July 16, 2020
Treaty 1 Territory, Winnipeg, MB – NDP MLA and Justice Critic Nahanni Fontaine is raising concerns regarding the recent announcement by Statistics Canada and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police to begin collecting race-based data when reporting on people accused of crime, and victims of crime.
“Collecting this kind of information can be problematic - from the research methods used and ownership of data, to the intent and purpose of the reporting, and the accuracy of the statistics,” said Fontaine. “The potential benefit of gathering and publicizing this kind of information to bolster calls for safer and more equitable community services is welcome; however, community representation that includes Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) must have a role in data sharing, storage and collection.”
Following the May 2020 police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and ongoing Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the globe, communities have called for law enforcement agencies to restore their relationship with BIPOC.
“This kind of data collection is only useful when it comes with a commitment from government(s) to address the socio-economic conditions that primarily affect marginalized peoples. The Pallister government needs to immediately increase funding for social programs - in particular youth programs - to address the root causes of crime in Manitoba,” Fontaine added.