On June 2, 2022, the Anti-Racism Data Act became law in B.C. The act will help the Province to identify and eliminate systemic racism in government programs and services and pave the way to a more just and equitable province.
An opportunity to do better
The provincial government is working hard to make B.C. a more equitable, inclusive and welcoming province for everyone. One of the ways to support this work is a new law that will help identify and address systemic racism and other inequities in provincial government programs and services.
Systemic racism happens when Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities have worse access to certain government programs and services, or have worse outcomes than British Columbians overall when they access them.
Although discrimination may not be intentional, it is a systemic problem that we need to understand and recognize so we can fix it. That’s why the provincial government and Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives Rachna Singh (and the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Branch, in the Ministry of Attorney General) are working with B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner, First Nations and Métis leadership, racialized communities and other British Columbians to introduce a system to securely collect and safely analyze demographic information on race, ethnicity, faith, gender, sex, ability, income and other social identity markers.
Collecting and using this data in the right way can help to show where there are systemic inequalities so we can address issues of discrimination, inequities and gaps in services.
Protecting people’s privacy and keeping the information safe is the highest priority.
By collecting this important and critical statistical information, we can make sure that government services are delivered equitably and meet the needs of all people in B.C. It will also mean that communities have the essential information to advocate for the changes that will make a real difference.
Learn about the legislation
On May 2, the Province introduced the Anti-Racism Data Act to improve government programs and services for more people, and start to address systemic racism.
Why legislation is needed
Government can collect some demographic data. However, it is not done in a consistent way, and there are gaps in how it is collected, how it is shared, and how it can be accessed.
Talking to communities
From September 2021 to March 2022 the Government worked with community organizations to hear from Indigenous Peoples and racialized communities about how to collect and use race-based data in a safe way that will make a difference in work to target racism.
Keeping your data safe
The province has strong laws and security protocols around how people’s personal information is protected. Government will build on those protections, working with Indigenous and racialized communities to make sure that people’s information meets these protections and security requirements, while ensuring the collection and use of this data does not cause more harm to communities affected by racism.
The Anti-Racism Data Act became law on June 2, 2022. This legislation has been co-developed with the First Nation Leadership Council and Métis Nation BC. The Office of the Human Rights Commissioner and Multicultural Advisory Council also have had a lead role in giving input. The new law will make it possible for the provincial government to collect, use and disclose demographic data to identify and eliminate systemic racism in a consistent and safe way. This will help to identify where systemic racism is taking place and to create a more inclusive, equitable province.
The Province will continue to work with Indigenous Peoples and racialized communities on how and what statistical information will be collected, and how it will be shared and protected.