The Quebec government said Friday it will appeal a landmark Superior Court ruling that bans random police stops, because the province said the court decision deprives police of an important tool.
Last month, Quebec Superior Court Justice Michel Yergeau decided that a common law rule allowing police to stop motorists without suspicion that an offence had been committed “paves the way” for racial profiling. That rule, the judge said, violates three sections of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms: the right to life, liberty and security of person; the protection against arbitrary detention; and the guarantee of equality under the law.
Public Security Minister François Bonnardel said Friday, “We consider it unjustified to abolish such an important (tool) for police forces.”
“We believe there is a better way to use it.”
However, Bonnardel said that while the government supports the police, “the status quo is unacceptable.” In response, he announced new measures to prevent racial profiling by police. Officers will receive continuous training on discrimination and racial profiling, he said, the province will fund progressive policing projects, and it will make the police ethics complaints process more accessible.