Ontario government to launch new campaign around new carding rules

January 10, 2017

The Ontario government is planning an educational campaign to make people aware of their rights under a new carding regulation that took effect Jan. 1.

Ontario has banned carding, also known as street checks, in specific situations across the province. A spokesman for the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services said the forthcoming campaign will clarify what's allowed — and what isn't — under the law.

"It is in the best interest of both the police and the public that everybody understand the new regulation, so there isn't confusion during police interactions," Brent Ross said in an ​email.

The co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto, however, says carding still happens — and that a public relations blitz won't change what's happening between police and members of visible minorities.

But Ross said the provincial campaign will teach people their rights when dealing with police.

"The arbitrary collection of identifying information by the police is unacceptable," Ross said. "That is why the government banned arbitrary street checks starting Jan. 1, 2017. All police services across the province must comply with the requirements of the new regulation."

The province is also working to ensure that police services comply with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Ontario Human Rights Code.

"The government believes that respectful, rights-based interactions between police and members of the public is the foundation of effective community policing," Ross said. 

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