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Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination: What Works and What Doesnt Opening Remarks * John Biles Metropolis Presents Panel 29 September 2009 Ottawa * Note.

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Presentation on theme: "Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination: What Works and What Doesnt Opening Remarks * John Biles Metropolis Presents Panel 29 September 2009 Ottawa * Note."— Presentation transcript:

1 Anti-Racism and Anti-Discrimination: What Works and What Doesnt Opening Remarks * John Biles Metropolis Presents Panel 29 September 2009 Ottawa * Note that these remarks are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Metropolis Project, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, or the Government of Canada. 1

2 Table of Contents Definitions Contours of the Problem Demographic Projections Contexts Measurement Challenges Organization of the Panel 2

3 Definitions Racism refers to a set of mistaken assumptions; opinions and actions resulting from the belief that one group of people categorized by physical characteristics or ancestry are inherently superior to another. Racism may be present in organizational and institutional policies, programs and practices, as well as in the attitudes and behaviour of individuals (BC 1998). Racism is any restriction or preference based on race, colour or descent. Racial discrimination prevents people from participating equally and fully in our society. It hurts and humiliates its victims. It can even deny some members of society their basic human rights. It takes many different forms, and can occur with social, political, economic, cultural and other activities (Manitoba 2008). 3

4 Definitions (Cont.) Discrimination can occur even though there is no intent to treat someone unfairly. The defining feature of discrimination is its effect. The prohibited grounds of discrimination are enumerated in section 3 of the Canadian Human Rights Act : – 3.(1) For all purposes of this Act, the prohibited grounds of discrimination are race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for which a pardon has been granted. 4

5 Definitions (Cont.) Systemic Discrimination is the creation, perpetuation or reinforcement of persistent patterns of inequality among disadvantaged groups. It is usually the result of seemingly neutral legislation, policies, procedures, practices or organizational structures. Systemic discrimination tends to be more difficult to detect (CHRC 2009). Buried within seemingly neutral we find power and privilege which must be identified and effectively addressed. 5

6 Contours of the Problem 24% of all visible minorities in Canada reported that they felt uncomfortable or out of place because of their ethno-cultural characteristics, all, most or some of the time. 20% of visible minorities reported sometimes or often experiencing discrimination or unfair treatment in the previous five years. 32% of Blacks49% (Including rarely) 21% South Asians34% (Including rarely) 18% Chinese33% (Including rarely) 56% of those reporting sometimes or often experiencing discrimination or unfair treatment reported it occurring at work or when applying for work 35% in stores/banks/restaurants and 26% on the street. All figures from Ethnic Diversity Survey (Statistics Canada 2003). 6

7 Contours of the Problem (Cont.) 1,135 anti-semitic incidents were reported to the League for Human Rights of Bnai Brith Canada, an increase of 8.9% over the 2007 figures (Bnai Brith 2008). In 2006, Canadian police services, covering 87% of the population, reported 892 hate-motivated crimes. These accounted for less than 1% of all incidents reported to police and represented a rate of 3.1 incidents per 100,000 population (StatCan 2008). According to the 2004 General Social Survey (GSS), which collects self-reported data on individuals perceptions of crime, 3% of all incidents were believed by victims to have been motivated by hate (StatCan 2008). Police-reported data show that the vast majority of hate crimes were motivated by either race/ethnicity (61%), religion (27%) or sexual orientation (10%) (StatCan 2008). In 2007, police in Canada identified 785 crimes that had been motivated by hatred toward a particular group, down from 892 in This decrease resulted in a 13% drop in the rate for this type of offence (StatCan 2009). Among racially-motivated hate crimes, Blacks continued to be targeted most often, although the number of such incidents declined from 238 in 2006 to 154 in There was also a notable decline in incidents against Arabs and West Asians (StatCan 2009). 7

8 Demographic Projections By 2017 the Black population is expected to number between 948,000 and 1,1777,000, compared to 671,000 in South Asian population may catch up to Chinese population as largest visible minority group in Canada with each numbering between 1.6 million and 2.2 million by West Asian, Korean and Arab populations are expected to double in size. Members of non-Christian religions will comprise between 9.2% and 11.2% of the total Canadian population by 2017 with Muslims expected to increase by 145%, Hindus by 92% and Sikhs by 72%. All figures from 2017 Demographic Projections (Statistics Canada 2005). 8

9 Contexts Large/Small Urban/Rural English/French Homogeneous/Heterogeneous Immigrant Class Composition Recent/Historical Growing / Contracting 9

10 Measurement Challenges Contours of the Problem Evaluation 10

11 Measurement Challenges (Cont.) Contours of the Problem The nature of prejudice is to make unwarranted totalizing claims, whereas understanding advances through elucidation of careful distinctions (Gross 2006). Large scale data sets are expensive and slow to develop, but THEY ARE ESSENTIAL – Ethnic Diversity Survey, Hate Crime Reporting, General Social Survey. Must move away from the residual model e.g. Everything else is explained by other variables so the residual must be racism and discrimination. We need more focus on the perpetrators of racism and discrimination in order to effectively target programs/interventions. 11

12 Measurement Challenges (Cont.) Evaluation Appropriate resources are necessary Micro AND macro impact studies necessary to avoid the causality trap Spaces to exchange past practices are essential 12

13 Organization of the Panel Each presenter will speak for fifteen minutes. All powerpoint presentations include bibliographies and will be posted on the Metropolis website ( when they are available in both Overview Provincial Overview (Joe Garcea) Municipal Approaches (Livianna Tossutti) Sectoral Examples Private Sector (Hélène Cardu) Civic Society (Alejandra Bravo) Challenges Social Capital Networks (Smita Joshi) Evolution of Racism/Discrimination (Meharoona Ghani) Reflections from the Front-line (Carl Nicholson) 13

14 Bibliography Bnai Brith (2008) Audit of Anti-Semetic Incidents Downloaded 24 Setpember British Columbia (1998). Anti-Racism and Multiculturalism: Terminology Guide Canadian Human Rights Commission (2009). Protecting Their Rights: A Systemic Review of Human Rights in Correctional Services for Federally Sentenced Women downloaded 23 September downloaded 23 September 2009 Gross, Jan T. (2006). FEAR: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz. New York: Random House. Manitoba (2008) Stop Racism: Your Rights as a Manitoban rights.html downloaded 24 September rights.html downloaded 24 September

15 Bibliography (Cont.) Statistics Canada (2003). Ethnic Diversity Survey: portrait of a multicultural society Catalogue no XIE. Statistics Canada (2005). Population projections of visible minority groups, Canada, provinces and regions Catalogue no XIE. Statistics Canada (2008). Hate Crime in Canada 2006 Catalogue no. 85F0033M, no. 17. Statistics Canada (2009). Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2007 Catalogue no x Volume 29, Number 2. 15

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