Queen’s Park — Michael Coteau, MPP for Don Valley East and Ontario Liberal critic for anti-racism, welcomed news the provincial government will be collecting race-based and other socio-economic data as part of its efforts to combat COVID-19.
“Last week, I asked the Premier to make this simple but critically important change so Ontario could better understand the COVID-19 pandemic and learn valuable lessons for future public health issues. I am pleased to see that the Chief of Medical Officer said today that the province will be moving to collect race-based data,” said Coteau, the former Minister of Anti-Racism who introduced the landmark Anti-Racism Act. “I urge our public health officials to expedite this process and ensure all patients are given the option to provide their demographic information, so we can do what the experts tell us needs to be done to learn from this pandemic, and how it impacts different segments of our society.”
In response to questions from CBC News today, Dr David Williams, the Chief Medical Officer, stated: “We are going to be collecting that [socio-economic] data, we’re going to look at the various ways we might, could or should collect that data, not just for the sake of having it collected but how are you going to use that to change your policy or target your program.”
Dr Barbara Yaffe, the Associate Chief Medical Officer, also confirmed, “We have been working on the questions that should be asked. We are just in the process of getting the questions added to the basic questions that are asked at the health unit.”
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