Laura Mae Lindo MPP, Kitchener Centre

Government of Ontario

FACT CHECK: Race-based data is vital science, whether Doug Ford “believes in” it or not

Published on April 20, 2020

QUEEN’S PARK – Doug Ford said Monday “I don’t believe in collecting race-based data.” But it’s vital for understanding COVID-19 and protecting Black, Indigenous and racialized people — and if Ford doesn’t believe in it, experts do.

“Facts are facts, regardless of whether or not the premier chooses to believe in them,” said NDP Anti-Racism critic and Black Caucus Chair Laura Mae Lindo. “Black, Indigenous and racialized Ontarians already faced barriers to access and worse health outcomes before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, with the spread of COVID-19, these health inequities could be compounded by other social and economic inequities, leading to even more dire health outcomes. We need race-based data to spot infection trends and identify inequities, both to conquer COVID-19, and to better deal with future outbreaks.”
The Toronto Central LHIN has been collecting this data for a decade. Doug Ford’s own Chief Medical Officer of Health has recommended its collection.

Other experts in Ontario that do believe in collecting race-based data include:

Adrianna Tetley, CEO, Alliance for Healthier Communities

Adrienne Spafford, CEO, Addictions Mental Health Ontario

Lisa Levin, CEO, AdvantAGE Ontario

Camille Quenneville, CEO, Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario

Kimberly Moran, CEO, Children’s Mental Health Ontario

Deborah Simon, CEO, Ontario Community Support Association

Angela Roberston, Executive Director, Parkdale Queen West Community Health Centre

Cheryl Prescod, Executive Director, Black Creek Community Health Centre

Denise Brooks, Executive Director, Hamilton Urban Core

Florence Ngenzebuhoro, Executive Director, Centre Francophone du Grand Toronto

Francis Garwe, Chief Executive Officer, Carea Community Health Centre

Keddone Dias, Executive Director, LAMP Community Health Centres

Liben Gebremikael, Executive Director, TAIBU Community Health Centre

Lori-Ann Green Walker, Executive Director, Women’s Health In Women’s Hands Community Health Centre

Paulos Gebreyesus, Executive Director, Regent Park Community Health Centre

Safia Ahmed, Executive Director, Rexdale Community Health Centre

Simone Atungo, Chief Executive Officer, Vibrant Healthcare Alliance

Suzanne Obiorah, Director, Primary Health Care, Somerset West Community Health Centre

In Chicago, Black people are 30 per cent of the population but make up more than 70 per cent of the COVID-19-related deaths. On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a breakdown of COVID-19 case data by race, showing that 30 per cent of patients whose race was known were Black.