Please wait...
Please wait...

Report warns data problems are harming Canada’s racial equity efforts

A new report from Canada’s Racial Equity Media Collective (REMC) says that a lack of adequate data is impeding racial equity efforts in Canada.

Amar Wala

The report adds that data collected by the government, funding agencies, unions and broadcasters has been done so “through harmful and problematic practices.”

The initial goal of REMC’s Racialized Funding Data in Canada report was to undertake a detailed analysis of the funding distributed to black, indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) creators in Canada in order to “collect industry-wide quantitative data” to measure inequity in the sector.

However, REMC, a national not-for-profit organisation advocating equity in the Canadian screen industry, said it became apparent early in the process that it would not be possible “given that race-based data has not been historically collected across the industry and institutions that have been collecting data have done so through harmful and problematic practices.”

The report, which surveyed data from 2017 to 2019, highlighted a number of barriers hindering data collection, including: allowing producers to report on the racial identity of their team versus allowing individuals to self-report confidentially; allowing producers to guess the racial identity of crew and talent and reporting it as fact to meet equity or inclusion requirements; developing targets without engaging in community consultation; and using population demographics as a benchmark.

REMC also said that underrepresentation in leadership, particularly at the executive and board level, is an ongoing issue, as well as provincial and federal tax credits not being subject to any equity-related standards, incentives or eligibility.

REMC made four key recommendations that it said would begin to address some of the issues presented in its report: creating a centralised system of data collection for the sector; the creation of policies to mandate data collection and reporting; developing mandatory funding targets through consultation with BIPOC communities; and ensuring representational senior leadership from BIPOC communities.

“We can’t know where we’re headed unless we know where we stand. Data collection is vital to achieving equity in Canada’s screen sector for black, indigenous and people of colour creators,” said REMC co-founder Amar Wala in a release.

“There is a lot of work to do, and our recommendations create a way forward for the industry to work collectively to achieve change.”

Please wait...