Alberta ends carding, brings in new rules on when police can stop and question

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EDMONTON — The Alberta government has banned the practice of carding by police and is bringing in new rules on when it’s OK for officers to randomly stop and question people.

Justice Minister Kaycee Madu says members of the Black, Indigenous and other communities have expressed concerns that they are unfairly targeted and harassed.

Carding involves police arbitrarily stopping members of the public and asking for personal information.

Police services in Alberta currently have a patchwork approach to carding and street checks, which involve police stopping and questioning people for investigative reasons.

Street checks will continue, but Madu says new rules that take effect immediately make clear that police can collect personal information from the public only in specific circumstances, such as when a crime that has taken place.

Police must also make it clear that citizens questioned during street checks have a right not to answer and are not obliged to provide personal ID.

Edmonton police Chief Dale McFee, president of the Alberta Chiefs of Police, says the changes strike the right balance between the need for investigations and strengthening public trust.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 19, 2020.

The Canadian Press