Steven Ngo had stopped at a traffic light in a residential neighbourhood in the eastern part of Vancouver when passengers in another car tossed garbage at him, shouting racial slurs as they sped off. The lawyer, a lifelong resident of the city, was stunned – but not surprised. “The racism has never been as overt and apparent,” said Ngo. “I’ve never seen it so brazen.” Over the last year, Vancouver, a cosmopolitan metropolis set between mountains and ocean, has experienced a 717% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes. The grim figures, which experts believe underreport the problem, reflect a legacy of discrimination in a city and country widely seen as welcoming of newcomers.