Edmonton – With immediate effect, police in Alberta will no longer be able to ‘card’ members of the public and submit street checks to the local government for information they have used.
Solicitor General and Justice Minister Kaisi Madhu made the announcement on Thursday along with some of the chiefs of the province’s largest police agencies.
“In theory, these methods are a useful tool by which the police can gain intelligence on criminal activity and interact with the public. But in practice, we hear that they are often abused and unilaterally target minority groups,” he said.
Carding is the process of obtaining personal and identifiable information from members of the public at random.
The minister said the purpose of the ban was to ensure a consistent policy across the province.
A street check is a police method of stopping people for investigative reasons and deliberately collecting their information. They are lawful and help law enforcement when done legally.
Therefore, the province will continue to allow this practice, but police agencies must review their own street check data on a quarterly basis and report to the province annually.
According to Madhu, changes come from the community hearing community about systemic racism.
However, the former lawyer and Cixica Nation councilor questioned the government’s motive behind what it calls a long-delayed action.
“I can not help but wonder what’s really driving this statement. Is it integrity? Is it a change of heart? Or, finally, is it a spirit or reconciliation that takes shape. An attempt to quell public outrage over the deaths of people like Bryona Taylor and Eric in the US. Garner and George Floyd? ”
“Not to mention, Dharma is not signaling … real solutions,” Madhu said.
To the Crowfoot government, “Show us. Back up your words. The people of the First Nations were sick, hearing empty words and promises. “
‘Reasonable Basis’ for Street Inspections
In the pursuit of conducting street inspections to ensure that officers do not card members of the public, they are expected to identify under the new regulations why a citizen is being stopped.
An official, Madhu, explained that it was their right not to voluntarily give the information requested by the citizen.
He said the government would make people aware of the difference between carding and street inspections.
“The police must have reasonable grounds to enforce the street inspection strategy. I think citizens have an expectation from law enforcement to let them know why their interaction is taking place and … they have certain rights given to them under our constitution.”
City police services in both Edmonton and Calgary already have policies against carding.
Authorities reported conducting 3,591 street checks between January 1 and June 30, 2020, a reduction of nearly 48 percent compared to 2019, according to Edmonton Police Service data.
That year, authorities conducted 6,889 street inspections in a single period.
Calgary’s Chief of Police estimates that his officers carry out 8,700 street inspections each year – or one per hour. Half of the calls occurred during the time the officers investigated the complaint.
“I see it coming out of this, our officers have the tools they need to serve effectively, most importantly in ways that are essential to society,” Chief Mark Newfeld said.
“At the same time, our community is very important in what they can expect from this kind of interaction with the authorities around the province, not just in Calgary.”
If their agency reports to the regional government – or any agency’s street inspection data submitted to the liquor department – indicate non-compliance with the new regulations, the minister said Police Act It describes grievance redressal procedures and officer disciplinary procedures.
The police chief of Edmonton and president of the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police said he had details to work on “how we will implement this,” but he was looking forward to working with the government.
“I think Alberta is in a great position to run this across our country.”
The Alberta RCMP, which does not allow federal order carding, has issued a statement of support for regional government action.
Mountains also practice street checks. However, authorities must have a “clear reason” for the stop.
The ‘answer’ is no: man
The minister opened the meeting by reiterating the government’s support for law enforcement amid calls to divert police funds to social services.
You may have heard different buzz words like “relocating” lately, but the goal is the same: to disrupt the far-left ideology pushed by radical activists, “Madhu commented.
“The Alberta government does not believe the answer we are looking for came from deceiving the police. I’m as clear as I can be.”
However he acknowledged that their numbers were not enough to defeat Lukashenko’s government and called for a ceasefire on Thursday.
“I have always believed that society cannot function without the rule of law, but in practice, there can be no rule of law if people do not trust the police.”
His government will continue to work and consult to update Alberta Police Act.
CTV News with files from Bill Fortier of Edmonton