The Alberta Liberal Party is taking a stance towards the practice of police carding, which they say is unfairly representing and targeting racial minorities.
In a recent news release on the Alberta Liberal Party website, the practice of police carding is defined as "when a police officer randomly asks an individual to provide identifying information when there is no objectively suspicious activity. The individual is not suspected of any offence. There is no reason to believe the individual has any information on any offence.”
Alberta Liberal Party Leader David Khan says, police carding is not an effective tool for gathering investigative information and may perpetuate harmful stereotypes leveled at racial minorities.
"Numerous studies have shown both, that immigrants or visible minorities do not participate in crime at higher rates than so called "white Canadians". Secondly, carding doesn't have any positive effect in police investigations, it doesn't provide more evidence, it doesn't help solve crimes or catch the perpetrators of crimes."
Khan notes that beyond being unhelpful towards the policing progress, unnecessary carding has the potential to cause untrust among minorities and local law enforcement.
"What it really ends up doing is sowing division in our communities and alienating groups of Canadians in vulnerable communities and visible minorities and making them feel uncomfortable and untrustworthy when they are stopped for no reason."
Khan says he's heard only partial lip service on the issue on behalf of the NDP, and is tired of the issue being shelved.
"In the context of Alberta here, the Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley promised way backed in August 2017, there would be a very quick but thorough six week investigation on the practice, to develop guidelines and come down more forcefully on the issue. There has been complete radio silence on this issue, and I think very justifiably Albertans, especially from these communities, are very concerned and very disappointed with the NDP about making this window dressing promise, and doing nothing for almost a year and a half."
With an incoming provincial election, Khan says the Liberal Party aims to take action on police carding, rather than let the discussion continue to be waylaid.
"We're now coming up to an election here, and I think people are very rightfully worried that if there's a change in government, that if the UCP form government, they are not interested in these very important human rites issues. Not only have the NDP let down and broken their promise, they've hurt and harmed out entire province and all Albertans by not acting on this issue."
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