October 8th, 2015

NDP Deputy Leader introduces motion to end “carding" in Ontario

NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh (Bramalea-Gore-Malton) today introduced a motion that, if passed, would require the government to instruct police services in Ontario to end arbitrary and discriminatory “carding” in Ontario. The text of the motion reads as follows:That in the opinion of this House, the Government of Ontario should instruct all Police Services in Ontario that while the law allows them to stop, detain, investigate and search individuals where there are reasonable grounds to do so, arbitrary and/or discriminatory street checks/carding, violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code and have no place in Ontario and that such practices should be immediately stopped. Singh’s motion recognizes that police officers are still able to stop and search individuals where there are, “reasonable grounds to do so.”  “The government has an opportunity to provide leadership to municipalities struggling with the issue of street checks and carding. However, as it stands, the government has yet to provide any real guidance on this issue and the result is a further erosion of trust in the criminal justice system by communities that need to be able to count on this institution,” said Singh.  Singh credited the work of grassroots anti-carding activists.  “Their efforts have been vital to shedding light on this unfair practice, yet their concerns have been trivialized by the Liberal government,” said Singh. “As a starting point to recognize both the lived experiences of those who have experienced arbitrary street checks and the work of anti-carding community and legal activists, we need to ensure it is absolutely clear that arbitrary and/or discriminatory street checks/carding have no place in Ontario.” “I’ve personally experienced what it’s like to be arbitrarily detained in a street check, and as a criminal defence lawyer and my party’s Attorney General critic, I say there’s no more time to waste on this critical issue, and that’s why I’m urging all parties to pass this motion,” explained Singh.