Carding…why are we still putting up with it?

November 26, 2014

Bill Blair, Chief,
Toronto Police Service,
40 College Street,
Toronto, ON M5G 2T3

Re: Blair opens up to students at rights symposium
 Toronto Star, Thursday, November 20, 2014

Chief Blair:

“You’ve got your own agenda….” is how the Toronto Star’s Patty Winsa quoted the beginning of your response to a question from the paper around the police practice of carding at a Know Your Rights meeting for youth at the Toronto Police College on Wednesday, November 19.
If by “agenda” you mean the Toronto Star’s ongoing efforts to make our police service transparent and accountable, then I would assume your comment was complimentary. As it is, the November 26 Police Board meeting to which you referred has been delayed, and that stalls the release of “Community Assessment of Police Practices”, a survey that would be of considerable interest to many.
It’s problematic understanding why there is any difficulty in implementing the Police Board’s policy on carding. You are an executive, authorized to issue directives and orders, supported by compliance staffers to ensure the measures are carried out, and with further resources to iron out what wrinkles may arise in the process.
“Carding” is an abhorrent infringement by the public service on the sovereignty of the citizenry. It’s a fishing expedition coupled with a reverse onus stipulation. Taken to an extreme, it could be likened to putting everyone in jail until each individual provides surety for good behaviour. Odd, given that those people in jail are the very ones who determine what good behaviour is required of us all.
Yours truly,

Charles H. Klassen

cc John Tory, Office of the Mayor
Patty Winsa, The Toronto Star


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