Ontario launches public consultations into police carding
Toronto Mayor John Tory had pledged in June to reform “carding” in the city, but then decided to delay any action until the province reviewed the controversial police practice.
With the Black Lives Matter protest that blocked traffic on the Allen Expressway earlier this week still fresh in the minds of many, the provincial government has announced plans to begin public consultations on street checks or carding.
The consultations – which will be held with community organizations, policing partners, academics, civil liberty organizations as well as asking the general public for online participation – are to begin in August.
Toronto Mayor John Tory (open John Tory’s policard) had pledged in June to reform “carding” in the city, but then decided to delay any action until the province reviewed the controversial police practice and set up province wide regulations.
Community Safety Minister Yasir Naqvi announced in June that the provincial government planned to review the practice often called “street checks” outside Toronto.
“Our government takes the protection of human rights very seriously and has been clear that we have zero tolerance for racism or marginalization, including any form of discrimination based on skin colour, background, religion or gender,” said Naqvi in a news release. “We stand opposed to any practice where police stop individuals without reason, cause or for clear policing purposes.”
The consultations will develop new rules so the practice of street checks is “right-based and properly carried out, protecting individual Charter and human rights, strengthening public accountability and allowing for a consistent and clearly defined approach for police,” the Ontario government’s release said.
The practice of carding in the GTA has been an extremely controversial one with many activists criticizing it as a form of “racial profiling.”