What is this engagement about?
In November 2020, Surrey-Green Timbers MLA Rachna Singh was appointed B.C.’s first Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. The Premier has asked Parliamentary Secretary Singh to work on two key initiatives to address discrimination and make B.C. a more equitable, inclusive and welcoming province for everyone:
Work with B.C.’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.
Conduct a full review of anti-racism laws in other jurisdictions and launch a stakeholder consultation to inform the introduction of a new Anti-Racism Act that better serves everyone in B.C.
Race-based Data Collection
We know that systemic racism exists in policies and programs, and this has a negative impact on people and communities. We need better information to ensure that services are delivered equitably.
Race-based data collection is about better identifying where gaps and barriers exist, so we can provide better services for communities.
The past 12 months have shown that we need to do more to address systemic discrimination and hatred in British Columbia. We’ve seen a rise in anti-Asian and anti-Indigenous racism during COVID-19, and a world-wide focus on anti-Black racism through the marches for Black Lives Matter. With B.C.’s Multiculturalism Act now more than 25 years old, it’s time for a transition to more active and focused anti-racism efforts.
The introduction of B.C.’s first anti-racism act will reinforce government’s goal to combat racism throughout B.C, and to ensure that individuals are treated equitably, regardless of their race or skin colour.
We have already received input from the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner on how we can collect data in a way that is sensitive to the needs of the communities we serve. In the coming weeks, Parliamentary Secretary Singh will be engaging with Indigenous organizations and key stakeholders to get initial feedback and recommendations on approaches government should take in developing race-based data collection legislation and anti-racism legislation.
Based on this advice, the Province will conduct broader public engagement on race-based data collection starting in summer 2021. We expect to begin public consultation on the anti-racism legislation in fall 2022.
Details of the Engagement