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Local group echoes the call for greater race-based data collection

“Canada does not collect on a national level race-based information or racialized information.”

That’s the assertion from one of the founders of the group Lloydminster & Vermilion For Equity Foundation, Tigra-Lee Campbell. The issue of race-based data collection has come under closer scrutiny as the COVID pandemic has unfolded.

Campbell and her group are marking the one year death anniversary of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police. Former police officer Derek Chauvin was recently found guilty for his role in the death of Floyd. Floyd’s words, “I can’t breathe,” have become the rallying cry as people marched in the streets worldwide, demanding fair treatment of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour at many levels of our society.

The group assembled at City Hall in Lloydminster on Tuesday May 25th with signage in hand to make their case.

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Campbell is collecting data using media sources as the group points to instances of in-custody deaths happening in Canada.

“Black and Indigenous people are incarcerated at a substantially higher rate than non-racialized people. We are targeted for police brutality at a higher rate than non-racialized people. Our children are taken into foster care at a substantially higher rate than non-racialized people.”

Lloydminster & Vermilion For Equity, in pointing to systemic racism, is calling for a look at the historical and  present day issues which affect people of colour in Canada. Campbell lists issues like racial profiling, poverty and generational wealth.

“We hear it quite often that racism doesn’t happen here in Canada, that it’s a United States issue. However, It’s more overt the racism in the U.S. than it is here. It’s a lot more covert, the racism here. You have to read between the lines a lot of the time, which actually makes it a lot more scary.”

On the point of generational wealth, Statistics Canada has reported that the probability of a child from the bottom 20 per cent of parental income distribution remaining there increased from 27 per cent for those born between 1963 to 1966, to more than 32 per cent among those born from 1982 to 1985. Children born into the higher income classes are more likely to remain in that class.

Campbell added they intend to continue to bring awareness to police brutality, racism and systemic concerns through future events and continued research.

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