Barriers Persist for Ontario Visible Minorities, Report Finds

Toronto Star, June 3, 2010

Visible minorities in Ontario are far more likely to live in poverty, face higher unemployment and receive less pay, says a new report.

And women are worse off because sexism and racial discrimination pack a “double wallop,” says the study released Thursday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

“The findings in this study point to the overwhelming need for governments to step in with policies to help break down racial and gender barriers,” says Sheila Block, a researcher with the centre.

Based on data collected in 2005, which formed the basis of the 2006 census, the report found working women from visible minorities earned about half as much as men who were not from visible minorities.

Visible minorities had an unemployment rate of 8.7 per cent in 2005, compared with 5.8 per cent for the rest of Ontario workers.

The study also found that visible-minority families are three times more likely to live in poverty.

The report follows projections in March from Statistics Canada which suggested visible minorities could become the majority of the population in Toronto in about 30 years.

The agency says 63 per cent of the population would be from a visible minority by 2031, up from 43 per cent in the 2006 census.

Overall, Statistics Canada says visible minorities would account for one-third of the country’s population by that time.

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