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Perpetrators Of Hate Crimes Can Now Face Financial Consequences

Archived Backgrounder

Perpetrators Of Hate Crimes Can Now Face Financial Consequences

Ministry of the Attorney General

The McGuinty government is committed to fighting hate crimes, racial intolerance and discrimination.

Ontario has strengthened a regulation under the Victims' Bill of Rights to make it easier for victims of hate crimes to sue offenders for damages such as emotional distress and bodily harm arising from the distress.

The change applies to specific types of hate crimes as defined by the Criminal Code, such as publicly inciting, or wilfully promoting, hatred. It also applies to any offence where the sentencing judge determines the crime was motivated by bias, prejudice or hate based on:

· Race
· Language
· Colour
· Religion
· Age
· Sex or sexual orientation
· Mental or physical disability
· National or ethnic origin, or
· Any other similar factor.

Ontario's amendment responds to recommendations made in the:
· 2008 report of the Ontario Human Rights Commission, "Fishing Without Fear"
· 2006 report of the Hate Crimes Community Working Group, "Addressing Hate Crime in Ontario".

OTHER GOVERNMENT ACTION TO FIGHT HATE CRIMES
Ontario has invested $1.35 million in 23 projects that will help:
· Bring together communities targeted by hate crimes
· Encourage communities to develop new and innovative ways to address hate crimes and the needs of those who have been victimized
· Increase awareness of hate crime issues, and
· Improve existing resources for victims.

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