VICTORIA, B.C. – Today, in line with their commitment to introducing anti-racism legislation, the government tabled Bill 24, the Anti-Racism Data Act.
“I am grateful for all the work undertaken by the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner, along with the thousands of British Columbians who contributed a wealth of knowledge and experience through the engagement process,” said Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Greens and MLA for Cowichan Valley.
“This is a positive step forward, and it is essential for all public agencies to heed the recommendations of the Engagement Reports and the BCOHRC’s Report to ensure that data is used appropriately and with the right security. There are many systemic issues that need to be addressed in B.C., and data is one of the tools to achieve better outcomes, if used effectively.”
The First Nations Engagement Report, one of the 5 Engagement Reports that informed the legislation, identified the history of mistrust with government services’ collection of data. As the Province moves forward with collecting disaggregated demographic data, many BC First Nations have urged the importance of continued collaboration with Indigenous peoples, especially surrounding Indigenous data sovereignty, and the adherence to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA).
“I am pleased to see this legislation be co-drafted with Indigenous Peoples, which is a step further than mere consultation,” said Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands and a member of Tsartlip First Nation. “We have heard time and again the importance of collecting good information to better understand the extent of systemic and institutional racism through our government. While this is an important step forward, the difficult work is ahead. We have to ensure that this data is used to better outcomes for racialized British Columbians.
B.C. Green Caucus
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