Systemic racism is pervasive across government programs and services, and we are committed to taking action now to address it. We will take the following steps over the coming months:
On May 2, 2022, we introduced the Anti-Racism Data Act, co-developed with Indigenous Peoples and racialized communities. The Act became law on June 2, 2022.
- The legislation will address two overarching goals:
- Introducing data collection in a way that builds trust with Indigenous Peoples and racialized communities
- Establishing trusted approaches to collection, use and disclosure of personal information to help address systemic racism.
Secondly, the legislation will enable the consistent and safe collection, use and disclosure of demographic data to identify where systemic racism is taking place and to create a more inclusive, equitable province. We will continue to engage and work with communities to develop a robust and culturally safe implementation plan for this new legislation.
- This legislation is the first step of many to collect and use data to tackle racism. Once the legislation is approved, we will build a plan together with Indigenous Peoples and racialized communities, who will be involved at every step.
- This plan will expand upon existing policy and programs, and develop the guidance, training, tools and activities to collect and use data in ways that are beneficial and appropriate.
- The B.C. government will also be working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples to support Indigenous data governance frameworks and their data priorities in accordance with the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.
We will need to be clear about how we plan to use the data, how we will keep it safe and secure, how we will protect people’s privacy and who will be able to access the data under what circumstances. All of this will be decided in collaboration with Indigenous, Black and people of colour (IBPOC).
The ongoing input and involvement of people and communities, as well as BC’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, will help us to identify and prevent any potential unintended individual and community harms.
A key commitment under the Act is to create a new provincial anti-racism data committee. This committee will bring together community members to collaborate with government to develop research priorities and determine how to gather and use data to identify and eliminate systemic racism in the public sector to improve programs and services for all British Columbians. The membership of this committee was announced in September 2022.
We will continue to engage and communicate with Indigenous Peoples and racialized communities at every stage as we move forward with this legislation. We want to make sure this work is done with great care to avoid further bias and discrimination, while maximizing the power of data to drive much-needed systemic change.