New Ontario rule banning carding by police takes effect

January 11, 2018

A new provincial rule banning carding by police in specific situations in Ontario officially came into effect on Sunday [Jan. 1], but some say it doesn't go far enough to end the controversial practice.

The regulation bans police from collecting identifying information "arbitrarily," or based on a person's race or presence in a high crime neighbourhood in certain instances. Carding is also known as street checks. 

Kevin Flynn, Ontario community safety and correctional services minister, said in a news release that the regulation was drafted after the provincial government consulted the public on how to improve public confidence in police.

"These new rules protect the rights of people who are not under investigation while also laying the foundation for more positive, trusting and respectful relationships between police and the public," Flynn said.

Flynn said police will be able to do their jobs better — prevent and solve crimes and keep communities safe — if those relationships improve.

Michael Coteau, Ontario minister responsible for anti-racism and children and youth services minister, said banning the practice of carding will help to eliminate systemic racism in the criminal justice system.

"It is absolutely essential that everyone in this province be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their race or religion," he said.

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