Frequently asked Questions
- What is the mission of the CRRF?
- What are its goals/objectives?
- Why was it created?
- What is the organizational profile of the CRRF?
- Are you part of the Government?
- Are there any job openings? Is the Foundation looking for volunteers?
- I would like to know more about the Japanese-Canadian experience and Redress Agreement
- We would like to get core funding for our organization. How can the Foundation assist us?
- We would like to get funding for our anti-racism research project. How can the Foundation assist us?
- We would like to get funding for our anti-racism project / initiative. How can the Foundation assist us?
- Can you suggest information sources (books, readings, reports) about racism?
- Can you suggest videos that we can use for our class presentation or community meeting?
- Our organization is planning a conference (workshop, professional development day) on racism. Can the Foundation supply us with a speaker?
- Can the Foundation carry out extensive research requests?
- How many visible minorities are there in Canada? How many Aboriginal Peoples?
- I would like information about federal government services (examples: immigration, taxation, agriculture, and veteran affairs) Where can I go for information?
- I have a problem at my workplace or school related to racial discrimination. Can the Foundation provide me with assistance?
- What can I do about hate crimes and hate incidents in my community?
- How can I reach the CRRF?
- About Hate Crimes and Incidents
What is the mission of the CRRF?
The Foundation is committed to building a national framework for the fight against racism in Canadian society. We will shed light on the causes and manifestations of racism; provide independent, outspoken national leadership; and act as a resource and facilitator in the pursuit of equity, fairness and social justice.
What are its goals/objectives?
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation aims to help bring about a more harmonious Canada that acknowledges its racist past, recognizes the pervasiveness of racism today, and is committed to creating a future in which all Canadians are treated equitably and fairly.
Why was it created?
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation was created as part of a 1988 agreement between the Government of Canada and the National Association of Japanese Canadians. The Redress Agreement acknowledges the government's wrongful treatment of Japanese Canadians during and after World War II. As a symbolic redress for those injustices, the Government of Canada offered individual and community compensation to Japanese Canadians, and a $ 24 million endowment for the creation of the CRRF.
What is the organizational profile of the CRRF?
* Board of Directors
The Foundation received a one-time endowment of $24 million from the Government of Canada. Half of the endowment ($12 million) was provided on behalf of Japanese Canadians and in commemoration of injustices suffered by Japanese Canadians during and after World War II. The Foundation operates on income derived from investments and donations.
The Foundation is governed by a board of directors consisting of a chair and up to 19 directors from across Canada, each appointed for a term of up to three years. In addition, a full-time executive director oversees the day-to-day operations and serves as a non-voting board member.
In 1998-99, the Foundation had a small core staff of under ten full time positions in charge of communications, program, financial and administrative responsibilities. There are occasional staff engaged on a project-specific basis.
Are you part of the Government?
The Foundation is a Crown Corporation within the Department of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. However, we operate at arm's length from the government, and our employees are not part of the Federal Public Service. The Foundation has registered charitable status. While the office of the Foundation is located in the City of Toronto, its activities are national in scope.
Are there any job openings? I would like to get involved as a volunteer in the area of anti-racism. Is the Foundation looking for volunteers?
The CRRF hires staff from time-to-time, but has a small staff and therefore few hirings. When there are openings, the jobs are advertised in a newspaper, and posted on-line on the CRRF website and at Charity Village: http://www.charityvillage.com
The CRRF takes student placements and volunteers on a case-by-case basis. For more information, call: 1-888-240-4936 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who is on the Board of Directors and how do you become a member?
The federal government appoints members of the Board of Directors. The selection process is coordinated by the Prime Minister's Office, based on recommendation by the Secretary of State (Multiculturalism). If you would like more information about this, please write to the MP, Minister of Canadian Heritage, House of Commons, Ottawa, K1A 0A6.
I would like to know more about the Japanese-Canadian experience and Redress Agreement
The CRRF has produced a Fact Sheet and an Annotated Bibliography about the Japanese Canadian experience from an historical perspective. This information, and the full terms of the Redress Agreement between the Canadian government and the National Association of Japanese Canadians can be found by clicking on the highlighted links.
We would like to get core funding for our organization. How can the Foundation assist us?
The CRRF's mandate is to build a national framework for the fight against racism in Canadian society. Funding support for anti-racism initiatives is provided through the CRRF's Research and Initiatives Against Racism programs. The CRRF does not provide core funding to any organization.
The Department of Canadian Heritage is the federal department with responsibility for multiculturalism. There are also provincial ministries responsible for multiculturalism. For more information visit the Department of Canadian Heritage website or see the Province-by-Province Referral Guide at the top of this page.
