18 NOV. 2004, OTTAWA: NDP MP Libby Davies today introduced a Bill that would ban racial profiling from all federal departments and jurisdictions. Davies held a press conference today with Joe Comartin, NDP Justice Critic, and David Onyalo from the Canadian Labour Congress to discuss the initiative.
“We have seen an increasing level of what can best be described as the ‘criminalization of diversity’ and we feel strongly that action must be taken”, said Davies.
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.
“With the increasing number of security measures being introduced in Canada we are hearing about a parallel number of racial profiling incidents,” said Comartin. “People are saying they have been targeted at borders and airports across the country based on their ethnic background.”
“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 Davies.
“If the federal government is not going to take leadership on this issue the federal NDP will. We need to take action so people’s rights are protected.”
The federal NDP have been pushing the need for legislation to ban racial profiling since February of 2003.