WATCH: African Canadian Legal Clinic wants carding eliminated, not regulated
TORONTO – An advocacy group is calling on the Ontario government to abolish police street checks ahead of a final provincial public consultation session on the practice scheduled in Toronto Tuesday evening.
“When it comes to carding and street check, the answer is elimination not regulation,” said African Canadian Legal Clinic lawyer Anthony Morgan during a press conference Tuesday.
“The brunt of the burden has been born by the African Canadian community, primarily young black men. The practice has traumatized the African Canadian community.”
Ontario’s community safety minister Yasir Naqvi will hold the meeting at the Toronto Reference Library and will be joined by local MPP and cabinet minister Glen Murray.
The event is scheduled to take place between 6 to 8 p.m. at the Appel Salon.
The province announced last month that it would be seeking feedback from Ontarians on the controversial practice.
READ MORE: Toronto police board approves older carding policy until provincial regulation
The province says its goal is to establish rules and practices to ensure that police officers across the province conduct street checks in a standardized and unbiased manner.
However, advocacy groups like the African Canadian Legal Clinic believe carding is discriminatory and infringes on basic human rights.
“It is racial profiling, it is racist and it is having detrimental and devastating on the African Canadian community,” said Morgan.
So far, the “workshop-style” public consultation sessions have already taken place in several communities across Ontario including Ottawa, Brampton, Thunder Bay and London.
Critics say street checks —; where information is collected from those stopped —; unfairly targets some communities more than others, but police say the checks are a valuable tool.
“The province takes the protection of human rights very seriously and has zero tolerance for any form of marginalization or discrimination that violates rights guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” the ministry said in a media release.
READ MORE: Carding enhances public safety when done ‘right,’: Toronto police chief
“Ontario does not support any practice where police are stopping individuals without reason, cause or for clear policing purposes.”
For those who can’t attend the public meetings, comments are being accepted online, by letter or by email.