History of the legislation

Working to address racism in B.C.

British Columbia’s history, identity and strength are rooted in its diverse population. Yet Indigenous and racialized people face historic and present-day barriers that limit their full participation in their communities, workplaces, government and lives.

Each ministry has a role in tackling racial discrimination, and we have projects across government that are seeking to address racism.

Anti-Racism Data Act

We are working hard to make B.C. a more equitable, inclusive and welcoming province for everyone. The Anti-Racism Data Act will help us identify and address systemic racism and other inequities in our programs.

This legislation, which became law on June 2, 2022, will be an important tool that will give the B.C. government and Indigenous Peoples and racialized communities better information to drive action and change.

Why is legislation needed?

We know that systemic racism exists everywhere, including in our policies and programs, and this must change. While we collect some personal information to deliver programs, we don’t ask questions related to identity. This means we don’t know exactly where people are experiencing barriers.

This legislation gives us the tools we need to gather information safely. This will help us to identify gaps and strengthen our programs for everyone in B.C.

Listening to Communities

Indigenous Peoples and racialized communities have been asking us to improve how we collect, use and access to race-based data for a long time.

These communities have said they want better information to understand their community members’ experiences with public services – such as education, healthcare, housing and policing – so that systemic racism can be identified and addressed. We listened to communities when they said that legislation is needed to make sure that the information is collected, stored and used in a way that is culturally safe and does not cause harm.

Feedback from Partners

The Human Rights Commissioner also highlighted this issue in Disaggregated Demographic Data Collection in British Columbia: The Grandmother Perspective . This report stressed the importance of working with communities to make sure they are involved in the collection and use of their personal information to avoid making existing systemic issues worse.