CRRF RESEARCH FUNDING
We would like to get funding for our anti-racism research project. How can the Foundation assist us?
The Foundation has a program that provides funding for research contracts. If you would like to be added to the mailing list for proposals we can add your organization's name, address, fax number, phone number and e-mail address to our database. For more information please contact us at email@example.com
CRRF I.A.R. PROGRAM
We would like to get funding for our anti-racism project / initiative. How can the Foundation assist us?
The Foundation has a program that provides funding of up to $7,500 for Initiatives Against Racism to support projects aimed at a broad public audience. The Multiculturalism program officers at the Department of Canadian Heritage can also be valuable sources of information about resources in your community.
INFORMATION SOURCES READINGS
Can you suggest information sources (books, readings, reports) about racism?
Browse our website and check out our collection of bibliographies, articles, fact sheets and links to government departments and research centres. The Foundation has produced a major bibliography on racism in Canada. This available in print and in an electronic format. An excellent source of bibliographic information is the Public Service Commission of Canada's diversity collection at: http://www.psc-cfp.gc.ca/library/diversity_collection_e.htm
Another source on information on equal opportunity and diversity is the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation: http://www.equalopportunity.on.ca. Ask your local librarian for information about racism in Canada. Most major municipal libraries have collections in this area.
INFORMATION SOURCES VIDEOS
Can you suggest videos that we can use for our class presentation or community meeting?
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation has a small library of videos. This information will be compiled in an annotated bibliography available for reference on the CRRF website in the future. The National Film Board of Canada is the best source for videos on racism. NFB videos are available at major municipal libraries across Canada. You can visit the NFB's website to review titles and see descriptions of their videos.
You can also contact the NFB by telephone and ask for a copy of their catalogue. They can be reached at:1-800-267-7710 or locally in Montreal at(514) 283-2000.
INFORMATION SOURCES SPEAKERS
Our organization is planning a conference (workshop, professional development day) on racism. Can the Foundation supply us with a speaker?
Requests should be made in writing to the Foundation's office. Occasionally, the chair or a member of the Foundation board may be available as a keynote speaker for major national or regional conferences. In the event that the CRRF is unable to provide a speaker, we can provide you with some names and/or organizations who can assist you with your request for speakers. We can also provide the names of some local organizations in your province. (Please see Province-by-Province Referral Guide at the top of this document.)
CUSTOM RESEARCH SERVICES
Can the Foundation carry out extensive research requests?
The Foundation is an information sharing, public awareness and research organization. It provides funding to undertake independent research on issues identified as priorities through a call for proposals once every two years. Research contracts are awarded once every two years. It cannot respond to ad hoc research requests. As a clearinghouse of anti-racism information and contacts, it can however, provide assistance to individuals requesting basic information and materials. Extensive research assistance services can be provided on a fee-for-service basis by other institutions. Statistics Canada will provide detailed statistical information on a fee-for-service basis. You can also contact the national Statistics Canada toll-free line at 1-800-263-1136. They can refer you to the appropriate office. The University of Ottawa Human Rights Research and Education Centre provides the following fee-for-service options: bibliographic research; document print-out; delivery.
For more information please visit their website at http://aix1.uottawa.ca/~hrrec/. Please contact Reference Canada. Their number is listed in the "government pages" of your local telephone directory.
How many visible minorities are there in Canada? How many Aboriginal Peoples?
Statistics Canada is the publisher of the most detailed statistical information about Canada's population. Over 700 local libraries across Canada carry Statistics Canada's reports. Ask your local librarian if these are available at your library. For statistical information about Canada's population please visit the Statistics Canada website at:: http://www.statcan.ca If you don't have access to the internet or to a major municipal library, please call the Statistics Canada office near you. (Please see the Province-by-Province Referral Guide).
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT INFORMATION
I would like information about federal government services (examples: immigration, taxation, agriculture, and veteran affairs) Where can I go for information?
To locate the federal government department or agency responsible, search the federal electronic directory at: http://canada.gc.ca/search/srcind_e.html
HUMAN RIGHTS COMPLAINTS
I have a problem at my workplace or school related to racial discrimination. Can the Foundation provide me with assistance?
