• Research & Reports
September 28, 2020

Racism in Canada Leads to Inequitable Health and Social Outcomes

Date: September 28, 2020

The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) strongly endorses the recent release of a new resource entitled “Social determinants and inequities in health for Black Canadians: A Snapshot”, the result of ongoing work of the Health Inequalities Reporting Initiative.

The Snapshot reports national data on inequalities in health outcomes and determinants of health for Black Canadians, and highlights how Anti-Black racism and systemic discrimination are key drivers of health and social inequities faced by diverse Black Canadian communities.

 The report highlights “Social, economic, and political factors shape the conditions in which individuals grow, live, work, and age, and are vitally important for health and wellbeing.

Inequalities in these conditions can lead to inequalities in health.” The report also mentions that “in recent years, racism has been increasingly recognized as an important driver of inequitable health outcomes for racialized Canadians.” 

Visit the Promoting Health Equity: Mental Health of Black Canadians Fund, for more information, including a list of currently funded projects. 

These findings from the Public Health Agency of Canada, committed to the ongoing measuring, monitoring, and reporting of health inequalities and determinants of health for Canadians, align with recent findings from other organizations working to identify inequalities and eliminate racism in Canada.

 Statistics Canada recently released figures highlighting hate crime affecting Black Canadians. In this report, the number of hate crimes in 2018 was higher than any other year in the past 10 years. And hate crimes targeting the Black population remained one of the most common types of hate crimes, representing 16% of all hate crimes. A recent labour survey also shows the impact of racism on Black Canadians highlighting the socioeconomic situation of Canada’s Black population from 2001 to 2016 has not improved. For example, while the employment rate of the Black population was lower than that of the rest of the population, the unemployment rate was higher. “For the total Black population, for all generations, the unemployment rate was 10% in 2016 for both women and men, compared with 6% for women and 7% for men in the rest of the population. Also, the unemployment rate of the Black population has grown since 2001, mainly among men.”

CRRF believes these three reports show an alignment that Black Canadians are greatly affected by the racism they face and on multiple aspects of their lives. More needs to be done to tackle systemic anti-Black racism in Canada to help the Black population in Canada to thrive. And for this to happen, multiple organizations need to collaborate towards this common goal, and it starts with education. At CRRF, our work and project, Behind Racism: Challenging the Way We Think, leads us to strongly believe the introduction of scientific approaches to the study of racism will be instrumental in helping to open new exciting approaches in our collective anti-racism work.

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