Victoria city councillors have tabled a motion to discuss a ban on police street checks or “carding” in the city.
The practice of carding involves police officers having the authority to stop, question, and document individuals without prior knowledge of them having been involved in an offence.
“Black, Indigenous, and people of colour are disproportionately impacted by street checks and carding,” said Councillor Sharmarke Dubow, in a statement on Monday. “We need to ensure that these discriminatory practices are put to an end.”
This motion was issued by councillors Dubow, Potts, Isitt and Loveday after recent calls to end carding due to discriminatory practices issued by groups like the BC Civil Liberties Association, the BC Union of Indian Chiefs, the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres, and Amnesty International Canada.
If approved at a council meeting on Thursday, the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board and the Victoria Police Department would be required to implement a ban on street checks.
Councillor Dubow and Mayor Helps are also introducing a motion to recognize the International Decade for People of African Descent and create a plan to address anti-Black racism in the city.
This motion makes several recommendations to tackle issues of systemic racism, the first of which is creating an advisory committee of people of African descent to advise staff between 2021-2024 on the implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent and commitment to People of African descent.
It also seeks to direct staff to report back on budget commitments required to raise awareness about the heritage and culture of people of African descent, and creating anti-Black racism training to prevent racism in city policy, bylaws, programs and services.
Council will explore options to create a capacity building grant program for Black-led organizations, black business owners, and institutions supporting and working with people of African descent.
The city also hopes to track hiring practices within City staff to ensure the municipal work force represents diversity in the city, and create internship opportunities for people of African descent.
Both motions will be considered at a Committee of the Whole meeting on Thursday, July 16.