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Most Canadians feel violence has increased since pandemic, poll finds

Overall, Canadians' trust in governments for mitigating violence has decreased.
Less than half think racism and discrimination are the problem.

A majority of Canadians believe that more violence might arise in the future, a new Ipsos poll finds.

In particular, 58 per cent of Canadians stated they feel there's been an increase in violence in their communities since the onset of COVID-19. 

When participants offered their reasons for the increase, two-thirds said the pandemic had a negative impact on people's mental health, and nearly half blamed economic uncertainty.

Some feel less safe than others

This week, the British Columbia's Human Rights Commissioner released a 500-page report that confirmed a known reality to some communities across the country. 

In B.C., the report found that police-reported hate crimes in 2021 were 118 per cent higher than in 2019. In addition, incidents of hate disproportionately impacted marginalized communities.

While 89 per cent of Canadians said they feel safe walking in their neighbourhood, women and younger Canadians were more likely to say they felt unsafe, especially at night. 

On average, Canadians agree that women and immigrants have become targets of violence across the country. 

And while opinions differed depending on the region, British Columbians were among groups of Canadians who said they felt less safe in the last year either because of where they live or noting an increase in violence since the onset of COVID-19.