Sure, and thanks very much for the question.
I completely agree with Dr. Siddiqi that we need to go fundamentally towards equality and equity, and that there are these fundamental causes that are driving disparities.
The problem is that a lot of the things you are going to do to try to deal with those fundamental causes are not going to happen during this pandemic in the first wave, second wave or recovery. The question is what can we actually do now and what can we actually do that can practically help this group move towards a more equitable response?
I do believe that we will find, if we have the data, that different jurisdictions have had different levels of success in producing equitable responses. I'm completely sure of that. We know that different jurisdictions have had completely different rates of COVID. If you look at B.C. and compare it to Quebec and Ontario, these are very different outcomes. In fact, if both Quebec and Ontario had the same quality of response that B.C. did, there would have been about 2,000 lives saved in Ontario, and there would have probably been about 4,000 lives saved in Quebec.
There are big differences in the ways we've gone about things. If we could even get to the point of equalizing how well the different provinces have dealt with COVID, we would move towards better outcomes for all.
This idea of legislation is to try to promote equity through legislation, to make sure that provinces actually think about equity when they're thinking about their pandemic plans. At the moment, many don't, and that's why we see some of the disparities. Not all of the disparities would be dealt with by thinking about equity in the pandemic plans, but certainly, because, as Dr. Siddiqi said, there are fundamental causes of these disparities, we could make our response better and more equitable and we could certainly save lives by using a health equity lens.
Then going forward, when we're looking at the recovery, we need to use the opportunity of the recovery to try to decrease some of the fundamental drivers of inequities. I think there are things we can do now, directly in our pandemic plans, and then also in our recovery plan, that will actually make us more equitable and will save lives.
I also think that not having the data is criminal. It's 2020, right?