CBTU Canada Statement on the Toronto Police Services 2020 Race Based Data Collection Findings

The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) in Canada acknowledges the apology to the Black community by Toronto Police Chief James Ramer. We further recognize that the information collected in the 2020 Race-Based Data Collection Report sheds light on the policing of Black and Indigenous communities, covering multiple years with various police chiefs at the helm.

Among the data is the finding that the Black population is 10% of Toronto’s population but five times more likely to receive force from police and twice as likely to have police pull firearms on them even when believed to be unarmed. This data is not new information to the Black community. Rather it is the far too often reality of a people whose complaints on this are historically heard, documented and later shelved by those tasked and empowered to correct it. While the acknowledgement of the incomprehensible treatment of Black and Indigenous citizens by the Toronto Police Service and the resulting apology from the Toronto Police Chief can be viewed as stepping in the right direction, an apology without corrective action and reparations is equivalent to a home without a roof. 

CBTU Canada further stands compelled to disagree with the statements made by the Toronto police chief that the report does not reflect the act of individual officers. Systemic racism in policing can only be carried out by individual officers and the policies put in place by those individual officers who are eventually promoted into policy and decision-making positions within the Toronto Police Service. It is also our view that racism and white supremacy are ingrained within Canadian society and this latest apology following a long series of similar reports and findings reflects the systemic nature of racism in policing. Whereas the police services represent a microcosm of that society, police are not exempt from perpetuating those views while interacting within communities. The Toronto Police Service’s 2020 race based data collection findings is the latest report of a long list of reports, collected over decades that both tells the Black community what is already known and have historically become little more than paperweights over time. These documents were eventually shelved by  police chief after police chief. The 1992 Louis Report on Racism in Ontario, the 2018 report of the Independent Street Check Review, and the 2012 Toronto Star series entitled “Known to Police” are a few examples of what we see as wake up calls effectively ignored mandate after mandate, by consecutive police chiefs, municipal, provincial and federally elected leaders. Decades after these reports were first released the relationship between the Black community and policing continues to be an area of great concern and the defunding of a policing system that continues to fail the Black community remains a point of discussion.

The CBTU in Canada continues to declare that the need for a report to tell the Black community what is already known is non-existent.  The CBTU advocates for concrete action by the Toronto Police Service and all levels of government to end racism in law enforcement while creating fair and equitable policing that works for everyone. 

The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists-Canada (CBTU) Executive Board

Mark Brown

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May 1st, 2024 


Greetings CBTU Members: 

The Executive Board would like to have a meeting to prepare for the busy months ahead. There is so much happening quickly and it's important that we can get information to you. Please ensure you are signed up to the current Whatsapp chat. 

Please continue to follow the WhatsApp CBTU Ontario chat :


African Refugee Support


Dear CBTU Family and CBTU friends,

Enclosed are the details for the next Shared Closet event in support of the African Refugees in Canada.

The event will take place at the OPSEU Union Hall, located at 31 Wellesley Ave, Toronto, on the dates and times shown on the bulletin. Please join CBTU as we come together to assist those within our community who need our support the most. We are asking CBTU members, their families, and supporters for donations of time, finances, gently used clothing, toiletries, and more.

Please join CBTU and our alli Shared Closet as we actively work to improve living and working conditions within the Black community. 

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In solidarity

CBTU - Canada

Thank you,



The McClean family and Coalition of Black Trade Unionists would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your generosity in funding the CBTU Scholarship Fund. In memory of Sylvia McClean, a true god sent to everyone she met.

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