Government misses visible minorities


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/11/2020 (928 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

I am honoured to work in a caucus that represents the diversity of Manitoba. That is why we understand the importance of sharing information and data on how COVID-19 has impacted visible minorities and providing meaningful training to address people’s implicit bias in our workplace.

StatsCan released a report detailing that communities with large populations of visible minorities experienced higher rates of mortality during the first wave of COVID-19. The author of this report states that the pandemic has disproportionately impacted visible minorities.

Demands have continued to be made for the Pallister government to release Manitoba’s data but to date nothing has been released. This failure to publicize exemplifies this government’s interest in working with and for visible minority communities.

This data would allow us to see inequalities and inequities experienced by visible minority communities pre-pandemic. This data would also allow us to better target public health messaging, inform policy decisions, highlight housing inequalities and access to the labour market, as well as pre-existing health conditions for visible minority communities. Publicizing this data could ensure that resources are supplied to communities most in need across the province.

In addition to the lack of publicly available data on visible minorities and COVID-19, there is a general lack of data in our public sector on diversity in the workplace.

The Newcomer Education Coalition has lots of great ideas about how we can address the shortage of visible minorities in the public education system. This organization believes it is important to review policy for recruitment, retainment, and seat reservation protocols for visible minorities but that we must first collect data to notice where the gaps lie.

Advocates found that self-identification data of visible minorities in the education system is lacking — with some school divisions not collecting such data in the province. Suni Matthews, a retired school administrator, says that it goes beyond students seeing themselves in teachers and staff — course content must also reflect their lived experiences.

It is important that we all continue to work together in creating a public service that is inclusive and reflects the diversity of Manitoba — through greater data collection and implementing training to address implicit bias. My colleagues and I will also continue to request the Pallister government release data on how visible minorities have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Should you have any insights you would like to share with me, please reach out to me by email at or phone at 204-415-7621. Our constituency office is located at Unit 1, 995 McPhillips St.

Diljeet Brar

Diljeet Brar
Burrows constituency report

Diljeet Brar is the NDP MLA for Burrows.

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