MPP Coteau Calls on Premier Ford to Collect Race-Based COVID-19 Data

  • Provincial News

North York –– Michael Coteau, MPP for Don Valley East and Ontario Liberal critic for anti-racism, today wrote to Premier Doug Ford calling on the government to collect race-based data related COVID-19.

“In the United States, we have tragically seen how Black and other minority communities are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. For instance, just across the border in Michigan, 33 percent of overall cases are African-Americans, as are 40 percent of the state’s deaths related to COVID-19. Yet, Black people make up only 14 percent of Michigan’s population,” said Coteau, the former Minister of Anti-Racism Issues. 

“We need to be able to analyze our own health data in the same way in order to make informed decisions to fight the crisis and learn from this experience, to better prepare for future health issues,” the MPP added. 

The municipalities of Toronto, Mississauga, Caledon, Brampton and York have already undertaken to collect this data, but the provincial government has refused to do so across the province. 

Dr Eileen de Villa, the chief medical officer of the City of Toronto, said, “Without these types of data, we are not able to fully understand if this pandemic is disproportionately affecting certain people in our community and ways to address these potential inequities”.

For more information:
Andrew Green
Executive Assistant to MPP Michael Coteau
askgreen@liberal.ola.org

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Hon. Doug Ford MPP
Premier of Ontario
Main Legislative Building, Queen’s Park 111 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1

Dear Premier Ford:

Let me start with my best wishes for your family, particularly your mother-in-law, during the COVID-19 pandemic. I also want to thank you for the reassuring tone you have struck in your daily briefings, and the work you have done to spread the word to Ontarians of the critical need we all share to stay home to save lives.

Premier, with that said, there is more to be done, and while we may not always agree on every decision, I am writing to you today to request your intervention to make a simple change to help us better fight this pandemic, and learn valuable lessons from this experience once the crisis is over.

I am referring to the need to collect raced-based data related to the pandemic.

As you are aware, the municipalities of Toronto, Mississauga, Caledon, Brampton and York have already agreed to do so. I want to thank them for their leadership.

I hope you and your Ministers will see fit to make this practice uniform across the province.

As Dr Eileen de Villa, the chief medical officer of the City of Toronto, said, “Without these types of data, we are not able to fully understand if this pandemic is disproportionately affecting certain people in our community and ways to address these potential inequities”.

In the United States, we have tragically seen how Black and other minority communities are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. For instance, just across the border in Michigan, 33 percent of overall cases are African-Americans, as are 40 percent of the state’s deaths related to COVID-19. Yet, Black people make up only 14 percent of Michigan’s population.

We need to be able to analyze our own health data in the same way in order to make informed decisions to fight the crisis and learn from this experience, to better prepare for future health issues.

Premier, I know you want to help, and I ask that you do so in this regard. Thank you

Michael Coteau
Member of Provincial Parliament Ontario
Liberal Critic for Anti-Racism

cc Hon. Christine Elliott, Minister of Health