B.C. opens consultation on anti-racism legislation as groups praise data collection

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VANCOUVER — The British Columbia government is asking residents to provide input on proposed anti-racism legislation as members of marginalized communities say the collection of data will help groups flourish.

Rachna Singh, the parliamentary secretary for anti-racism initiatives, says the public feedback will help better identify systemic racism in existing government programs.

B.C. residents can share their thoughts through an online government portal until Nov. 30.

Singh says systemic racism has led to a mistrust in government programs by marginalized groups.

Dr. June Francis, an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University, says the lack of data on systemic racism has helped society ignore the problems marginalized and racialized people face.

She adds the lack of data has also stopped those groups from "flourishing" and achieving more success.

"Desegregated and anti-racist data is critical to ensuring Indigenous and racialized groups in B.C. have access to ... housing, employment, education, policing and other areas," Francis said.

"For too long, we've been running blind, or I wonder if we're just blinding ourselves, through having no data to systemic racism and institutional racism."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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