“I find these statistics deeply disturbing and indicative of a systemic problem within Alberta’s justice system whereby visible minorities and Indigenous peoples are being disproportionately targeted for police street checks,” said Progressive Conservative Justice Critic and former Calgary police officer, Mike Ellis. “For months, I have asked the Justice Minister to show some leadership on this issue and to put an end to this practice but instead, she has refused to take action to protect the rights of Albertans.”
Carding or street checks occur when police stop an individual and request identification, despite having no reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or will be committed by the detainee. Statistics show that Indigenous peoples are four to five times more likely than Caucasians to be carded by Edmonton police, while other visible minorities are twice as likely.
“The simple fact is that stopping citizens on the street and demanding personal information without reasonable suspicion is a violation of section 9 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” said Ellis. “Evidence presented today shows that the rights of some are being violated at a much higher rate than others, and this should be of great concern to each and every Albertan. I am calling on Minister Ganley to take immediate steps to end the practice of carding and address systemic inequalities within Alberta’s justice system.”