The Foundation is an information sharing, research and public awareness organization and does not have the mandate or resources to assist individuals in cases of discrimination. It is advised that individuals contact professionals working in the anti-racism and human rights field. Your union local or local community legal clinic may be able to provide assistance or refer you to another agency. If you have a community information centre in your local area, they may know of advocacy groups that can be of assistance. In dealing with human rights complaints it is often necessary to engage a lawyer. Your human rights commission will be able to advise you of the human rights complaint procedure. Please contact your provincial or federal human rights commission. (For telephone numbers please see Province-by-Province Referral Guide at the top of this page)
HATE CRIMES & HATE INCIDENTS
What can I do about hate crimes and hate incidents in my community?
Canada has laws against hate propaganda and hate crimes. Hate crimes should be reported to your local and/or provincial police force in your area. In addition, for documentation and support purposes you may wish to report this incident to the B'nai Brith League for Human Rights, 15 Hove Street, Downsview, ON M3H 4Y8. Telephone: (416) 633-6224. Fax: (416) 630-2159. The CRRF has developed information and material on hate in Canada. We can also refer individuals to contacts and resources in the field. For more information, contact the CRRF.
How can I reach the CRRF?
You can reach the CRRF in the following ways:
- 1-888-240-4936 (toll free)
- Fax :
- 1-888-399-0333 (toll free)
- Electronic mail:
- Website access:
- 4576 Yonge Street, Suite 701
- Toronto, Ontario
- M2N 6N4
About Hate Crimes and Incidents
- Notify the police
- Be sure of the facts
- Notify a community organization for support
- Contact political and social community leaders
- Be cautious with the media
- Stay informed
What is hate crime?
Hate crime is a criminal offence committed against a person or property that is motivated by the victim?s race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or any other similar factor. Hate crimes differ from other criminal acts because they are usually more assaultive, more violent, more traumatic to the victim, and they are prone to increases in severity. They are offenses that can terrorize entire communities and threaten community stability. Hate speech or hate propaganda is also a criminal offense in Canada, as well as a violation of human rights.
What is hate propaganda?
The Criminal Code of Canada specify that it is against the law to promote hatred against an identifiable group, that is, against any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, etc. Hate propaganda exposes identifiable group to contempt or hatred by 1)advocating genocide (i.e. the intent to destroy in whole or in part, any identifiable group), or by 2) the public incitement of hate (i.e. communication in public that is likely to lead to a breach of the peace, or willfully promotes hatred against an identifiable group. Such communication includes: words, spoken, written, recorded electronically or otherwise, gestures, signs or other visible representations, other than in private conversation.
What motivates the perpetrators?
The goal of hate propaganda and hate mongers is to portray a group as inferior, even less than human, undermining the norms and values of a society by potentially taking control of the culture through power or sheer numbers. The targets of hatred are the objects of prejudice and stereotyping, often characterized as taking advantage of the rest of society and a threat that ought to be removed. Perpetrators of hate crimes often feel themselves to be victims to. People are most receptive to hate mongering when they are looking for someone to blame for their problems so that they can feel better about themselves. Difficult economic times inevitably lead to this pattern of scapegoating, and any identifiable minority group is at risk.
What is the impact on victims of hate crimes?
Another goal of hate mongers, and one at which they succeed, is to instill fear or terror in their victims. Hate crimes result in a disproportionate level of harm, which affects not only the individual, but also the victim?s community. Attacks are often particularly vicious, leaving entire communities feeling vulnerable and isolated. Individual reactions can mirror post-traumatic stress syndrome. Hate propaganda can lead to a negative self-image in targeted group members, and self-doubt, even to the point of self-hatred and a feeling of worthlessness. Individuals may try to assimilate or disappear as an identifiable group; but hate mongers would suggest that this is impossible. According to avowed racists and white supremacists, the minority traits remain as a contaminant of the society or pure race, and must therefore be eliminated to whatever extent possible. How well an individual or groups can tolerate such abuse depends on the strength of one?s ego defense mechanisms, group support, and experience. But the effect of singling out the group from the rest of society achieves the hate monger?s goal, regardless of the effects on the group and its members. Hate propaganda does damage in that it plays on people?s doubts and fears, and feeds on misconceptions, increasing discrimination and barriers to understanding. Hate crime and hate propaganda contribute to disunity in society, compromise democratic values, and maintains inequality and oppression.
Countering Hate Crime in Canada
Responding to Hate Crimes requires a multifaceted approach, including protection (by the law), prevention (through education) and partnerships (community coalition building).
Protection - Remedies in Law
Hate propaganda, the promotion of hatred against identifiable groups, became a criminal offense in Canada in 1970, when the hate laws were adopted as amendments to the Criminal Code. That same year, Canada ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The Canadian Human Rights Act and the various provincial human rights codes also address the issue of hate. Countering hate crime is not only consistent with our international obligation under the Convention, but is based on a vision of our multicultural society that is entrenched in the Canadian Bill of Rights (1960) and articulated clearly in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982). The anti-hate laws have been upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada, and in 1996 an amendment to the Criminal Code made hate motivation an aggravating factor upon sentencing, enshrining in law the precedent that hate motivation rendered a crime more heinous.
