Ontario Helps Target Hate Crimes



    McGuinty Government Attacks Culture Of Silence

    TORONTO, March 17 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    Ontario and Crime Stoppers are launching a new video today to encourage
people to recognize and report hate crimes.
    The Hate Destroys Lives DVD was produced for the Ontario Association of
Crime Stoppers (http://www.ontariocrimestoppers.com/ ) with funding provided
by the Ontario government. It features police and community hate crime experts
discussing hate crime and the harm it does to victims. It urges people to
report hate crimes to local police or, anonymously, to Crime Stoppers.
    Ontario has seen an increase in hate crimes in recent years. In its
report, "Addressing Hate Crimes in Ontario,"
(http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/about/pubs/hatecrimes/ ) the
Hate Crimes Community Working Group proposed a public education campaign to
encourage people to report hate crimes to police for action.
    The government-sponsored DVD will be distributed to all police services
and Crime Stoppers chapters across Ontario. It will also be shown at schools,
youth and community organizations across the province.
    The Ontario government provides $200,000 annually to support Crime
Stoppers
(http://ogov.newswire.ca/ontario/GPOE/2007/05/15/c9293.html?lmatch=
&lang=_e.html .)

    QUOTES

    "We are attacking the roots of hate crime and the culture of silence that
allows these heinous acts to escalate," said Community Safety and Correctional
Services Minister Rick Bartolucci. "By raising awareness, we hope more people
will report and help reduce hate crime incidents."
    "Anonymous tips are very effective in helping police solve crimes and
provide greater protection for our community," said Pat Gillie, president,
Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers.

    
    QUICK FACTS

    -   Physical assaults account for 25 per cent of hate crimes in Canada.
    -   Since 1997, Ontario has invested $1.7 million so that the public can
        call Crime Stoppers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
    -   In 2006, the Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers received over
        19,000 tips.
    -   Crime Stoppers can be reached at 1-800-222-TIPS.

    LEARN MORE

    View Minister Bartolucci's comments
(http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/hate_crimes.html) on hate crimes.

    Download Hate Destroys Lives
(http://events.mediaco.ca/minjus/hatecrimemsg.avi) DVD.

    ontario.ca/safety-news
    Disponible en français


    BACKGROUNDER
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                 MCGUINTY GOVERNMENT HELPS COMBAT HATE CRIMES
    

    The McGuinty government is committed to promoting equality and diversity,
and is working with federal, provincial and local partners to address hate
crimes. Many of the government's initiatives respond to recommendations of the
Ontario Hate Crimes Community Working Group, established in 2005 to advise the
government on ways to better address hate crimes.
    In addition to the Crime Stoppers DVD, Hate Destroys Lives, a number of
ministries have taken steps to address the recommendations made by the Hate
Crimes Community Working Group. They include:

    
    -   Training for victim service providers - On November 21, 2007, the
        government sponsored a pilot training session designed to help victim
        services workers better respond to diversity issues and situations
        involving hate crimes. The results of the pilot will assist in
        planning for training to all victim service providers.

    -   New community projects - In September 2007, the government invited
        applications for the Safer and Vital Communities grant. A total of
        $855,000 is available to community-based organizations for projects
        focusing on eliminating/preventing hate crimes and racism. The
        successful grantees will be announced in spring 2008.

    -   Support for victims - Through the Community Grants Program, the
        McGuinty government provided $1.3 million to enable 21 community
        organizations that support victims of hate crimes to complete special
        projects between 2005 and 2008.

    -   New Anti-Hate Crime Grants - An anti-hate crime initiative that is
        providing $1.35 million to 23 community organizations for anti-hate
        crime projects focusing on eliminating and preventing hate crimes and
        racism. These projects are currently underway and will be completed
        by the end of 2008. Three of the projects will have a province-wide
        impact including: a hate crime forum to strengthen networks and share
        information among victims' groups, educators, and members of the
        criminal justice system; a website for victims, to contain province-
        wide information about hate crimes victim services and resources; and
        appropriate templates for victim impact statements to be used by
        community-based victim services.

    -   Collaboration with other jurisdictions - At the June 2007
        Federal/Provincial/Territorial meeting of Deputy Ministers
        Responsible for Justice, the Ontario government presented the Hate
        Crimes Community Working Group's recommendations concerning the hate
        provisions of the Criminal Code. Senior justice officials were
        instructed to review the proposals for possible amendments.

