OTTAWA - NDP MP Libby Davies teamed up with fellow MPs, Gurmant Grewal (CPC), Richard Marceau (BQ) and Joe Comartin (NDP), to highlight the need for legislation banning racial profiling in Canada.
The Members of Parliament were joined by Shahid Mahmood, a Toronto man who was barred from flying in May 2004 and believes he may be on Canada's no fly list.
On March 9th in Question Period Transport Minister Jean Lapierre responded that his department was developing such a list for Canada. "Major questions have to be asked about what mechanism will exists to protect people's rights and ensure they are not racial profiling in the process," said Davies, Grewal, Marceau and Comartin.
The Vancouver East MP has introduced a Bill in Parliament that would ban racial profiling from all federal departments and jurisdictions. The Bill, if passed, would compel enforcement agencies to maintain policies and procedures designed to eliminate racial profiling. The responsible Ministers would be required to report to Parliament and Federal courts would hear related cases.
"If the federal government is going to continue to move forward with increased security measures it is only just to introduce legislation that specifically spells out that racial profiling will not be tolerated," said Grewal and Marceau.
Davies and colleagues recognized today as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by launching a campaign to stop racial profiling. A recently developed website (www.stopracialprofiling.ca) will serve as a place to bring people together on the issue.
The site includes a range of information on racial profiling and an Incident Report Form. "We want to collect people's experiences of racial profiling and present them to Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan who continues to deny racial profiling ever happens," explained Davies.