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UVic study shows hate crimes against Asian Canadians increase during pandemic

Many survey participants fear their children will be bullied due to their Chinese identity
University of Victoria psychologist Nigel Mantou Lou led a research project studying Asian-Canadian discrimination in Canada. He and his team found that anti-Asian racism has increased during the pandemic. (Courtesy UVic Photo Services)

A University of Victoria study has confirmed hate crimes targeting Asian Canadians have increased in Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research, led by UVic psychologist Nigel Mantou Lou, looked at discriminatory experiences faced by Chinese and other Asian Canadians. Study participants included 874 Chinese Canadian adults who were either permanent residents or Canadian citizens.

“Discrimination brings a questioning of belonging to Canadian society and more than half of Chinese Canadians are worried about their children being bullied,” Lou said in a release, of those surveyed. “Many worried about their job and career opportunities being worse due to their Chinese identity.”

Despite those concerns, the reporting rate of racist attacks remains very low at approximately 10 per cent, he added.

Raising awareness and reporting racist incidents are important tools to combat racism, Lou said.

“It is very important to build a system that continues to provide resources to support the communities at all levels and address anti-racism.”

Clear action plans and policies should be developed by government which include the provision of resources to community outreach and counselling services, encouraging people to raise their voices, and supporting Asian businesses most affected by the pandemic, he added.

The paper, “Chinese Canadians’ experiences of the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racism: Relations with identity, negative emotion, and anti-racism incident reporting,” was published by the American Psychological Association and can be found at

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