The Pandemic’s Inequalities

The whole world is experiencing a pandemic—but people are experiencing it in different ways. Why? Because of social, economic and racial inequalities. These inequalities have always existed, but COVID-19 has brought them into focus. Understand the systemic issues in our society, learn how prejudice interacts with disinformation and find out how to take a stand against racism.

Strand : Heritage and Identity: Communities in Canada, Past and Present
A2.1 Formulate questions to guide investigations into different perspectives on the historical and/or contemporary experiences of a few distinct communities, including First Nations, Métis, and/or Inuit communities, in Canada (e.g., the development of the reserve system from the perspective of First Nations, European settlers, and the federal government; the negotiation and interpretation of Indigenous treaties, from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and the federal government; the forced relocation of Japanese Canadians during World War II from the perspective of Japanese Canadians, the government at the time, and the government that issued an apology to Japanese Canadians; the formation of neighbourhoods of people who have different heritages, from the perspective of the newcomers, their children, the people already in the neighbourhood, the local school, and/or the agencies and governments that provide services to the neighbourhood.)
Strand : Creating Canada, 1850–1890
A1.3 Assess the impact that differences in legal status and in the distribution of rights and privileges had on various settler/newcomer groups and individuals in Canada between 1850 and 1890 (e.g., with reference to land ownership in Prince Edward Island, married women’s property rights, women’s political rights, property qualifications for the franchise, restrictions on Chinese immigration, the privileged lifestyle of industrialists in contrast to the lives of workers in their factories, discrimination facing African Canadians.)
Strand : Canada, 1890–1914: A Changing Society
B2.1 Formulate questions to guide investigations into perspectives of different groups and communities, including First Nations, Métis, and/or Inuit communities, on some significant events, developments, and/or issues that affected Canada and/or people in Canada between 1890 and 1914 (e.g., the Boer War, the Manitoba Schools Question, efforts to protect and educate children, the expansion of the residential school system, Canadian immigration policy, the “continuous journey” regulation, increases in the Chinese head tax, amendments to the Indian Act, movements for women’s suffrage, reciprocity, heightened rivalries in Europe.)
B3.3 Identify key political and legal changes that occurred in and/or affected Canada during this period (e.g., Alberta and Saskatchewan becoming provinces; the response to the Manitoba Schools Question; European alliances and the conflict in South Africa and/or the threat of conflict in Europe; the Truancy Act, 1891; Ottawa’s establishment of per student funding of residential schools in 1891; the abolishment of French as an official language in the Northwest Territories in 1892; the Alaska boundary dispute; the Naval Service Bill; increases in the Chinese head tax), and explain the impact of some of these changes on various individuals, groups, and/or communities, including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit individuals and/or communities.
Strand : Healthy living
D1. Demonstrate an understanding of factors that contribute to healthy development.
D3. Demonstrate the ability to make connections that relate to health and well-being – how their choices and behaviours affect both themselves and others, and how factors in the world around them affect their own and others’ health and well-being.
Strand : Healthy living
C1. Demonstrate an understanding of factors that contribute to healthy development.
C3. Demonstrate the ability to make connections that relate to health and well-being – how their choices and behaviours affect both themselves and others, and how factors in the world around them affect their own and others’ health and well-being.
Strand : Healthy living
A2.2 Identify the key social determinants of health and the factors that shape them, and explain how they influence personal health.
Strand : Canada, 1914–1929
B2.5 Describe attitudes towards and significant actions affecting ethnocultural minority groups in Canada during this period (e.g., with reference to racism and antisemitism, segregation, discrimination in jobs and housing, residential schools, restrictions imposed by the Indian Act or the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, groups helping new immigrants), and explain their impact.
Strand : Canada, 1982 to the Present
E2.1 Describe some significant ways in which Canadians have cooperated and/or come into conflict with each other since 1982 (e.g., conflict over the 1992 cod moratorium; political protests such as those against the G20 meetings in Toronto or the rise in university tuition in Quebec; strikes; racism and hate crimes; continuing legal conflict and/or political protests over Aboriginal title and land claims; the Idle No More movement; continuing tension between Quebec and the federal government; cooperation in response to natural disasters such as the 1998 ice storm or the Saguenay and/or Red River floods; cooperation among members of social reform movements), and analyse these interactions from various perspectives.
Strand : Civic Awareness
B1.1 Describe some civic issues of local, national, and/or global significance (e.g., bullying in schools; violence in local communities; accessibility of buildings in the local community for people with disabilities; availability of recreational facilities in the local community; casino development; voter turnout; issues related to freedom of information, taxation, water quality; Aboriginal treaty rights; the impact of consumer choices; human rights issues related to racism, child labour, the rights of girls or women, homophobia, or classism; intervention in foreign conflict), and compare the perspectives of different groups on selected issues.
Strand : The Canadian Experience
D2.2 Analyse challenges that institutionalized racism and prejudice in Canada have presented to some ethnic groups, with a particular focus, where applicable, on the selected ethnic group (e.g., with reference to segregation, discrimination in jobs and/or housing, antisemitism, assimilation, stereotypes, streaming students, racial profiling, internment.)
Strand : Rights and Freedoms
C1.2 Describe historical and contemporary barriers to the equal enjoyment of human rights in Canada (e.g., unequal access to voting rights; discrimination based on the grounds of race, gender, gender identity; geographic isolation; unequal access to education; residential schools; the Indian Act) and the laws intended to help people overcome such barriers (e.g., the Canadian Bill of Rights, the Ontario Human Rights Code, the Canadian Human Rights Act.)
Strand : Social Change and Quality of Life
E3.5 Identify regional and global patterns relating to disease (e.g., infectious diseases, chronic diseases) and health care, and assess the influence of factors affecting quality of life (e.g., per capita income, lifestyle, access to health care, access to improved water and sanitation systems, caloric intake) on health in different parts of the world.
Strand : Equity, Social Justice and Change
C1.1 Describe the ongoing challenges and struggles facing various racial, cultural, or national minority groups in Canada, including Aboriginal people and newcomers (e.g., the need to learn a new language, different social role expectations, lack of recognition for international qualifications, religious stereotypes, ghettoization, family reunification, the time taken to settle refugee claims, prejudice and discrimination, racism, racial profiling, poverty.)
Strand : Understanding Social Construction
B1.3 Explain how individual and systemic factors (e.g., fear, greed, isolation, pressure to conform, poverty, individual and systemic discrimination) can cause or perpetuate inequity and social injustice.
Strand : Sociology
D2.2 Explain the relationship between prejudice and individual and systemic discrimination (e.g., on the basis of gender, race, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, ability, religion, age, appearance), and describe their impacts on individuals and society.
Strand : Global Social Challenges
D1.2 Demonstrate an understanding of various types of discrimination (e.g., racism, homophobia, ageism, sexism, hate crimes, individual discrimination, systemic discrimination, genocide) and their impact on individuals and groups.

The Pandemic’s Inequalities

Same Pandemic, Different Experience

Find out why some groups of people are faring much worse during the pandemic than others and how COVID-19 brought our attention to inequalities that have always existed in our society.

COVID-19 and Anti-Asian Racism

Understand how disinformation about COVID-19 has affected Asian communities. Find out more about anti-Asian racism and crime happening throughout Canada—and how you can help stop it.

COVID-19 Risk Factors

How likely are you to get COVID-19? Lots of social factors influence a person’s risk, including income level, working conditions and living situation. Try this activity to assess your own risk.

This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.

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