Community in Focus: Belonging and Engagement

Anti-racism Data Act

In 2022 the Province of British Columbia introduced anti-racism data legislation to help dismantle systemic racism and discrimination faced by Indigenous, Black, and other people of colour.

Data collected under the act will help identify service gaps and allow the government to better meet the needs of Indigenous, Black, and racialized British Columbians. The legislation is the first of its kind in Canada to be co-developed with Indigenous peoples.

More than 90% of racialized people who provided feedback believe collecting intersectional demographic data such as ethnic origin, ancestry, faith, ability, and gender identity could bring positive change in B.C. and be a step toward building trust with the government.

Under the act, safeguards and protections will be put in place to protect this information and prevent it from being used for harm. The act will require the government to release statistics annually to support and advance racial equity.

Source: Province of British Columbia

BC’s Refugee Claimant Housing Referral System

The first of its kind in Western Canada, BC CHARMS (BC’s Refugee Claimant Housing Referral System) connects refugee claimants to suitable housing opportunities in British Columbia.

Launched in May 2022 as a joint venture between the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, MAP BC, and MOSAIC, this province-wide database specifically targets refugee claimants who experience heightened vulnerability because they are not formally recognized as refugees in Canada.

BC CHARMS aims to enhance housing supply while creating efficient and effective referrals to appropriate housing and services. The navigation website provides important resources that claimants need in the first weeks of their arrival, including information on how to connect with settlement organizations that can create the referral pathway to BC CHARMS.

BC CHARMS currently has 15 participating organizations across the province working together to find housing, including settlement organizations, such as the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre, and transitional homes. As of October 2022, 39 individual claimants, representing families and single persons, have been housed by the participating transitional homes.