Anti-racism Online Engagement Report

“Creating a BC for everyone and being treated equitably were the most important outcomes for how government should use respondents’ data.”

– Respondent from SenseMaker survey

Report summary

From September 9, 2021 to January 31, 2022 the Government of British Columbia ran an online survey to support anti-racism data legislation. The survey gathered responses about the experience of providing identity and ethnicity data when using government services.  British Columbians contributed a total of 2,916 responses. Responses were from a diversity of identities, ages, and places across B.C.

Overall, respondents indicated that sharing race, culture and heritage, and gender identity information with the government would help improve our understanding of gaps, barriers, and inequities experienced by some communities. Respondents submitted over 1,300 suggestions for improving identity categories. It is recommended that these be explored together with community members in future work. The majority of government data sharing experiences were from Education, Healthcare, BC Stats or Census Canada, and Citizen services. Respondents rated 61% of the experiences to be negative while 24% were positive. 

Respondents voiced their concern about how data might be used to stereotype people more than their concern of being monitored or excluded. Respondents described experiences that frequently made them feel nervous and anxious as well as some that made them feel comfortable and okay. Respondents expressed that identity data should be used in a manner that creates a BC for everyone and treats people equitably. These were both seen to be more important than honouring people’s unique identity. The responses indicated that any new data collected by the government should, in a balanced way, ensure fairness in use and application, involve community, and that people are safe when the government uses such data.

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