Halton Regional Police Service: Start Collecting Race-based Data

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In September 2019, the Toronto Police Service (TPS) announced that they would begin to collect race-based data in order to identify and eliminate systemic racism. This decision followed a report by the Ontario Human Rights Commission that found that Black individuals are 20x more likely to be shot by the TPS than white individuals. The program, as outlined in Toronto Police Service's Race-based Data Collection and Public Reporting, involves race-based data collection at all stops, searches, interactions involving Use of Force, charges, apprehensions, and arrests.

On June 16, 2020, the Parliamentary Black Caucus released a statement outlining necessary actions in addressing and eliminating anti-Black racism, with attention being paid to public safety and justice reforms. One of the first points was the need for collecting disaggregated data. While this is just a first step in wide-scale police reform, it is significant because it represents a commitment to transparency and accountability. Race-based data is needed in order to identify the scope of systemic racism and the actions needed to rectify it. 

Following the anti-racism protests in the USA and Canada, as well as the tragic deaths of D'Andre Campbell and Chantel Moore at the hands of police, and Regis Korchinski-Paquet in police presence, there has been a call for action in the justice system. Systemic racism is pervasive in the Canadian institutions and Halton Regional Police Service needs to take steps towards dismantling it in following the TPS by adopting race-based data collection. Without it, the realities of policing in Halton's Black and racialized communities goes largely unnoticed. The implementation of this program is a constituent issue in a series of actions to reform and defund the police while investing in social services, but represents a clear paradigm shift towards transparency and accountability.  

This petition will demonstrate to the Halton Regional Councillors the wide base of support for this motion to be implemented while decreasing the current police budget. Please join us in signing this petition to demonstrate Halton's dedication to creating a safer environment for the Black, Indigenous, and other communities of colour.