Evidence of meeting #82 for Canadian Heritage in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was discrimination.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Don Hutchinson  Author, As an Individual
Cecil Roach  Coordinating Superintendent of Education, Equity and Community Services, York Region District School Board
Shahid Akhtar  Co-Chair, Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims
Barbara Landau  Co-chair, Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims
Chief Perry Bellegarde  National Chief, Assembly of First Nations

5:20 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Why don't I help you out? The policy that the Ontario government is putting into place says “disaggregated race-based data across government-funded programs will help us monitor the impact of its policies and programs on different segments of the population [and] help us identify institutional outcomes”. There's a hate crimes piece that I think we've covered. This is another piece of data that the Ontario government is looking to collect. I was just wondering about your thoughts on that, if you have any.

5:25 p.m.

Co-chair, Canadian Association of Jews and Muslims

Barbara Landau

Again, it's really hard to...because you're talking about an Ontario policy. I have a copy of something here that may be what you're referring to. Again, if you had an umbrella group that could talk to the different provinces about what they're trying to do, what their objectives are, and how you might facilitate that.... What you don't want is to go at cross-purposes. You don't want to be developing one set of mechanisms, and then the provinces or specific groups within the community are developing different data collection mechanisms. I just think we need broader co-operation and a definition.

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Okay. Thank you.

I don't know if you have any thoughts about it.

5:25 p.m.

National Chief, Assembly of First Nations

National Chief Perry Bellegarde

I was trying to understand where you were trying to come from with the question. Then I thought, “Are you talking about Stats Canada? Are you talking about an independent body to collect this?” Then I started thinking, “Man, are we going to be studied again as first nations people?”

Who's collecting the data? Is it a safe, fair process? Whose data is it? I have all these questions in trying to understand your question.

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

Sure.

5:25 p.m.

National Chief, Assembly of First Nations

National Chief Perry Bellegarde

As first nations people, how are you going to collect this data? Is it sensitive? Again, who is going to own it, what are you going to do with it? There are privacy issues, and there are intellectual property issues. All these things come to mind, so you start questioning. Do you want an independent body to do this, or do you look to Stats Canada to do this? There's the whole jurisdiction piece as well. That's our data.

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

That's an interesting point, but this is part of what the Ontario anti-racism action plan has and what they are doing is trying to reach benchmarks as to what the impacts are of policies and how things are working. It might be something you like or don't. I'm simply trying to get your input.

5:25 p.m.

National Chief, Assembly of First Nations

National Chief Perry Bellegarde

Yes, I can see how you.... Do you know that there were people who were scared to put down that they're native, aboriginal, or first nations at one time? Even when you're trying to develop a represented workforce strategy where you have a question or something and you have to check the box, some will not want to do it. In some cases some might do it, but there are also people who aren't Métis or first nation but say “Yes, I am”, then they check the box. There's abuse of that. I see that happening in different instances, for access to bursaries, or programs, or scholarships, or spots to become a doctor, or whatever. There's an abuse of that.

It's almost changing around now, where there's more acceptance, but at one time you were taught “You don't tell people that you're an Indian, or you're a Métis, because society will just frown upon you and you're not going to get anywhere and you're going to have to show that you're better than the white guy next to you”. There's all of that, so how do you measure it? How do you capture that data?

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

This was one of the pieces that was put forward to us, so I'm trying to look at it and see what I should do with this. If we were going to make a recommendation based on this idea of creating a framework and guidelines to collect data, disaggregated data, what should I be thinking about? You've listed a bunch of things, but is it something to which you'd say, don't do it?

5:25 p.m.

National Chief, Assembly of First Nations

National Chief Perry Bellegarde

Let me do a more formal response and have time with my staff to dialogue about this to really understand it, because I have too many questions around it. I'm not really understanding where you're coming from.

5:25 p.m.

Liberal

Julie Dabrusin Liberal Toronto—Danforth, ON

I appreciate that. I only have one more minute so I don't have much time. Perhaps you can give me an answer in writing if we run out of time.

One of the other pieces that came forward in this Ontario action plan that we were looking at was a tool kit to focus on building self-reflection and recognizing biases that can impact how health professionals provide their services to indigenous people. It said that it's being informed by indigenous perspective. That is something that they're working on. It's come from many witnesses that you can only really address bias if you recognize it and confront it. I was wondering if you've had any involvement in this tool kit, and if we were going to be working on developing a tool kit, what should go into that development?

We're probably not going to have enough time, unfortunately, verbally.

November 1st, 2017 / 5:25 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Hedy Fry

If you can put that in writing and send it to the clerk, we will be able to see what your thoughts are on that particular question that Ms. Dabrusin asked.

We have come to the end of the presentations, and it's a pity because there are so many other questions that I know we all want to ask and tunnel down into. I think what Ms. Dabrusin was talking about with disaggregated data is.... For example, if you're going to apply a lens that is based on race or religion, etc., to what is happening in the country, you need the disaggregated data to do so. For instance, with gender-based analysis you have to collect disaggregated data, something that says how many women are working in the construction sector, say. When you look at that you can see women number only 5% or 2%, so how come only 2% are women? Do they face barriers, what are those barriers, what do we do to remove those barriers?

That is what the disaggregated gives us, the information to look at policies, programs, and services to see if they're being applied with an equity lens, or if some people really having a hard time and other people aren't. Then you can ask why, get that question asked, and then come down to the solutions based on seeing that some people are doing really badly and why that is. I think that was what it was meant to be.

I understand you, Chief Bellegarde, when you talked about abusing it. I have always felt that way about quotas. Once you start quotas, everybody is going to say, “I don't I have them. I need to get a space on that board. I'm a whatever.” Nobody knows if you're a whatever, so it does tend to lead to abuse. I get that, but this is about finding out how people are faring, the reality of people's lives.

Thank you very much.

You can't leave, guys. There is no motion to adjourn.

5:30 p.m.

Conservative

Scott Reid Conservative Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston, ON

I'll move that.

5:30 p.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Hedy Fry

Thank you, Mr. Reid.

The meeting is adjourned.