Administrative records
Administrative records is information collected for the purpose of carrying out various non-statistical programs (i.e. to administer programs and provide services). For example, administrative records are maintained to regulate the flow of goods and people, to respond to the legal requirements for registering particular events such as births and deaths, and to administer benefits such as pensions or obligations such as taxation (for individuals or for businesses).
Affected communities
Refers to communities or groups that are directly affected by systemic racism in ways that negatively impact or disadvantage individual members and/or the group as a whole.
Anti-Black racism
Anti-Black racism is prejudice, attitudes, beliefs, stereotyping and discrimination that is directed at people of African descent and is rooted in their unique history and experience of enslavement and its legacy. Anti-Black racism is deeply entrenched in Canadian institutions, policies and practices, to the extent that anti-Black racism is either functionally normalized or rendered invisible to the larger White society. Anti-Black racism is manifest in the current social, economic, and political marginalization of African Canadians, which includes unequal opportunities, lower socio-economic status, higher unemployment, significant poverty rates and overrepresentation in the criminal justice system.
Anti-Indigenous racism
Anti-Indigenous racism is the ongoing race-based discrimination, negative stereotyping, and injustice experienced by Indigenous Peoples within Canada. It includes ideas and practices that establish, maintain and perpetuate power imbalances, systemic barriers, and inequitable outcomes that stem from the legacy of colonial policies and practices in Canada.

Systemic anti-Indigenous racism is evident in discriminatory federal policies such as the Indian Act and the residential school system. It is also manifest in the overrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in provincial criminal justice and child welfare systems, as well as inequitable outcomes in education, well-being, and health. Individual lived-experiences of anti-Indigenous racism can be seen in the rise in acts of hostility and violence directed at Indigenous people.

Anti-racism approach
Anti-racism is a process, a systematic method of analysis, and a proactive course of action rooted in the recognition of the existence of racism, including systemic racism. Anti-racism actively seeks to identify, remove, prevent, and mitigate racially inequitable outcomes and power imbalances between groups and change the structures that sustain inequities.
Antisemitism is latent or overt hostility, or hatred directed towards, or discrimination against, individual Jewish people or the Jewish people for reasons connected to their religion, ethnicity, and their cultural, historical, intellectual, and religious heritage.
A benchmark is a point of reference, or standard, against which things can be compared, assessed, or measured.
Colonialism is the historical practice of European expansion into territories already inhabited by Indigenous peoples for the purposes of acquiring new lands and resources. This expansion is rooted in the violent suppression of Indigenous peoples’ governance, legal, social and cultural structures. Colonialism attempts to force Indigenous peoples to accept and integrate into institutions that are designed to force them to conform with the structures of the colonial state. “Colonialism remains an ongoing process, shaping both the structure and the quality of the relationship between settlers and Indigenous peoples.” (TRC Final Report, 2016 What We Have Learned: Principles of Truth and Reconciliation)
Cultural safety
A culturally safe environment is physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually safe. There is recognition of and respect for the cultural identities of others, without challenge or denial of an individual’s identity, who they are, or what they need. Culturally unsafe environments diminish, demean, or disempower the cultural identity and well-being of an individual.
Data consists of facts, figures, and statistics objectively mea­sured according to a standard or scale, such as frequency, volumes or occurrences, but does not include information (as defined by this directive).
A database (also called electronic database) is any collection of data or information that is specially organized for rapid search and retrieval by a computer. Databases are structured to facilitate the storage, retrieval, modification, and deletion of data through various data-processing operations.
Data set (or Dataset)
An organized collection of data. The most basic representation of a data set is data elements presented in tabular form. A data set may also present information in a variety of non-tabular formats, such as an extensible mark-up language (XML) file, a geospatial data file, or an image file, etc.
In relation to the information of an individual, means to remove any information that identifies the individual or for which it is reasonably foreseeable in the circumstances that it could be utilized, either alone or with other information, to identify the individual.
Recognition of a person’s inherent worth and right to be valued and respected.
Direct identifier
Direct identifiers consist of one or more variables that can be used to identify a single individual, either by themselves or in combination with other readily available sources of information (e.g. name, date of birth, address, email address, etc.).
Disaggregated data
Disaggregated data is broken down into component parts or smaller units of data for statistical analysis. In the context of race-based data, this means breaking down the composite (aggregate) “racialized” category into its component parts such as Black, South Asian, East/Southeast Asian, Latino, Middle Eastern, White, etc.
Ethnic groups
Refers to a person’s ethnic or cultural origins. Ethnic groups have a common identity, heritage, ancestry, or historical past, often with identifiable cultural, linguistic, and/or religious characteristics.
Express consent
Express consent is permission or agreement for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information that is given specifically by the individual to whom the information relates, either orally, in writing, or by some other positive action.
Inclusive processes, policies, services, program and practices are accessible to and useable by as many people as possible, regardless of race, ethnic origin, gender, age, disability, language, etc. An inclusive environment is open, safe, equitable and respectful. Everyone can enjoy a sense of trust, belonging and involvement, and everyone is are encouraged to contribute and participate fully.
Indigenous people identify as being descended from the Original Peoples of what is currently known as Canada. In this context, Indigenous peoples include people who may identify as First Nations (status and non-status), Métis and/or Inuit and any related identities.
Indirect identifier
Indirect identifiers, or quasi-identifiers, are variables for which there is a reasonable expectation that they can be used, either alone or in combination with other information, to identify an individual. Some examples are Indigenous identity, race, ethnic origin, religion, gender, date of birth or age, event dates (death, admission, procedure, discharge, visit), locations (postal codes, building names, regions), country of birth, languages spoken, profession, marital status, level of education, total years of schooling, criminal history, and total income.

