidad ay itinuturing na mas mababa kaysa sa tao at samakatuwid ay karapat-dapat sa vitriol at karahasan. Ito ay nakakapinsala at hindi katanggap-tanggap, “sabi ni Komisyoner Kasari Govender. “Ngunit ang poot ay hindi maiiwasan. Iyon ang dahilan kung bakit nagsasagawa kami ng pampublikong pagtatanong tungkol sa poot sa pandemya at kung bakit kailangan naming makarinig mula sa mga taong may personal na karanasan sa poot. Gusto naming matiyak na ang aming mga rekomendasyon ay nakaugat sa mga karanasan ng mga pinaka-apektado.”


“یہ ایک بدصورت اور پریشان کن رجحان ہے۔ ہماری کمیونٹیز کے کچھ لوگوں کے ساتھ انسان سے کم تر سلوک کیا جا رہا ہے اور اس لیے وہ کسی نہ کسی طرح تلخ تنقید اور تشدد کے مستحق ہیں۔ یہ تباہ کن اور ناقابل قبول ہے،‘‘ کمشنر کساری گویندر (Kasari Govender) نے کہا۔ “لیکن نفرت ناگزیر نہیں ہے۔ یہی وجہ ہے کہ ہم ایک عوامی انکوائری کر رہے ہیں کہ عالمی وباء میں نفرت کے متعلق ہمیں کیوں ان لوگوں کی باتیں سننے کی ضرورت ہے جن کو خود نفرت کے تجربے ہیں، ۔ ہم اس بات کو یقینی بنانا چاہتے ہیں کہ ہماری سفارشات سب سے زیادہ متاثر ہونے والوں کے تجربات میں جڑی ہوں۔”


Ủy viên Kasari Govender nói: “Đó là một xu hướng xấu xí và đáng lo ngại. Một số thành viên trong cộng đồng của chúng ta đang bị coi là thấp hèn và do đó phần nào đáng bị mạt sát và bạo lực. Điều này gây tổn hại nặng nề và không thể chấp nhận được.”
“Nhưng sự thù ghét không phải là không thể tránh được. Đó là lý do chúng tôi đang tiến hành một cuộc điều tra dân chúng về sự thù ghét trong đại dịch và lý do chúng tôi cần lắng nghe ý kiến từ những người đã trực tiếp trải nghiệm sự thù ghét. Chúng tôi muốn đảm bảo các khuyến nghị của chúng tôi được khởi nguồn từ trải nghiệm của những người bị ảnh hưởng nhiều nhất.”