The Toronto-based Black Action Defense Committee (BADC) is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to take immediate action to ensure that race-based data be collected and made available “in a aggregated manner” for future planning, community development and nation building.
BADC is also calling on all provincial governments to direct the collection and preservation of race-base data in their provinces and report them in a timely manner ” to facilitate corrective measures.”
In a news release, dated Aprll 20 last, BADC said it is alarmed that with the COVID 19 pandemic showing fault lines in social, healthcare and economic systems in Europe and the United States, ” resulting in statistically significant over representation of racialized and traditionally marginalized peoples among those infected by the disease and those that die from it, there is a reluctance by the Canadian authorities to collect race-based data.”
It notes that ” Canada mirrors the USA in many social trends traditionally, and has some of the same fault lines as the United States.Therefore, we are experiencing some of the same challenges.
“We need reliable statistical data to expose Canada’s vulnerability to these diseases in order to guide social and economic policy making to prevent similar outcomes in the future.”
” Burying our heads in the sand and pretending that there is not a racialized disparity among Blacks, and Aboriginal Peoples is tantamount to promoting genocide,” it warned.
Pointing out in the release that early signs suggest that race matters when it comes to COVID-19, BADC cites Dr. Kwame McKenzie of the Toronto-based Wellesley Institute who states that “people who are poor, people who are homeless, Indigenous populations and also our refugee, immigrant and racialized populations, they’re more likely to have chronic diseases because chronic diseases go with poverty and they go with low income,”