10/28/2015 02:37 EDT | Updated 10/28/2016 05:12 EDT

Ontario To Ban Carding Practice By Police, Impose New Rules

William Mewes/Flickr
TORONTO — Ontario is proposing a new regulation that would ban the random stopping of citizens by police — known as carding — and require officers to provide a written record of any such exchanges.

Community Safety Minister Yasir Naqvi says the draft regulation would establish clear and consistent rules to protect civil liberties during voluntary interactions between police and the public.

Naqvi says the government heard from many people of colour and aboriginal men and women who said the Human Rights Code was being ignored by police who stopped them for no apparent reason.

He says police will not be allowed to stop people based on how they look or in which neighbourhood they live, but there would be "narrow exemptions" in the regulation to cover routine traffic stops or when someone is being arrested or detained.

If the regulation is passed, police would have to inform citizens of the reason they are being stopped and asked for personal information, and also tell them they have a right to walk away and not engage with the officers.

Naqvi wouldn't say what would happen to the Ontario residents' personal information already gathered through carding that is now in police databases.

But he says any information found to have been collected improperly will be moved to databases accessible only by chiefs of police, and would eventually be destroyed after concerns about possible lawsuits have expired.

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