MONTREAL — Canada had a record number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2017, B’nai Brith Canada reported in its annual audit.
There were 1,752 incidents of harassment, vandalism and violence, a 1.4 percent increase over the record 1,728 last year, according to the Audit of Antisemitic Incidents released Tuesday.
The vast majority of the incidents took place in Canada’s two largest provinces. Ontario recorded nearly half the total, with 808, while Quebec had 474. The rest were scattered among the nation’s eight other provinces.
Acts of anti-Semitic vandalism doubled to 322 from 158 — the audit called it a “whopping national increase.”
The audit also saw as a “disturbing anti-Semitic trend” of a rise in anti-Semitism from both the far-right and far-left of the political spectrum.
Quebec, with Canada’s only majority francophone population, “is home to Islamist extremist enclaves, a sophisticated far-right scene, and many of Canada’s largest anti-Israel groups,” the audit said.
To counter these trends, the audit proposed an eight-point plant to increase resources for police hate crime units, a national “Action Plan” and other measures.
“Anti-Semitism has grown as a serious concern for Canadian Jews, affecting them at school, in the workplace and even in their own places of worship,” B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn said.
“[W]e need a concerted national effort to ensure that anti-Semitic outbreaks do not become a fact of life for Jews in this country, as in other developed countries such as France and Sweden.”