In a recent letter, Toronto City Councillor and Board of Health Chair Joe Cressy made clear the pivotal role of race-based, socioeconomic, and other social and demographic data in understanding COVID-19, its impact on marginalized groups, and the development of effective policy, programs, and practices that protect our communities. His letter confirmed the Board’s commitment to pursuing the collection and analysis of race-based and other social data and called on the provincial government to adopt similar measures across Ontario.
Social Planning Toronto strongly supports this direction and encourages Toronto Public Health and the City of Toronto to follow through on this intention by collecting, analyzing, and making public disaggregated data in response to COVID-19 and to support the broader goal of building a more equitable, livable and just city. For many years, our organization and others have called for the collection of high quality, comprehensive, and disaggregated data to ensure the creation of responsive public policies that deliver equitable outcomes across a broad range of issues.
Now more than ever, we require systems to ensure access to essential data to support community wellbeing, safeguard groups at risk, and build a better city for all.