Anti-racism legislation to remove systemic barriers for racialized and Indigenous people

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Indigenous and racialized people will face fewer barriers when accessing public programs and services with new legislation introduced on April 11, 2024 at the Legislative Assembly of B.C.

The legislation aims to remove systemic racism from provincial institutions.

The anti-racism legislation will apply to all public bodies, such as provincial ministries, agencies, health-care and social services providers.

Under this bill, the Province must establish a provincial committee on anti-racism to develop and implement an anti-racism action plan.

The action plan will lay out how government plans to address systemic racism, how success will be measured and what accountability measures will be put in place. Indigenous partners will be consulted in the development of the action plan.

Other provisions under this legislation require public bodies to:

  • develop and implement a training curriculum on Indigenous history;
  • set targets for the recruitment, retention and advancement throughout the organization, including senior levels for Indigenous people, specifically, and non-Indigenous racialized people;
  • regularly assess policies, programs and services against the anti-racism framework created by the committee;
  • release annual reports to the public documenting progress made on anti-racism initiatives, including potential failures to act, and goals for the next year; and
  • engage directly with Indigenous and racialized people on the findings of these reports.

In addition, this legislation includes grant funding for groups and organizations working with racialized communities to help with implementation.

To ensure compliance, the bill authorizes the attorney general to call at any time a compliance review of any public body believed to not be following the law. The attorney general will also have the authority to issue a compliance order to any public body that is failing to follow the law.

With this legislation, government will take action on systemic racism uncovered through race-based data collection and lived experiences of Indigenous and racialized communities.

Building on the 2022 Anti-Racism Data Act, the anti-racism legislation was co-developed with Indigenous and racialized communities. It fulfils Action 3.6 of the Declaration Act Action Plan, which commits the Province to introducing anti-racism legislation that addresses Indigenous-specific racism.