May 4, 2017

TORONTO – Racial profiling in Ontario is an issue the Canadian Civil Liberties Association is deeply concerned about and has been working for many years to address in policing, the criminal justice system, corrections, private security, and other sectors.

CCLA strongly commends the Ontario Human Rights Commission on its new report on racial profiling, Under Suspicion. At the report’s launch yesterday, Ontario Human Rights Chief Commissioner Renu Mandhane noted racial profiling is real, pervasive, and systemic in this province.

“Racial profiling, even where there is no deliberate racist or malicious intent, is nonetheless still discriminatory, harmful, and unacceptable,” says Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, CCLA’s Director, Equality Program.

CCLA supports the OHRC’s statement and efforts in this regard. The report’s conclusion accords with work CCLA has done in this area, such as an analysis of data about police stops in Ottawa, and a pilot field study with youth in Toronto.

Racial profiling has been a priority concern to CCLA for many years. We have addressed it in numerous submissions to:

  • the Toronto Police Service’s Board and other police oversight bodies including the Office of the Independent Police Review Director;
  • work on inquests and inquiries concerning the shooting death of racialized individuals by police;
  • public engagement around racial profiling in police services across Canada;
  • intensive consultation around Ontario’s recent regulation to limit certain forms of carding;
  • submissions on federal legislation pertaining to criminal law;
  • and submissions to UN bodies seeking to hold Canada to its commitments to human rights under international law.

CCLA will continue to document and pursue change across Canada in this important area.