Help Shape B.C.’s Anti-Racism Data Legislation
From now until November 30, 2021, The Government of BC is asking British Columbians to provide input on proposed anti-racism legislation as members of marginalized communities say the collection of data will help groups flourish.
In November 2020, Premier John Horgan mandated Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives, Rachna Singh to work with BC’s new Human Rights Commissioner and other stakeholders to introduce legislation that will help reduce systemic discrimination and pave the way for race-based data collection essential to modernizing sectors like policing, health care and education.
From the Government of BC:
Government is committed to tackling systemic racism in public sector policies, programs and services. Government needs data to inform strategic action. Members of Indigenous and racialized communities have advocated for race-based data collection in support of this goal. The B.C. Government will introduce legislation next year on race-based data collection.
Race-based data collection is about better identifying where gaps and barriers exist for Indigenous and racialized communities, so we can provide better services and ensure that services are delivered equitably.
The B.C. Government is responsible for protecting people’s privacy and personal information whenever they interact with its organizations. Names and identifying information are removed when data collected by government is used to understand complex issues like systemic racism.
The anonymous information we collect in this engagement will inform how we gather and use race-based data in the future. This engagement has three goals:
- To invite participants to speak about their identity. This will help us understand how people in B.C. prefer to identify or represent themselves before we start collecting race-based data.
- To invite participants to share their previous experiences sharing personal information with government agencies. This will help us understand people’s comfort levels with sharing information in different situations, such as for research purposes or to access public services like health, education or justice so that we can build better collection methods.
- To invite participants to share their experiences and hopes for how the data will be used so that we can work towards racial equity in priority areas.
This survey will available to BC residents until November 30, 2021.
The stakeholder and public engagement will build on the findings and recommendations of two key reports released in late 2020:
- In Plain Sight: Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Health Care
- Disaggregated demographic data collection in British Columbia: The grandmother perspective
Feedback from the public engagement will help government introduce and amend legislation and policies that will help create a safer, more inclusive province for every British Columbian.
“This engagement will help shed more light on the experiences of people using government services in BC, so that we can break down these barriers they’re facing, identify gaps and deliver better supports. It will also ensure that our approach to collecting data meets the needs of BIPOC communities and does not exacerbate existing systemic issues”
- Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives