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July 20, 2021

MONTREAL – The Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) is intervening in a constitutional challenge before the Superior Court of Quebec that seeks to put an end to police powers that enable racial profiling.

“Thousands of innocent Black men are unjustly stopped by the police in Canada each year. This racial profiling of Black men has been shown to damage their sense of self-worth and contribute to their marginalization in society,” said Dr. Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, the CCLA’s Special Advisor on Anti-Black Racism.

“Racial profiling has deep historical roots, and reports to address it go back to the 1960s, yet just this past May, a BC Supreme Court judge was handcuffed because he was Black. This is a national shame, and a problem that clearly will not go away on its own or without systemic and structural change. This is why CCLA is intervening in this important case,” said Noa Mendelsohn Aviv, CCLA’s Director of the Equality Program.

This case challenges the power of the police to carry out roadside checks without suspicion. This power is unjustified, arbitrary, and represents a significant violation of individual rights guaranteed by the Charter. Its use by police forces must cease.

CCLA sought conservatory intervenor status in the file –which means that it has joined the applicant to support his claims, can bring evidence, and fully participate in the upcoming trial.  This case raises important public interest matters. By accepting the CCLA’s status in the file, the parties have recognized that the organization has a substantial contribution to make to this case.

The CCLA will fight for the right of every person to be free to live their lives without the risk created by arbitrary exercise of police powers.

CCLA is being represented in this file pro bono by Bruce Johnston and Lex Gill of Trudel Johnston & Lespérance.

Read CCLA’s Act of Intervention here.

About the file: Luamba c. Procureur général du Canada et Procureur général du Québec. File Number: 500-17-114387-205 (Superior Court of Québec)

About the Canadian Civil Liberties Association

The CCLA is an independent, non-profit organization with supporters from across the country. Founded in 1964, the CCLA is a national human rights organization committed to defending the rights, dignity, safety, and freedoms of all people in Canada.

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