Ontario Launches Provincial Standards for Race-Based Data Collection
Ontario is leading by example with the launch of the Data Standards for the Identification and Monitoring of Systemic Racism - the first anti-racism data standards of its kind in Canada - for the purpose of targeting systemic racism and ensuring people in Ontario benefit equally from public policies, programs and services.
These standards set out guidelines on how public sector organizations in child welfare, education and justice areas must begin collecting, analyzing and reporting race-based information across the province over the next five years. Having consistent, effective data standards will support evidence-based decision-making and public accountability.
Launching the anti-racism data standards is part of the government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and free preschool child care from 2 ½ to kindergarten.
- Establishing anti-racism data standards is a key initiative under A Better Way Forward: Ontario’s 3-Year Anti-Racism Strategic Plan, and part of the Anti-Racism Act, 2017.
- The Anti-Racism Act, 2017, authorizes the collection of personal information such as Indigenous identity, race, religion and ethnic origin to better understand systemic racism.
- By 2036, racialized people will account for an estimated 48 per cent of Ontario’s population.
- The Anti-Racism Directorate has worked closely with partners, such as the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s Office and the Ontario Human Rights Commission, to build strong privacy rules and human rights provisions into how personal information is collected, managed and used.
“Government and public sector organizations need good quality, comparable race-based data to better understand how government programs, policies and services impact different population groups. This data will help inform policies and programs today and into the future, and will help to remove barriers that continue to hold people back.”