Fondé en 1983 --Unis pour la diversité et l'égalité raciale


Montreal, January 25, 2021 — As part of its initiative entitled, “COVID-19 Infodemic: Countering Discrimination and Disinformation” (CDDI), CRARR has launched its “Voices of the Victims” video series on its YouTube channel and Facebook page (

This series, which documents the experiences of Asian Canadians in Montreal who have fallen victim to anti-Asian racism and violence as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, aims to shed light on the ways in which disinformation and discrimination are intrinsically linked, and how the spread of false information relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, intentionally or unintentionally, can lead to racism and violence.

The experiences shared by victims illustrate the many ways anti-Asian racism manifests itself, including physical assaults, racist insults, harassment and vandalism targeting places of business and worship. In the aftermath of each instance, victims felt compelled to change their behaviour, and in some cases, even attempt to hide their Asian identity in order to avoid being targeted again in the future.

These stories should serve as a call to action for governments and civil society at all levels to take action against anti-Asian racism related to COVID-19, and to address and combat the spread of disinformation and discrimination.

Last June, CRARR worked with independent councillor Marvin Rotrand to introduce a Motion in Montreal’s City Council to “denounce acts of hatred, discrimination, and violence directed against Montrealers of various Asian origins”. Seconded by Giuliana Fumagalli, Mayor of the Ahuntsic-Saint-Michel-Parc Extension Borough, the Motion was adopted unanimously on June 16, 2020.

It called on City Council to “unanimously and vigorously denounce acts of hate, racism, and violence directed towards persons of diverse Asian origins…”, and to “provide all Montrealers of diverse Asian origins with safety and effective protection against hate, discrimination, and violence throughout the entire territory of the City of Montreal...”

In July 2020, a study conducted by Statistics Canada found that visible minorities perceived more frequent race-based harassment or attacks compared to the rest of the population since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, Korean (26%), Chinese (25%) and Filipino (22%) participants perceived that these race-motivated hate incidents happened either sometimes or often. These same groups were more likely to feel unsafe walking alone in their neighbourhoods at night, with women in particular expressing concerns over their safety.

According to the most recent census data, the City of Montreal is home to over 130,000 persons of East and Southeast Asian origins, making up roughly 7.5% of the total population. Chinese, Filipino and Vietnamese Canadians make up the majority of Asian communities. Similarly, people of Asian descent make up approximately 25% of the recent immigrant population in the city, with over 26,000 persons selecting Mandarin as their first language.

Additionally, international students from the People’s Republic of China rank among the top three largest groups of foreign students coming to Montreal.

CRARR and the CDDI team would like to thank the courageous Canadians who have already come forward and shared their stories. CRARR encourages anyone who has fallen victim to COVID-related racism and violence to contact its office for assistance by using its sign-up sheet available.

Subscribe to the CRARR’s YouTube page to stay updated on the “Voices of the Victims” series and for updates on CRARR’s upcoming “Voices of Canada’s Experts” series.

The CDDI is made possible through a grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage. Other partners include Employment and Social Development Canada, the Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Borough of the City of Montreal, the Institute for Research and Education on Race Relations, the Chinese Association of Montreal, the Montreal Chinatown Development Council, the Concordia Student Union, and the Student Society of McGill University.