For a long time now Canada has been seen as a multicultural country without the racial problems we experience in the states. A new report has been released proving that is far from the truth.
The report, issued by the Ontario Human Rights Commission using data from the Special Investigations Unit civilian police review organization, found that between 2013 and 2017, Black people in Toronto were 20 times more likely than their white counterparts to be fatally shot by the Toronto Police Service, or TPS. The commission spoke with 130 people in Toronto’s Black community in preparation for the report, and learned of the “fear, trauma, humiliation, mistrust and expectations of negative treatment” people have of the police, including the “collective impact” of police violence.
Although Black people are 8.8 percent of Toronto’s population, they are involved in 28.8 percent of use-of-force cases, 36 percent of shootings, 61.5 percent of deadly encounters, and 70 percent of fatal shootings. Further, although Black men are a mere 4.1 percent of the Toronto population, they were one-quarter of complainants alleging sexual assault by police.
SIU Director’s Reports reveal a lack of legal basis for police stopping or detaining Black civilians in the first place; inappropriate or unjustified searches during encounters; and unnecessary charges or arrests,” the report said. “The information analyzed by the OHRC also raises broader concerns about officer misconduct, transparency, and accountability. Courts and arms-length oversight bodies have found that TPS officers have sometimes provided biased and untrustworthy testimony, have inappropriately tried to stop the recording of incidents and/or have failed to cooperate with the SIU.”
Racism in Canada extends to the job market. According to a study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, nonwhite women are at the greatest disadvantage in employment in the province of Ontario, earning only 58 cents for every dollar a white man earns. Nonwhite people are 29 percent of Ontario’s population.
Although racially-motivated acts are on the rise in Canada, a survey of 1,503 Canadians found that half of the people believe racism is getting better and 43 percent think racism is worsening in their country, while 60 percent believe it is a growing problem in other nations.
While many white Canadians will argue Canada is anti-racist, Black and indigenous Canadians, who are overrepresented in the courts and prisons, disagree. Black Canadians are more likely to face arrest, pretrial detention, restrictive bail, and harsher sentences, and civilian deaths at the hands of police through “street checks.”