While on research leave, host Simon Li was mentioned about the nippertipping updates in the Saturday edition of Toronto Star.
‘Tipping’ victims fear reporting it, activist says
Hotline for hate crime against Asians closes after logging 30 calls
December 08, 2007
A hotline set up by the Ontario Human Rights Commission for victims of lakeside assaults logged only about 30 calls, even though there are believed to be dozens more victims, officials say.
“I know, definitely, people who phoned into Chinese language call-in radio shows with reports. They emailed the host, Simon Li. And those people never called us," said lawyer Avvy Go, director of the Metro Toronto Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic, which operated the hotline.
“Over the last couple of shows he (Li) was giving his audience an earful: `Why aren’t you guys calling the hotline?'" Go said. “People are afraid to come forward.
“Even with my clients, I come across it," Go added.“They feel in a way, by questioning the authorities, it’s like saying they’ve failed you."
The hotline, which closed this week after a month, was the first phase of an inquiry launched by the Ontario Human Rights Commission early last month. There was also an online survey available at the commission’s website.
In total, commissioner Barbara Hall says “less than 100″ messages were logged in total.
Next week, the commission will release a preliminary report that will contain victim testimonials, possible recommendations and a timeline for the next stage of the inquiry.
Many of the reports were similar to ones reported in the media. Fishermen, mostly of Asian descent, are being attacked in the Lake Simcoe, Peterborough and Kingston areas. Some reported being jeered at with racial slurs, others said they had equipment damaged, and others said they were physically assaulted or thrown in the water.
“In certain areas, there is a term for this, called `nipper tipping.’ So to us, the fact that they are Asian has a lot to do with the attack," Go said. “The number of calls isn’t going to affect the report. This isn’t a numbers game. Even if we had just one victim calling in, we need to address the issue."
The report is expected to contain a testimonial from a victim’s parent, who reports constant nightmares about an incident on Sept. 16. On that night, a racially mixed group of Toronto anglers were fishing off Mossington Bridge in Sutton in the middle of the night.
Police say a group of locals approached the friends and pushed an Asian member of the group into Lake Simcoe. A fight broke out and then there was a car chase.
It is alleged that a local in a pickup truck rammed the fisherman off the road about 2 kilometres away from the bridge. Two men were thrown from the car, one of whom, Shayne Berwick, is still in a coma.
“We’ve also heard from some people who live in a few of the communities where incidents have happened. They have raised concerns about racism in their community," Hall said.
The final report is expected early next year.