Some indirect identifiers may be more likely to lead to the identification of individuals due to their rare occurrence. Characteristics that are highly uncommon in the population or in a data set, such as an unusual occupation or medical diagnosis, can increase the likelihood that the identity of an individual could be revealed.

Individual outcome
Refers to the results of an activity, treatment, program, service or process for an individual (person who is directly or indirectly identified or identifiable).
Ideas, thoughts, knowledge or memories, irrespective of format or medium, constitute information. Information may be represented in manuals, reports, and similar work products and may contain data.
Intergenerational trauma
Historic and contemporary trauma that has compounded over time and been passed from one generation to the next. The negative effects can impact individuals, families, communities and entire populations, resulting in a legacy of physical, psychological, and economic disparities that persist across generations.

For Indigenous peoples, the historical trauma includes trauma created as a result of the imposition of assimilative policies and laws aimed at attempted cultural genocide, including the annihilation of Indigenous Nations, the imposition of the Indian Act system, and the forcible removal of Indigenous children to Indian Residential Schools.

Contemporary trauma includes the disparities in access to basic human rights, including clean water, safe housing and minimum standards of income as well as ongoing lack of access to equity in justice, health and child welfare services. Contemporary trauma also includes forced relocation away from ancestral territories and ongoing disputes about Indigenous governance, jurisdiction and decision-making related to resource and other development occurring within Indigenous territories.

Other examples of intergeneration trauma include the ongoing legacies of slavery of people of African descent, as well as the impacts of racial segregation, and the long histories and contemporary forms of racial oppression and violence directed at Black and racialized individuals and communities.

Intersectionality is the way in which people’s lives are shaped by their multiple and overlapping identities and social locations, which, together, can produce a unique and distinct experience for that individual or group, for example, creating additional barriers, opportunities, and/or power imbalances.

In the context of race and Indigenous identity, this means recognizing the ways in which people’s experiences of racism or privilege, including within any one group, may vary depending on the individual’s or group’s relationship to additional overlapping or intersecting social identities, like religion, ethnic origin, gender, age, disabilities or citizenship and immigration status.

An intersectional analysis enables better understanding of the impacts of any one particular systemic barrier by considering how that barrier may be interacting with other related factors.

