EDMONTON -- Members of Edmonton's Asian community say hate-motivated attacks are a growing concern. 

The fears were already there after documented rises in racially-motivated incidents against Asians across Canada due to the pandemic.

But advocates say Tuesday's shooting near Atlanta of eight people, most of them Asian women, is renewing those fears. 

"People think it's OK to joke about the shape of our eyes, our accents, the smell of our food, but then it gets into things that are serious like violent misogyny," said Rajah Maggay.

"We've seen a lot of scapegoating towards the Asian community due to COVID-19."

Maggay says people she's talked to in the community are "fearful, paranoid, and scared." 

"People need to keep supporting Asian businesses in the community and showing their community members that they have our support."

The hashtag #StopAsianHate was a top trending topic on Twitter hours after the shootings that happened Tuesday evening.

Reports of anti-Asian hate crimes are surging across Canada as the pandemic continues. 

According to live data from Fight COVID Racism, there have been 891 reported incidents of anti-Asian hate crimes across Canada as of mid-day March 17. 

Since the start of the pandemic, hate crimes against Asian-Canadians have been on the rise. In a report released by Statistics Canada in July 2020, the agency wrote that the proportion of visible minorities who experienced an increase in harassment or attacks based on their race, ethnicity, or skin colour has tripled compared to the rest of the population since the start of the pandemic, however, the largest increase was seen among Chinese, Korean, and Southeast Asian individuals.  

“We have a long history of anti-Asian racism, with deep-seated prejudice and stereotypes,” Teresa Woo-Paw, chair of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, told CTVNews.ca on Wednesday. “Somehow, people actually still do not fully recognize that we do have anti-Asian racism in this country, and it’s also embedded in our systems as well as our daily lives.”