Prevention - Public Education and Awareness
The struggle against racism and hate propaganda will ultimately be won through increased efforts to incorporate multicultural, anti-racist and human rights education in our schools at every level ? early childhood through post-secondary ? including the in-service training of educators and professionals. Most school boards, colleges and universities have human rights or race and ethnocultural equity policies, but it is essential that the students and the public know to whom to report incidents, and can be assured that something will be done. Schools and communities need also to recognize and report evidence of hate group activity, such as the various hate symbols and tatoos used by hate mongers, and their recruitment strategies, including hate on the internet. Public service announcements and public education campaigns, such as those surrounding March 21st, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and December 10th, International Human Rights Day, are helpful in raising awareness?as long as they are not simply one-day events, but effect real learning and change. Increasingly, resources are available to assist educators and employers in this important task (see resources below).
Partnerships - Community Action and Coalitions
In recent years there have been examples across the country that co-ordinated community response is effective in fighting racism and hate crime. Planned demonstrations and protests against the use of public facilities by hate groups in British Columbia succeeded in deterring further bookings. Collaboration between a local newspaper, church group and a Jewish human rights community organization supported the citizens of Minden, Ontario in standing up against a skinhead Aryan fest. The Heritage Front hate line was shut down in Toronto and a similar KKK line in Winnipeg because of cooperation of police, community groups and the Canadian Human Rights Commission. Partnerships between police, a community organization and local hospital increased reporting of incidents of gay bashing in Toronto and resulted in more effective victim services. Coalitions of parents and community groups went a long way to reduce racial tensions in Halifax. Effective reporting and partnerships among schools, police and internet providers as well as the human rights commission has also led to the shutting down of internet hate sites. And the list goes on. Community action and coalition building can draw attention to the issues and strengthen the cause. Not only does it raise awareness, but community cooperation increases vigilance, reduces fear and promotes security and solidarity in the fight against racism and hate. When people from diverse backgrounds work together, they also learn more about each other, thereby reducing prejudice and stereotyping and promoting understanding, unity and social cohesion.
What can and should I do?
If you are a victim or witness of any of these kinds of incidents:
- Racist graffiti is spray-painted on a community building (e.g. synagogue, mosque, community centre);
- A local community leader receives hate mail, threats, or internet hate;
- Tombstones in an ethnoculturally identified cemetery are overturned or vandalized;
- Students leaving school or congregants leaving a place of worship are attacked physically or verbally;
- A family home or community centre is defaced with racist slogans or windows are smashed;
Here's what to do right away:
- Notify the police immediately. Have the number of your local precinct handy. Learn who the officers are who are responsible for hate crime, street crime and /or community liaison. Contact a community support group who will assist you to go to the police if you are afraid to do so yourself.
- Be sure of the facts. When you first learn of the incidents, attempt to determine accurately the WHO, WHEN, and WHERE of the incident. Leave any evidence intact. Do not remove graffiti until the police have seen it. Take photographs, if possible. Do not handle or photocopy hate mail. Retain the envelope.
- Notify a community organization for support. Document all information that indicates that the attack was racially motivated. Do not attempt to solve the problem on your own. The experience of a support group will be helpful in determining what action to take.
- Contact political and social community leaders. Such contacts are urged for all major incidents. Do not hesitate to ask them for support. Support from the non-aggrieved community can be invaluable, and statements by public officials condemning racism and hate crimes are important.
- Be cautious with the media. In the absence of a pattern of incidents in the area, contacts with the media on minor incidents are not advisable, due to a ?copy cat? effect when incidents are reported publicly. When there is a pattern, or there is a major incident so that coverage is unavoidable, media contacts are often advisable and necessary. Consultation with experienced groups and community leaders to develop a media strategy may be very beneficial.
- Stay informed. Contact an experience organization (see below) and/or your local police service for training or information sessions on recognizing and responding to hate/bias crime and incidents. They will conduct them for your mosque, synagogue, church, school or community centre, and assist in education programs, coalition building and partnerships necessary to create a safe and secure community.
Where can I get help?
- Local police service
- School board
- Regional offices of the Department of Canadian Heritage
- Canadian Human Rights Commission, and/or their provincial equivalents
- Municipal community and race relations committees
- Counsult Resources on Hate and Hate Crime