The Ontario Government is unveiling new rules when it comes to street checks by police officers.
On Wednesday, Ontario’s minister of community safety and correctional services said if the draft regulations passed, police would no longer be allowed to arbitrarily stop people for questioning based on their appearance or the neighborhood they live in.
“The officer must also provide to you a written record of the interaction along with information about the officer, and how to access the provinces police complaint system and the information collected,” Yasir Naqvi outlined.
Officers would also be required to tell citizens the reason for the stop, that the stop is voluntary, and they have the option to walk away.
“Police chiefs must also present and publish a report annually to their police services board and the government on the number of voluntary stops conducted,” he continued. The new regulations also prohibits performance targets, or quotas.
According to Naqvi, the government surveyed many people of colour and aboriginal men and women who said they believed the Human Rights Code was being ignored by police who stopped them for no apparent reason. “We have heard from the community that street checks, by definition, are arbitrary as well as discriminatory and therefore cannot be regulated; they must simply be ended.”
Naqvi wouldn’t say what would happen to Ontario residents’ personal information currently in police database that’s already been gathered through carding.