Unifor applauds collection of race-based data on COVID-19 in Ontario

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a graphic reads: "COVID-19 Update."

May 7, 2020

TORONTO- As Ontario establishes collection of race-based data on COVID-19, Unifor requests responsible collection guidelines and asks other provinces to follow suit.

“The disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 disease on racialized communities has once again exposed how economic and structural inequality affects people’s health,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “We can observe this clearly, but without the data to guide us, governments will be ill-equipped to put in place lasting solutions. Ontario’s announcement to collect this data is a necessary first step.”

The sharp rise and concentration of cases including infections and fatalities amongst people of colour in several countries prompted workers across Canada to call for race-based data collection. 

Unifor supports the growing calls for the collection of race-based disaggregated data on the pandemic to follow the Data Standards for the Identification and Monitoring of Systemic Racism and be expanded to include COVID-19 testing, diagnosis, treatment and fatalities.

“Workers in Ontario have demanded this data collection in order to measure today’s inequalities, but also to bridge those gaps in the future,” said Naureen Rizvi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. “It’s wrong that racialized and Indigenous people in Canada face worse health outcomes, and with this data in hand, we will be able to advocate for systemic changes to our health and social services.”

These data collection tools should become permanent so that we can better track and understand health inequalities and outcomes. 

Information about the union's response to the pandemic, as well as resources for members can be found at unifor.org/COVID19.

To arrange for interviews, in-person or via Skype or Facetime, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Sarah McCue at @email or 416-458-3307 (cell).