Inaction is one of the most powerful forms of oppression. Our nation’s failure to collect adequate race-based data grants us to dismiss racism within our systems, and further works to actively promote a lack of transparency.
Join us on Monday June 5 at 6PM MST for a live streamed discussion on the needs and solutions for race-based data in Canada. Centered around the recent five-year study looking at race-based hate incidents, Iman Bukhari from Canadian Cultural Mosaic Foundation, will be moderating the online event to hear from the panel about their perspectives.
Chad Haggerty has spent most of his life working in the criminal justice system. In his mid-30’s he chose to go to law school so that he could help the people that needed the benefit of his experiences most – people accused of crimes.
Hagir Sail is a respected professional in the field of anti-racism and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), with over 10 years of experience working in community development, police work, and social justice activism.
Steven Ngo currently works as counsel at Rivian and was named one of Canada’s Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers by Canadian Lawyer Magazine. He is leading a movement called Fix Police Reporting that is focused on removing barriers to reporting hate crimes to the police.
Keivan Monfared has a PhD in Mathematics and works as a Data Scientist with a personal interest in topics related to discrimination and equity. He is passionate about using data to inform and influence policies that directly impact underrepresented groups.
In June of 2020, we gathered over 70,000 signatures from Calgarians asking for the City of Calgary to address systemic racism. After three years, they have launched their anti-racism strategy.
The strategy is a good, safe start. However, the main aspect missing is what the Calgary Police Service will be doing to reform and address racism within their services. More than 60% of the people who came out to the public hearing spoke about experiencing racism from the Police. We have yet to hear from the Police on how they will hold themselves accountable.
Furthermore, overall accountability is also a concern. Making a strategy document is not enough. The City of Calgary needs to hold themselves accountable. We want to see an independent organization evaluate the City’s execution of the strategy and measurements. Governments should not be the ones measuring their own success, or funding partner organizations to measure it on their behalf.
According to the Canadian Criminal Code, a hate crime is defined as a crime motivated by hate based on race, ethnic origin, language, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, etc. A hate incident however is a non-criminal action committed against a person or property, the motive for which is based in whole or in part upon the same characteristics mentioned above. Because hate incidents are non-criminal in nature, police are limited in their ability to be involved. However, the harm caused by such incidents is both palpable and clearly pervasive.
Our national race-based hate data, provided by Statistics Canada, merely consists of police reported crimes. Even though most racialized and Indigenous peoples experiences are actually of hate incidents, not crimes. According to our five years study, only 4% of reports were actually deemed a crime, the rest were all incidents. The incidents are what happens day to day and what most people refer to when they say systemic racism.
We cannot reform our systems or mitigate racism without collecting data on hate incidents in order to better understand the issues.