OCASI Comments on Bill 114, Anti-Racism Measures



OCASI has submitted comments on Bill 114 - An Act to provide for Anti-Racism Measures

The Bill was introduced in the Legislature on March 29, 2017 by Michael Coteau, Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism.  If passed, legislation would embed the Ontario Anti-Racism Directorate in law, creating a framework for continued work to promote equity for racialized groups across the province. The Bill would enable the government to mandate race data collection and an anti-racism impact assessment framework, to apply an anti-racism perspective to public sector policies and programs. 

As a founding steering committee member of Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change (COP-COC), OCASI as well as other COP-COC members have been calling for almost ten years for the collection and reporting of ethno-racially and other disaggregated data to better track, measure, analyse and understand the differential impact of government policies, programs and practices on racialized and other equity-seeking groups and communities.

In October 2016, OCASI and other COP-COC members held a press conference to call for the Anti-Racism Directorate to be established in law and to propose draft legislation. (Click here for details.)

We are pleased therefore to witness the introduction of Bill 114 and note the inclusion of many of our recommendations. OCASI joins COP-COC in putting forward the following recommendations to help strengthen the Bill and its implementation to achieve meaningful and real implementation of the legislation.

Specific recommendations:

a) Make Data Collection Mandatory

Recommendation 1:  The collection of race based data be made mandatory by amending ss.6(5) by replacing the word “may” with the word “shall” in the following phrase to read as follow:

(5) The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall make regulations….

b) Remove the Exemption of the Health Sector from the Data Collection Requirement

Recommendation 2: Remove s.6(7) of Bill 114 so that all public sector health agencies are also fully and immediately subject to the data collection requirement.

c) The need for an intersectional approach to data collection

Recommendation 3: Add the following clause to section 6(2):

(f) where applicable, the collection of personal information to identify and monitor other forms of discrimination which intersect and reinforce systemic racism and racial disparities.

d) Making Data More Accessible to the Public

Recommendation 4: Subsection 7(16) and Section 8 be amended to allow access to the data collected, by researchers or other parties on an anonymized basis through a more simplified process under this Bill.  In the alternative, add a provision to require all public agencies which collect such data to publish the aggregated and anonymized data on an annual if not more frequent and regular basis.

e) Enhancing Accountability and Making Racial Equity Real

Recommendation 5: The Government shall enact mandatory fair and equitable employment provisions in Ontario in order to build a merit-based labour market across the province, and to level the playing field for all racialized and other equity-seeking groups and historically disadvantaged communities. Toward this end, the Government must establish an Equity in Employment Secretariat fully and adequately resourced to ensure merit-based hiring, retention and promotion across the province, and the implementation of mandatory and comprehensive fair and equitable employment practices, programs and supports.

Recommendation 6: The ARD must issue policies and directives to all provincial ministries, offices, agencies, boards, commissions and corporations on how to address systemic racism and require all of them to set targets with measurable goals and specific timetables.

Recommendation 7: The Government must make it mandatory for all ministries, offices, agencies, boards, commissions and corporations to collect ethno-racially disaggregated data, and conduct regular audits on whether their targets are being met.

Recommendation 8: As and where possible and appropriate, all funding to ministries, offices, agencies, boards, commissions and corporations must be tied to meeting the targets and reporting requirements as set out by the ARD.

Recommendation 9: Performance measurements of all Deputy Ministers must contain an evaluation of the Ministries’ achievement of the targets and transparent reporting requirements as set out by the ARD, including the requirements to collect data.

Recommendation 10: The Minister must report annually to the Legislature on the progress of the Strategy.

Recommendation 11: The ARD should add the Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy to its list of institutions piloting the data collection framework in 2017.

f) Establish the Anti-Racism and Disability Rights Secretariats

Recommendation 12: The Government should establish the Anti-Racism Secretariat and the Disability Rights Secretariat pursuant to s.27(12) of Bill 107.

 Click here to download the full submission [PDF, 5 pages]