How to report racism in British Columbia

Have you, or someone you know, experienced racism in British Columbia? If yes, then it is important that you report it to the right authorities to prevent future racist attacks in the future. Read below to learn who can help and when to report racist events.

Was that racist?

It is important to know and recognise when racism is happening. It can sadly happen anywhere in daily life, so it is important to be aware.

According to the Anti-Racism Toolkit that the Tri-Cities Local Immigration Partnership (TCLIP), has created, ‘racism can manifest in individual interactions or through processes and systems that create additional barriers for specific groups.’

‘Racist abuse’ can include verbal (such as shouted insults or name-calling) or physical abuse (including threats).

There is also ‘systemic racism’, which happens through inequities that are built into services, systems, and structures; these are often caused by hidden biases that disadvantage people based on their race.

How to report an ‘Incident of Racism’

Details are very important when reporting racism to the authorities and the police. When explaining what happened, include:

  • Date, time and exact location
    of the incident
  • Names of witnesses (if any)
  • What was done and said by all involved
    (attacker, witnesses and victim)
  • Physical description of the attacker(s)
  • How the incident affected the victim
    and the support they need

When reporting the incident to the police, you can ask for an interpreter. Stressful situations can make it easier for you to express yourself in your first language.

Access to statement review by lawyers – Access Pro Bono Society is a lawyer referral program that allows a lawyer to review police statements at no cost for up to 30 minutes.
Access to victim services – Police Departments have victim services
to provide supports and resources to victims of hate or racism. You can also ask for interpretation to ensure you receive culturally appropriate services.

Although ‘racism’ is not currently a criminal offence, criminal offences committed when motivated by hate must have the aspects of hate clearly explained in the investigation. Crimes that are proven in court to be motivated by hate can have greater sentences applied.
(Criminal Code of Canada, Sec 718.2)

Where to report Incidents of Racism?

It is important to report racism because silence encourages the perpetrator(s) that there will be no consequence for them to treat other people poorly.

  1. Call 911 if you are in immediate danger or you are witnessing a dangerous situation develop where others are getting hurt or property is being damaged.

For incidents that have already occurred or there is no immediate danger, contact the Non-Emergency Line (604-717-3321) or go to the nearest police station:

Port Moody Police Department
– 3051 St Johns Street, Port Moody, BC V3H 2C4
– 604 461 3456

RCMP Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Belcarra & Anmore
– 2986 Guildford Way, Coquitlam, BC V3B 7Y5
– 604 945 1585

  • Police – Victims Service Units
    The Victim Services unit responds to immediate crisis situations when requested by police members to attend on scene. Professional staff and trained volunteers will provide emotional support, information, and referrals to community resources.
  • The BC Hate Crime Hotline Supports the investigation of hate incidents and hate crimes.
    – 1 855 462 5733
  • BC’s Office of Human Rights Commissioner/ British Columbia Support with education,research, advocacy, inquiry, and monitoring. Commissioner’s office address:
    – #536, 999 Canada Place,
    Vancouver, BC V6C 3E1
    – 1 844 922 6472
  • BC Human Rights Tribunal Support to file a Human Rights complaint or questions about whether a complaint can be filed.
  • BC Human Rights Clinic – Free legal advice or support related to a Human Rights complaints. Free half-hour appointments with a lawyer or advocate.
    – 778 731 9768

Community Resources:

Tri-Cities Local Immigration Partnership (TCLIP)
is the representative for Resilience BC in the Tri-Cities.
– Henderson Place, 2058-1163 Pinetree Way,
Coquitlam, BC V3B 8A9
– 604 468 6001

  • The BC Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) If a community member experiences racism from the Police, a complaint can be made through the following channels:
    – 1 877 999 8707
Skip to content