Province Taking Action to Prohibit Carding and Street Checks
Clear New Rules Will Protect Civil Liberties and Support Community Safety
The province has posted a draft regulation for public input that would prohibit the random and arbitrary collection of identifying information by police, referred to as carding or street checks.
The regulation would also establish clear and consistent rules to protect civil liberties during voluntary police-public interactions where police are seeking to collect identifying information, to ensure that those interactions are conducted without bias or discrimination, and done in a manner that promotes public confidence and keeps our communities safe.
The draft regulation - which will be posted online for comment - reflects input and feedback received through online submissions, public consultations and meetings with policing, civil liberties, privacy and community organizations as well as ethnic and cultural groups. Once in force, the regulation will be mandatory for every police service in Ontario.
There are three key parts to the draft regulation:
- The express prohibition on random and arbitrary collection of identifying information by police
- New rules to protect civil liberties during voluntary police-public interactions that take place for the purpose of keeping our communities safe from illegal activities that will require police to:
- Inform individuals that they are not legally required to provide information to the police officer
- Inform individuals that they are not required to remain in the presence of the officer
- Inform individuals why the information is being collected
- Provide information about the interactions as well as how to file complaints and access this information
The ministry will establish a panel of experts to support the development of the training requirements established in this regulation. The ministry will also launch a multi-year study to ensure that bias is removed from police-public interactions and to understand the impact on community safety from collecting identifying information through police interactions with the public.The proposed regulation will ensure that all voluntary police-public interactions where police are seeking to collect identifying information are rights-based and consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms as well as the Ontario's Human Rights Code. It will also support the province's police officers by providing them with clear and consistent rules to keep our communities safe.
- Public meetings were held in Ottawa, Brampton, Thunder Bay, London and Toronto
- The ministry received 510 written submissions: 476 online submissions from the public and 34 written submission from organizations
- The Police Services Act and its regulations set out the legal requirements for police services, police officers and police boards across the province
“Our government has been clear that we are opposed to any random and arbitrary collection of identifying information, and this regulation expressly prohibits that across Ontario. It also establishes clear and consistent rules for police officers to protect civil liberties in interactions that help keep our communities safe. I am proud that we are moving forward on these important changes that will help strengthen public accountability, and foster increased public trust in police, which is essential for building a stronger, safer Ontario.”