Concerned Citizens Demand An End to Police Carding in Toronto

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TORONTO – At a press conference at City Hall, a group of prominent Toronto community leaders will speak out against the practice of police carding. At the time of the press conference the group will also release a joint statement co-signed by more than 35 prominent Torontonians in opposition to carding.

Date:               Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Time:               10 a.m. EST

Location:         Toronto City Hall, outside Committee Room #1

Participants include:

Roy McMurtry, former Chief Justice of Ontario; Gordon Cressy, former President, United Way; Barbara Hall, former Mayor, City of Toronto;

Mary Anne Chambers, former senior VP Scotiabank and former Ontario Cabinet Minister; Anne Golden, Distinguished Professor Ryerson University

                                                                            -30-

 For more information and to arrange interviews, contact:

Gordon Cressy, 647-500-9236, cressy213@rogers.com

Joanne Campbell 647-961-9236

Stop Carding Now

A growing group of prominent citizens is speaking out against the police practice of carding.  We are committed to a Toronto that is inclusive, diverse, welcoming, and respectful, and carding does not fit that vision.

Carding has led many in our city to distrust and disrespect our police.  Anger, hurt and unrest have replaced any benefits police may derive from this practice.

We all need to oppose carding vehemently.  We resent having to witness its debilitating impact on our neighbours.  It sends a message of hopelessness to young people with black or brown skin.  We cannot and will not accept this for any group or community in our city.  We do not need a new generation of Torontonians growing up to believe our police are their adversaries.

We are offended by the notion of casually and routinely stopping citizens, outside of police investigations of actual criminal acts that have occurred, to question and record, and then store personal data in police files. We are deeply distressed that Toronto residents of colour are subjected to this invasion of their privacy when the overwhelming majority of white-skinned citizens are not.

We believe that carding violates the human rights of citizens. It goes against the principles of our Charter Rights.  It paints a disturbing picture and repeats a narrative that is reminiscent of ugly practices that were historically endured by racialized residents, particularly those of African Canadian backgrounds.

We cannot allow an environment of anger and distrust of our police to exist and fester in our city, particularly among the African Canadian and other racial minority communities.  We cannot sit back and allow this to undermine everything we teach our children about Canada being a fair and equal society.

We urge Mayor John Tory, Alok Mukherjee, Chair of the Police Services Board and Mark Saunders, Chief of Police to immediately cease the practice of carding.  And we call on all citizens of this city to step forward and make known their distaste of this fear-mongering practice.

Our call is not intended to interfere with the common police practice of conducting criminal investigations in order to apprehend criminals in the interest of public safety.  Rather, it seeks to correct an injustice that harms police/community relations, and damages the reputation of our police service and the city it serves.

If this demeaning practice of selected carding is not terminated quickly, it will irreversibly divide and separate our various communities and cultures. We must be a city where every citizen is treated equally and justly.

Stop carding now

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Concerned Citizens to End Carding

Senior Advisors:

Zanana Akande

Former School Principal; Former Minister of Community & Social Services, Government of Ontario

Jean Augustine

Retired School Principal; Former Minister of State for Multiculturalism and Parliamentary Assistant to the Prime Minister, Government of Canada

Mary Anne Chambers

Retired Senior Vice President, Scotiabank; Former Minister of Training Colleges & Universities and Former Minister of Children & Youth Services, Government of Ontario

Alvin Curling

Former Minister of Housing and Former Minister of Skills Development and Former Speaker of the Ontario Legislative Assembly, Government of Ontario; Co-Author, Roots of Youth Violence Report for the Ontario Government, 2008

Councillor Michael Thompson

City Councillor, Ward 37, Scarborough Centre, City of Toronto

Founding Members:

Max Beck

Retired CEO, Easter Seals; Former CEO, Ontario Place

Harold Brathwaite

Executive Director, Retired Teachers of Ontario; Former Director, Peel Board of Education

Joanne Campbell

Former General Manager, Shelter & Housing, City of Toronto; Retired Vice President, Communications & Community Relations, CAMH

Gordon Chong

Former Toronto City Councillor; Former Member of the Toronto Police Services Board; Former Chair of the YMCA of Greater Toronto; Former Chair of the Metro Toronto Housing Authority; Current Member of the Board of Governors of the Mon Sheong Foundation

Gordon Cressy

Former President & CEO, United Way of Greater Toronto; Former Vice President, Universities of Toronto and Ryerson; Former Chair, Toronto Board of Education

David Crombie

Former Mayor, City of Toronto; Toronto icon

Joy Fielding

New York Times bestselling author of 25 novels

Paul Garfinkel

Retired President & CEO, CAMH; Professor, University of Toronto

Anne Golden

Former President & CEO, United Way of Greater Toronto; Former President, Conference Board of Canada; Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University

Kamala Jean Gopie

Retired Teacher, TDSB; Past President, Jamaican Canadian Association; Former Member, Ontario Race Relations and Policing Task Force

Joan Green

Former Director, Toronto Board of Education; Founding CEO, Ontario Education Quality & Accountability Office

Barbara Hall

Former Mayor, City of Toronto; Retired Chief Commissioner, Ontario Human Rights Commission

Denham Jolly

President, Jolly Corporation Inc.; President and CEO of Milestone Radio Inc.; Principal Share Holder of Tyndall Nursing Home Limited

Cheuk Kwan

Executive Director, The Harmony Movement

Michele Landsberg

Journalist and Author

Frances Lankin

Former President & CEO, United Way of Greater Toronto; Former Minister of Government Services, Chair of Management Board of Cabinet and Minister of Health, Government of Ontario

Sheldon Levy

President and Vice Chancellor, Ryerson University

Stephen Lewis

Former Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations and Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa;  Author of “Racism in Ontario” a report to the Premier of Ontario 1992

David McCamus

Retired President & CEO, Xerox Canada Ltd.; Former Board Member and Campaign Chair, United Way of Greater Toronto

Lloyd McKell

Retired Executive Officer for Equity, Toronto District School Board

Roy McMurtry

Retired Chief Justice of Ontario; Former Attorney General, Government of Ontario; Co-Author, Roots of Youth Violence Report for the Ontario Government, 2008

Penny Milton (Moss)
Former Chair, Toronto Board of Education; Retired CEO, Canadian Education Association

Peter Oliver

Founding Partner, Oliver and Bonacini; Founding President, The Leacock Foundation

Walter Pitman

Former President, University Ryerson and OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education); Author “Now Is Not Too Late”, report on Race Relations in Toronto, 1978

Bev Salmon

Former Metropolitan Toronto and North York Councillor; Former Commissioner Ontario Human Rights Commission; Past Chair, Race Relations Committee Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Warren Seyffert

Deputy Chair and Lead Director of Teck Resources; Vice Chair of the Kensington Health Centre

Joseph Wong

Family Physician; Chair, Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation; Former Chair, United Way of Greater Toronto; Founding Chair of the Board, ALPHA Education

Robert J. Wright

Retired Partner, Lang Michener LLP; Former Chair, Ontario Securities Commission; Founding Board Member, Pathways to Education

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