Anna Junker, Edmonton Journal, June 22, 2023
The Edmonton Police Commission will not move forward in advocating for the addition of race on pieces of government-issued identification like driver’s licences.
Instead, commissioners voted Thursday to write a letter requesting the collection of race-based data be prioritized by the Alberta government, per the province’s 2022 Taking Action Against Racism plan.
The move comes after the commission brought forward a motion in October to advocate to the province that race be added to government identification. But the commission received emails, phone calls, and social media attention that provided “alternative perspectives” on the matter since.
The commission decided not to act on the motion in order to reconsider it and gather feedback from more perspectives. On Thursday, the commission heard presentations on the RCMP’s plan to collect race-based data. As well, the Edmonton Race-Based Data Collection Table, a group co-chaired by End Poverty Edmonton and the United Way and made up of about 40 organizations, provided further insights, considerations and recommendations on the collection and use of race-based data.
Ese Ejebe, with End Poverty Edmonton, said she is very happy with the change to the motion, noting the collection and standardization of race data is a conversation that needs to be had.
“Having a standard and also an anti-racism act to help us have principles and things that we need to consider before thinking about methods of how we’re going to collect this information, I think this is a great starting point.”