Ontario Launches Public Consultations on Police Street Checks
New Provincewide Regulation Will Safeguard Human Rights
Ontario is launching public consultations on street checks to ensure that police interactions with the public are without bias, consistent, and carried out in a manner that promotes public confidence.
When used properly, street checks are one tool for police to use in their efforts to help communities remain safe and secure. Relevant information collected during street checks may help solve and prevent crime.
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. Ontario does not support any practice where police are stopping individuals without reason, cause or for clear policing purposes.
The province will hold public consultations on street checks beginning in August, with community organizations, policing partners, academics, civil liberty organizations and members of the public. Ontario will ask for public input on:
- The circumstances when police may ask an individual for information
- The rights of those being asked for their information
- How to enhance accountability mechanisms and training requirements
- Data collection and retention.
Starting today, the province is also launching an online document that any member of the public can complete. Ontario encourages individuals who have experience with street checks to provide feedback.
A new regulation on street checks would support the province's police officers by providing them with clear guidelines. Ensuring that all citizen interactions with the police in Ontario are consistent and respectful is part of the government's plan to create a fair and inclusive society.
- Following consultations, the province will post a draft regulation on the Regulatory Registry for further public feedback.
- The Police Services Act governs policing operations in the province of Ontario.
- The Ontario Provincial Police operates out of 165 detachments across the province.
- There are about 58 municipal police services in Ontario.
- Read the discussion document and provide feedback.
“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. We stand opposed to any practice where police stop individuals without reason, cause or for clear policing purposes. These public consultations will help develop new rules so the practice of street checks is rights-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 across the province when keeping our communities safe.”