Ontario wants to collect race-based data to fight systemic racism

Ontario is focusing on tackling anti-black and anti-indigenous discrimination as well as Islamophobia in its newly released three-year strategy to combat systemic racism.

The plan includes collecting race-based data in the child welfare, justice and health sectors, as well as in education from kindergarten to Grade 12.

It will also create an "assessment framework" to help remove unconscious bias in certain programs, starting in the child welfare, justice and education sectors this spring.

A specific Black Youth Action Plan comes with a four-year funding commitment of $47 million aimed at increasing opportunities for black children and youth.

In the strategy the government says the need to address Islamophobia is "urgent" and it will roll out a public education campaign and look at collecting and publishing police data on reported incidents of Islamophobia and other forms of racial prejudice.

The Liberal government intends to introduce legislation to give it authority to mandate race data collection.