Canadian City Offers COVID Shots to “Black and Other Racialized Populations”

The city of Hamilton in Canada posted a tweet offering the COVID-19 vaccine to “black and other racialized populations” over the age of 18, prompting questions as to whether this was discriminatory.

“COVID-19 vaccine appointments are now available for Black and other racialized populations/people of colour ages 18+ who live in postal codes L9C, L8W, L8L, L8N and L9K at the COVID-19 vaccine clinic at FIRSTONTARIO CENTRE, Friday to Sunday this coming week,” stated the tweet.

This was followed up by another tweet that said appointments are now full, further advising, “Black and other racialized populations/people of colour, who are ages 18+ live in eligible postal codes L9C, L8W, L8L, L8N, L9K can call the Public Health COVID-19 Hotline at 905-974-9848, option 7 for an appointment at other clinic locations depending on availability of vaccine.”

Under the Canadian Human Rights Act, “prohibited grounds of discrimination are race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, disability.”

By apparently excluding white people from being offered the shot, the city’s policy appears to be in violation of this act.

However, others suggested that under the Canadian Constitution, it is in fact permitted to discriminate on favor of non-whites in the name of “affirmative action.”

Respondents to the tweet expressed their confusion.

“How is this even remotely fair? I live in L9C, over 40 and compromised immune system but I can’t get an appointment!!! Ridiculous,” commented Shelly Petrie.

“Imagine this same tweet but with “white” instead of “black” and the outrage it would cause,” remarked another respondent.

“You will be relying on these spanish colonial race charts to determine priority, yes?” joked another.

“While a white 56 year old with a rare disease that has caused scarring in both lungs, compromised immune system, heart palpitations and hypertension, is still awaiting their first shot. I sense a serious level of racism by our elected officials,” said another.

Governments and health bodies across the west have funded public relations campaigns to encourage ethnic minorities to take the jab because of their historically lower than average uptake in those communities.

However, in directly offering the jab to certain racial groups before others, authorities may find themselves in hot water if a discrimination case is brought before the courts.


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