Hate in the pandemic

The Inquiry arose out of the significant increase in reported hate-related incidents, including online incidents in British Columbia, since the start of the pandemic in early 2020. The Inquiry is focused on hate in all its forms, not only racism and racial hate. For the purposes of this Inquiry, “hate incidents” are actions and speech rooted in prejudice that, in the view of the person who experiences or witnesses it, are:

  • aimed at a person or a group of people because of their actual or perceived individual, collective or intersecting characteristics including age, disability, gender expression or identity, ethnicity, Indigenous identity, place of origin, race, immigration status, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and social condition, and
  • intended to, or does, significantly dehumanize, humiliate, degrade, injure, silence and/or victimize the targeted individual or group.

More information about the Inquiry is available in the terms of reference.

Invitation to present to the Inquiry

During the Inquiry BCOHRC will receive presentations specific to the Inquiry topic of hate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A presentation is any information that an organization wishes to provide to BCOHRC to assist in answering the following questions:

  • Who does your organization represent, serve or work with?

  • Has your organization seen a rise in hate during the pandemic? If so, are you able to share any stories or data you’ve been collecting about the frequency and the nature of these hate incidents, the specific demographic groups (e.g., age, race, gender) within your communities that have been frequently targeted and the impact on your communities?

  • What role do you think the pandemic has played in the rise of hate your organization has seen? What could have been done differently by government and other duty bearers to reduce this impact?

  • Has your organization responded to this increase in hate (such as increased direct support, creating a reporting line, assisting people to report to the police, assisting people to file complaints with the BC Human Rights Tribunal, political advocacy, public campaigns, etc.) or do you have plans to do so in the future? What have been the strengths and challenges of those approaches?

  • What services or mechanisms exists in your community to report hate incidents or to support people who have experienced hate incidents, and what are the strengths and challenges of those?

  • Is there anything else you’d like to add to inform recommendations to address, eliminate or prevent hate incidents during times of crisis and beyond?

Written and/or video submissions from community organizations

Your organization is welcome to make either an oral presentation, written submission, and/or video submission. If you choose to make a written and/or video submissions, please do so by March 31, 2022.

Video and written submissions can be sent to BCOHRC by uploading them here: https://ln5.sync.com/dl/016ad7c00#6q2z2cvg-3mrrr9hf-dpi4abgd-vacqnc4b

To upload a file:

  1. Please download and complete this consent form.
  2. Navigate to the link (click here to open the link in a new tab/window).
  3. Click Upload files(the button on the right-hand side of the screen).
  4. Drag files or folders from your computer into the window, or click Choose files +and select as many files as you’d like from the computer file browser.
    • Please include your/your organization’s name and the date in the filename using the following format: FullName_YYYY-MM-DD or OrganizationName_YYYY-MM-DD (for example, our Office would use BCOHRC_2021-11-01 for a file submitted November 1)
  5. Click Add or Open once you have selected a file. The upload should then begin automatically.
  6. Once a small checkmark () appears next to the name of the file you’re uploading, the upload is complete. You can now close the tab/window or otherwise navigate away from Sync.

Note on privacy: Files you upload will only be shared with the Inquiry team. The platform we are using to enable uploads is Sync. Sync is an alternative to Dropbox meets federal and provincial data privacy standards, including by storing data in Canada and using end-to-end encryption. If you have questions or concerns about your privacy during this inquiry, please feel free to contact us at inquiry@bchumanrights.ca

This information is collected in accordance with BCOHRC’s privacy policy. 

Alternatively, community organizations can send written submissions to inquiry@bchumanrights.ca or by mail to BCOHRC at 536-999 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC V6C 3E1

Apply to make an oral submission

The Inquiry community presentations will take place in November 2021 and will be hosted through Zoom (an online meeting platform) with the option to join by telephone.

If your organization is interested in either making a presentation or in the roundtable presentation format, please apply by:

If you have any questions, please email us at engagement@bchumanrights.ca

What's next

The Commissioner will be relying on what she hears from community in these oral presentations and written and/or video submissions along with other information gathered during the Inquiry to inform the Inquiry final report and recommendations.

To start in a good way, we will host an opening ceremony from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 4, 2021, the day before the first community presentations begin, to hear some reflections and teachings from knowledge holders from different groups and organizations that we are hoping to hear from during this Inquiry. Anyone is welcome to join the opening ceremony. Details can be found at: hateinquiry.bchumanrights.ca/ceremony