Islamophobia is racism, stereotypes, prejudice, fear, or acts of hostility directed towards individual Muslims or followers of Islam in general. In addition to individual acts of intolerance and racial profiling, Islamophobia can lead to viewing and treating Muslims as a greater security threat on an institutional, systemic, and societal level.
Longitudinal analysis
Longitudinal analysis examines measures that involve repeated observations, including observations of people, over a period of time.
Machine readable
In machine readable format, data (or metadata) can be understood and directly used by a computer. See Open Data Guidebook for a list of Machine-Readable file formats.
Marginalization is a long-term, structural process of systemic discrimination that creates a class of disadvantaged minorities. Marginalized groups become permanently confined to the fringes of society. Their status is perpetuated through various dimensions of exclusion, particularly in the labour market, from full and meaningful participation in society.
Masking is the process of removing a variable such as directly identifying personal information, or replacing it with pseudonymous or encrypted information.
Metadata is information that describes the characteristics of data.
Notable difference
A notable difference is a magnitude of racial disproportionality or disparity that meets or exceeds a threshold considered potentially indicative of a meaningful difference in outcomes.
Open by default
A presumption in favour of disclosure over non-disclosure.
Open data catalogue
A collection of information about data sets, files, or databases that describes where a data set, file or database entity is located, and may also include other information, such as the type of device on which each data set or file is stored.
Open data
De-identified data that are released free of charge to the public in one or more open and accessible formats.
Open format
A set of specifications used to store and transmit digital data that is platform independent, machine-readable, vendor-neutral, standardized where possible, and made available to the public without restrictions that would impede the re-use of that data.
Open government licence
A legal agreement that sets out the terms and conditions relating to Ontario’s Open Data.
Open licence
A document that states restrictions and sets out the terms and conditions relating to what can and cannot be done with open data. An open licence grants permission to access, publish, re-use, adapt, copy, redistribute, transmit, or otherwise use open data with few or no restrictions in any medium, mode or format for any lawful purpose.
Participant observer Information (POI)
POI is an individual’s perception about another individual with who they are interacting, based on observation.
Personal information
Defined under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) as “recorded information about an identifiable individual.” FIPPA provides a non-exhaustive list of the types of information considered personal information (see FIPPA). To be personal information, the information must be:
  1. "recorded" - personal information is limited to information which is recorded or retrievable in some physical form. It does not include oral comments that have not been recorded.
  2. about an "individual" - an "individual" is a natural person, a human being. Information about corporations, businesses, groups or organizations is generally not personal information.
  3. about an "identifiable" individual - if an individual is named in a record or it is possible to determine his or her identity from the contents of the record or from other available information, the record is about an "identifiable" individual.
Race is a term used to classify people into groups based principally on physical traits (phenotypes) such as skin colour. Racial categories are not based on science or biology but on differences that society has created (i.e. “socially constructed”), with significant consequences for people’s lives. Racial categories may vary over time and place and can overlap with ethnic, cultural or religious groupings.
Racial bias
Racial bias is a predisposition, prejudice or generalization about a group or persons based principally on race (see definition of race).
Racial disparity
Racial disparity is unequal outcomes in a comparison of one racial group to another racial group.
Racial disproportionality
The over-representation or under-representation of a racial group in a particular program or system, compared with their representation in the general population.
Racial equity
Racial equity is the systemic fair treatment of all people. It results in equitable opportunities and outcomes for everyone. It contrasts with formal equality where people are treated the same without regard for racial differences. Racial equity is a process (such as meaningfully engaging with Indigenous, Black, and racialized clients regarding policies, directives, practices and procedures that affect them) and an outcome (such as equitable treatment of Indigenous, Black, and racialized clients in a program or service).
Racial inequality
A disparity in opportunity and treatment that occurs as a result of someone's race.
Racial profiling
Racial profiling is any action undertaken for reasons of safety, security or public protection, that relies on stereotypes about race, colour, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, or place of origin, or on a combination of those traits, rather than on a reasonable suspicion, to single out an individual for greater scrutiny or different treatment.
Racialization is a process of delineating group boundaries (races) and allocation of persons within those boundaries by primary reference to (supposedly) inherent and/or biological (usually phenotypical) characteristics. In this process, societies construct races as ‘real,’ different, and unequal in ways that matter to economic, political, and social life.
Racialized (person or group)
Racialized persons and/or groups can have racial meanings attributed to them in ways that negatively impact their social, political, and economic life. This includes but is not necessarily limited to people classified as “visible minorities” under the Canadian census and may include people impacted by antisemitism and Islamophobia.
Racism includes ideas or practices that establish, maintain or perpetuate the racial superiority or dominance of one group over another.
Re-identification is any process that re-establishes the link between de-identified information and an identifiable individual.
Religion is any religious denomination, group, sect, or other religiously defined community or system of belief and/or spiritual faith practices.
Qualities ascribed to individuals or groups that are based on misconceptions, false generalizations, and/or oversimplifications that potentially result in stigmatization. A race-based stereotype is a quality ascribed to individuals/groups related to race. Stereotypes can perpetuate racism and racial discrimination and give rise to racial inequalities.
Systemic racism
Systemic racism consists of organizational culture, policies, directives, practices or procedures that exclude, displace or marginalize some racialized groups or create unfair barriers for them to access valuable benefits and opportunities. This is often the result of institutional biases in organizational culture, policies, directives, practices, and procedures that may appear neutral but have the effect of privileging some groups and disadvantaging others.
A threshold is a value that, if met or exceeded, indicates an inequality. Determining an appropriate threshold helps to interpret the meaning of the numerical results and indicates whether the magnitude of the disproportionality and disparity indices represents a notable difference for further investigation, monitoring, and/or potential action.
Transitory records
Transitory records are records with temporary usefulness in any format or medium, created or received by a public sector organization in carrying out its activities. Transitory records have no ongoing value beyond an immediate and minor transaction or the preparation of a subsequent record.