Canada’s largest union is calling on the City of Toronto to immediately end the practice of carding by the City’s police. Carding allows for law enforcement to arbitrarily stop and question any person at any time. The practice has come under intense scrutiny in Toronto. It’s been repeatedly shown that people of colour – particularly young black men – are the most frequent targets.
“Police practices like carding threaten the human rights of all Toronto citizens,” said Paul Moist, national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. “This type of racial profiling has no place in our society, and it is completely unacceptable for any Canadian government, at any level, to condone such an egregious invasion of privacy.”
CUPE’s National Executive Board passed a resolution at its June meeting calling on the Mayor of Toronto, Toronto City Council and the Toronto Police Services Board to immediately end carding. The resolution also commits CUPE to oppose all forms of racial profiling carried out by any law enforcement agencies in Canada.
“Carding is creating an intense atmosphere of fear in Toronto. Racialized people, Muslims, Aboriginal people and others are at a continuous risk of unnecessary questioning, detention, harassment and violence at the hands of police,” said Yolanda McClean, diversity vice-president of CUPE and a resident of Toronto. “This discriminatory practice is dividing our city. It has to stop now.”
CUPE will be working with civil society organizations to support campaigns opposing racial profiling, and is urging other unions to join these efforts through the Canadian Labour Congress.