November 16, 2020 - The Toronto Foundation released on November 12 a wide-ranging report about the impacts of the pandemic on people of colour and immigrant communities.

One key finding is the rise of discrimination against people of Asian descent in Canada, including Filipinos.

Citing results from a Statistics Canada poll, 16 percent of Filipino respondents nationwide reported a “perceived increase in harassment or attacks on the basis of race, ethnicity or skin colour” since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

This percentage among Filipinos is higher than a number of ethnic groups.

Among Japanese, the rate was 15 percent; West Asian, 13 percent; Arab, 13 percent; Black, 12 percent; South Asian, 12 percent; and Latin American, eight percent.

People of Chinese and Korean heritage reported the highest rates at 30 percent and 27 percent, respectively.

“With the pandemic came a lot of fear and conjecture about the source of the spread,” the Toronto Foundation wrote in its ‘Toronto Fallout Report’.

“Due to its origins outside of Canada and, in particular, in China, many racialized residents reported being victims of harassment due to the pandemic, particularly those who identify as Chinese,” the report stated.

Again citing Statistics Canada figures, the foundation noted that in Toronto, 30.5 percent of visible minority residents reported “increasing discrimination or harassment in their neighbourhood based on race, ethnicity, or skin colour”.

“This rate is higher than in smaller cities, but still much lower than Vancouver, where more than half of visible minorities reported increasing harassment,” the report noted.

In Vancouver, 55 percent of visible minority respondents reported an increase in harassment. In Montreal, the rate was 36 percent.

Filipinos are sometimes mistaken for Chinese, and this was the case for Danilo Jimenez Jr. of Burnaby, B.C.

Jimenez suffered a racist tirade from a Caucasian man while he was on board a bus on October 31.

Jimenez came to Canada from the Philippines three years ago, Global News reported.

“I’m still seeing his face, sometimes in my dreams. And I’m afraid of my security, my life,” the Filipino told the news network.

Jimenez related that the man boarded the bus and immediately started swearing at him.

The man allegedly called him a Chinese spy, used racial slurs, and threatened to sexually assault his daughter.

Jimenez took a video of incident with his mobile phone.

The bus driver yelled at the man to stop, and the person moved to the back of the bus while continuing to shout racist slurs.

According to Global News, police in the Metro Vancouver region have documented a surge in anti-Asian hate crimes since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

In the city of Vancouver, the local police department presented a report on October 29 to the police board about the crime situation from January to September 2020.

The report noted that hate crime incidents targetting people of Asian origins in Vancouver rose by 878 percent compared to the first nine months of 2019.


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