Barometer of inequalities: people racialized are more affected by the health crisis

Baromètre des inégalités: les personnes racisées sont plus affectées par la crise sanitaire

MONTREAL – The people racialized in the country live, the economic situation is more precarious than other Canadians since the beginning of the health crisis, and they are more likely than other citizens to contract the COVID-19.

This is what concludes the July edition of the Barometer of inequalities, which has been put in place by the Observatoire québécois inequalities in order to follow the evolution of inequalities in Quebec since the beginning of the health crisis.

“Although the data are still limited, a comparison of the administrative regions of Québec and of the boroughs of Montreal, according to the proportion of people racialized in the population and the number of cases of COVID-19 per 100 000 people, shows this trend,” said the Observatory, which is based at the University of Montreal.

“Inequalities continued to grow until in may before improving in June”, a-t-on said, referring to the gradual recovery of the economy and the déconfinement operated in parallel.

“Although it is difficult to quantify the evolution of racial discrimination in Quebec during the pandemic, several data suggest to us that the fears and misinformation about the COVID-19 could have led to an increase in behaviours, discriminatory, especially toward the asian population,” said the Observatory, which has obtained the collaboration of Oxfam Quebec for this study.

The crisis of the COVID-19 has caused a lot of layoffs and the demand for food aid has even been a 15-fold higher in April compared to February, before the arrival of the virus.

Also, a reminder, the unemployment rate stood at 10.7% in June in Quebec, a decline of 3.0 % compared to the previous month, while la Belle Province has been put on pause to halt the pandemic. It was, however, 4.5 % in February, before the COVID-19.

“The unemployment rate for women has increased more rapidly and more markedly than that of men during the crisis. Although the gap has narrowed in April, it widened again in may, and then continued to deteriorate in June,” said the Observatory.

For people who have immigrated to the country during the past few years, the unemployment rate grew in June more quickly than for other Canadians. “It had proportionally less increased since the beginning of the crisis”, however, has noted the Observatory.

People with disabilities may suffer more readily from social isolation and “some of them also face discrimination in access to health care, due to the triage system in effect during the pandemic”.

According to the evolution of the data since February, we can see a peak of emotional distress and psychological in people in April and may, and then a slight improvement marked since June.

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