Add your name: End Police Street Checks

Black Canadians and Indigenous Peoples are targeted by racial profiling in police street checks.

Police street checks, often referred to as “carding”, is the police practice of stopping, questioning and documenting people suspected of a crime.[1]

The practice of street checks is proven to disproportionately affect Black and Indigenous Peoples in Canada:

  • 79% of Toronto’s young Black men report having been stopped by the police in public spaces (2017) [2]
  • Indigenous Peoples were 15% of those carded in Vancouver, despite making up just 2% of residents (2008-2017) [3]
  • Black Vancouver residents were 4% of those carded, despite making up less than 1% of city residents (2008-2017)
  • Black people in Halifax were six times more likely to be street checked than white people (2019) [4]
  • Black and Indigenous Montrealers are 4 to 5 times more likely to be stopped by police than white residents [5]

The United Nations reports that “racial profiling is endemic in the strategies and practices used by [Canadian] law enforcement.”  For example, the Ontario Human Rights Commission has condemned “a lack of legal basis for police stopping or detaining Black civilians in the first place; inappropriate or unjustified searches during encounters; and unnecessary charges or arrests.”[6]

Street checks have a very damaging and lasting impact on Black and Indigenous Peoples, including a loss of educational and employment opportunities, stigmatization, psychological damage and increased risk of wrongful death at the hands of police.

The UN recommends “that the practice of carding, or street checks, and all other forms of racial profiling be discontinued.” 

Momentum is building against this harmful, racist practice. Street checks were recently banned in Nova Scotia. In Vancouver, the mayor announced his intention to end the practice in that city. However, despite the recognised racial bias in street checks, they continue to be used in many Canadian jurisdictions.  

No one should be a target. It's time to put an end to the damaging, racist practice of police street checks.

As leader of the Green Party of Canada, I will fight to ensure that the racist practice of carding is ended. I need your support to ensure action on this urgent issue.

We, the undersigned, are calling on police services across Canada to immediately ban police street checks.

Will you add your name?