    -   Crime Prevention Week - The theme for Crime Prevention Week 2007
        focused on racism and hate destroying lives. A poster with the slogan
        Committed to Building an Ontario Free from Racism, Intolerance and
        Hate was distributed to community and policing partners.

    -   Private security regulations - The government has developed enhanced
        regulations under the Private Security and Investigative Services
        Act, which came into force August 23, 2007. The new Clean Criminal
        Record Regulation stipulates that any person convicted of a
        prescribed offence including a hate crime (and who has not received a
        pardon for that conviction) is not eligible for a licence under the
        Private Security and Investigative Services Act.

    -   Strengthened the Education Act - The government has amended the safe
        schools provisions of the Education Act to more effectively combine
        discipline with opportunities for expelled and suspended students to
        continue their education. In addition, bullying has been added to the
        list of infractions for which suspension must be considered. Training
        has been provided to school board teams on changes to the Education
        Act. Further training initiatives, including anti-racism, anti-
        discrimination and cultural awareness will also be undertaken.

    -   Revised the Provincial Code of Conduct - The government has revised
        the Provincial Code of Conduct to make it clear that hate propaganda
        and other forms of behaviour motivated by hate or bias are
        unacceptable in Ontario schools.

    -   Developing and enhancing curricula - Changes are being made in
        existing curricula for all levels of the elementary and secondary
        education system in Ontario in order to ensure it is inclusive and
        addresses anti-discrimination education by giving students and staff
        opportunities to learn about diverse cultures and perspectives.
        Knowledge and skills relating to conflict resolution, to bullying
        prevention, and to discrimination and harassment are also being
        integrated into the revised curriculum as appropriate.

    -   Enhanced police training - A total of $50,000 was invested to develop
        a training and education brochure Responding to Hate Crimes: An
        Ontario Police Officer's Guide to Investigation and Prevention. This
        brochure was distributed to all police officers across the province
        and will supplement current hate crimes training, to create a greater
        awareness of hate crimes and help police recognize subtle but hateful
        propaganda and activities. The government requires that all police
        services in the province have policies and procedures in place to
        manage investigations into alleged hate crimes.

    -   On-line Learning - The Ontario Police College developed and made
        available on the Internet the first e-learning course on Diversity
        and Race Relations for police, corrections and other law enforcement
        personnel. This is the first in a series of Internet-based training
        modules on the subject - January 2008.

    -   April 21 and 22, 2008, the Ontario Police College will be hosting its
        annual Issues and Themes Conference. The theme this year is Combating
        Hate Crime.

    -   Working with universities - Ontario is encouraging provincially
        assisted universities, presidents of colleges of applied arts and
        technology, and the presidents and CEOs of Colleges Ontario and the
        Council of Ontario Universities to review the report's
        recommendations and monitor relevant policies and protocols.

    -   Training for correctional investigators - A hate crime seminar was
        delivered to the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional
        Services' Correctional Investigation and Security Unit, focusing on
        the causes of hate crimes and investigative procedures at its annual
        retreat in June 2007.

    -   Specialized Crown training - A team of Crown prosecutors has been
        trained to provide legal advice to police and other Crown prosecutors
        across the province on matters related to hate crimes.

    -   Updated Crown prosecution policy - The Crown prosecution policy on
        hate crimes was also updated to ensure that it reflects legal
        developments and addresses the current social environment relating to
        hate activities.

    -   Battling systemic racism - The Ministry of Community Safety and
        Correctional Services has implemented a multi-year strategy to
        address systemic racism and hate crimes in Ontario's correctional
        institutions, which includes the creation of an Organizational
        Effectiveness Division within the ministry.

    -   Information-sharing across the justice sector - The government shared
        the report of the Hate Crimes Community Working Group with Ontario's
        Chief Justices, the National Judicial Institute and the Ontario
        Association of Chiefs of Police.
    

    ontario.ca/safety-news
    Disponible en français





For further information:

For further information: Laura Blondeau, Minister's Office, (416)
325-4973; Anthony Brown, Communications Branch, (416) 314-7772

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