Breast Cancer Screening
in Racialized Women
Racialization has significantly affected women’s access to
breast cancer screening programs, diagnosis, treatment
and survival. To ensure equitable access to quality care a
better understanding of systemic barriers is needed.
More than 50% of recent immigrants
eligible for screening did not access
it, compared to 26% of Canadian-born
Women from highest income group
have a 4.5% higher chance of survival
than women in lowest income group.
Language and social factors can
impede access to preventive care
Higher death rates among racialized
women largely due to late-stage
diagnoses, which strongly determine
Colour Coded Labour Market
by the Numbers
The Canadian labour market has changed drastically
since the 2006 Census, yet we do not have reliable data
to update our understanding of the racialized labour
What the NHS data tells us:
Racialized Ontarians experience 10.5%
unemployment, compared to 7.5% for the
rest of Ontarians.
An earnings gap of 16.7% exists between
racialized and non-racialized Ontarians.
What the data doesn’t say:
The gap between racialized and
non-racialized workers has widened since
the 2006 Census.
Improve data quality by returning to the
mandatory long-form Census.
Rooming houses have become more prevalent in the
suburbs but their legal status has left them unregulated,
preventing them from being considered an affordable
housing option. Effective regulation is needed to improve
tenant health and safety.
The majority of inner suburbs in
North America are in socio-economic
Growth of rooming houses in inner
suburbs reflects changes such
as increasing poverty and lack of
affordable housing in those areas.
The majority of Toronto’s suburban
roomers are male and live on fixed
income such as Ontario Works of ODSP.
Other roomer populations include
newcomers, international students and
At the end of March 2014, Dr. Kwame McKenzie joined the
Wellesley Institute as its new CEO.
I believe Toronto is very fortunate to have an organization
like The Wellesley Institute, and leading the Institute through
this next period of growth is a real privilege. Good health is
something that all Torontonians want, for themselves and their
community. I want to place Wellesley Institute at the forefront of
understanding how social, environmental and economic forces
shape the health of Toronto residents.
Municipal policy can have significant impacts on peoples’
lives. Leading up to the October 2014 municipal election,
we shared our ideas on how to build a healthier city
through our Health Equity Impact Assessments.
A health-enhancing housing plan would
address housing unaffordability, increase
the supply of TCH and other subsidized
units, fund the TCH capital repair backlog,
and commit to eliminating homelessness in
A health-enhancing green spaces and
active transportation plan would commit to
protecting and expanding Toronto’s green
spaces and active transportation networks.
A health-enhancing jobs and income plan
would include initiatives to increase the
number of well-paying, stable jobs that
include benefits and would lay out a plan to
reduce poverty in our city.
A health-enhancing transit plan would
commit to making transit affordable for
all Torontonians, improve transit access in
under-served parts of Toronto, and connect
communities to important locations like
grocery stores, workplaces and schools.
“Time for city and province to tackle
urgent homelessness crisis”
- Toronto Star, January 2014
Toronto’s housing and homelessness crisis is clear.
A recent study found that nine out of 10 families
living in Toronto’s low-income highrises are at risk of
It’s time for Toronto and Ontario to step up and
do the right thing for people in need of housing
“Cutting refugee health care a false
saving” - Toronto Star, February, 2014
Sonal Marwah ... explores it in a study released this week
by the Wellesley Institute. She does not make value
judgments. She does not use emotional language. She
sticks to known facts, documented cases and evidence
she collected in interviews with health-care providers,
directors of clinics and community agencies, and refugee
...Ottawa’s cutbacks have exposed Canadians to health
risks the government did not anticipate and has not
“Toronto is falling behind in paying for
- Toronto Star, March, 2014
To maintain our existing city services we need revenues to
keep up with the increasing number of Torontonians who
access them and the increases in the costs of services. A
property tax increase that is less than half the rate of rising
costs means that Toronto’s most reliable source of revenue
will lag far behind our actual needs. Everything from more
extreme weather, to gridlocked transportation systems to
over-subscribed recreation programs tells us that we need
more city services, not less.
“Conditions deemed right for action on
inequality” - Toronto Star, June 2014
‘The first way to move public policy is to have a public
perception and a media perception of the problem,’ said
Sheila Block, of the Wellesley Institute.
‘What is exciting to me is that the attitudes reflect reality,’
she told the gathering of policy makers and academics,
sponsored by the Institute of Public Administration of Canada
and York University’s Institute for Social Research.
“Ontario’s housing crisis is also a
health crisis” - Toronto Star, July 2014
Whether we’ve managed to buy our dream home or are
simply dreaming of having a home, few things matter to us
more than where we live. Our homes can be a large part
of our identity. But they’re much more than that. Research
demonstrates that decent housing is fundamental to our
“Toronto’s affordable housing shortage sparks
growth of illegal suburban rooming houses”
- Globe and Mail, October 2014
Toronto has a severe shortage of affordable
housing. As of the end of July, there are more than
170,000 people on the waiting list for Toronto
Community Housing. Rooming houses, many of
which are unlicensed, are often the only choice for
people with low incomes.
Dealing With Urban Health Crises:
Responses To Cuts To The Interim
Federal Health Program
This paper was presented by Steve Barnes to the
International Conference on Urban Health, Manchester,
United Kingdom, March 7, 2014.
The IFH program provided basic health
care services to refugees and refugee
claimants until they either became
eligible for provincial/territorial coverage
or their claim was denied and they left
the country. Services included primary
care, hospital care, some prescription
drugs, basic dental, and some vision care.
The changes to the IFH program
removed access to these services
for a large number of refugees
and claimants, whose coverage
was determined by their refugee
category ... In some cases, virtually
all care was eliminated.
In Memoriam 1948-2014
Bob’s health equity expertise was grounded in his long experience
working with community activists, practitioners and policy makers.
He was a passionate, tireless advocate for building health and
health equity into all policies: from reforming Ontario’s health
care system, to service delivery planning in LHINs to positioning
community health centres as equity leaders. Bob played a
significant role in the development, design and implementation of
Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) across the province. He
worked to ensure that HEIAs were grounded in local experience and
responsive to emerging issues at the community level.
“Ottawa must reverse cuts to refugee
- Toronto Star, February 2014
Our ongoing work on the health impacts of cutting refugee
health care contributed evidence about the impact of these
The Real Cost of Cutting Refugee
Health Benefits: A Health Equity
Impact Assessment, published
January 2013, author Steve Barnes.
Refugee Health Care Cuts In
Canada: System Level Costs,
Risks and Responses, published
February 2014, author Sonal
The Real Cost Of Cutting The Interim
Federal Health Program, published
October 2013, author Steve Barnes.