B.C. tables data collection law to help dismantle systemic racism, says premier

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VICTORIA — The British Columbia government is introducing data collection legislation that it says will start the process of dismantling systemic racism faced by Indigenous and other racialized communities in the province.

The government says information collected under the Anti-Racism Data Act will help identify gaps in programs and services to better meet the needs of Indigenous people, Black people and others who face discrimination in B.C.

Premier John Horgan says in a statement B.C. is shaped by the diversity of its people, but systemic racism and colonialism have had long-lasting effects of unfairly holding people back for education, employment, housing and other issues.

He says the legislation takes important steps forward because it will use data that reveals barriers for people as evidence to help build more equitable policies.

The government says more than 90 per cent of racialized people who participated in a community-led survey stated collecting data about ethnicity, gender identity and faith could drive change in B.C. and build trust with government.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, says the collection of data for anti-racism purposes may provide evidence to address supports and services for Indigenous people.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 2, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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