(Quebec) Quebec will ask police forces to report each year on the random arrests of their officers, who could face disciplinary sanctions if discrimination or racial profiling is demonstrated.
The Minister of Public Security, François Bonnardel, tabled his bill at the Salon Bleu on Wednesday, which reopens the Police Act, the first step for him in reforming the police system.
As La Presse indicated on Tuesday, he wants to regulate – and not ban – random arrests and fight against racial profiling.
His bill is a new version of a legislative text that his predecessor Geneviève Guilbault had tabled in the previous mandate and which had died on the order paper.
Under the bill, “the Minister shall establish, with respect to police forces and their members, a guideline respecting police stops, including roadside stops”. Its guideline, which would be enacted two months after the sanction of the law, will be integrated into the internal regulations of the police forces. If an agent does not respect it, he could face a disciplinary sanction.
The bill also specifies that police forces will report annually on random stops, which includes roadside stops.
“The director of any police force must transmit to the Minister each year, before April 1, in the form and content that the latter determines […] a report detailing the police stops made, including traffic stops made under of section 636 of the Highway Safety Code,” it read.
The legislative text adds that a superintendent of police must, on request of the minister, submit to him “records, statistical data and other information necessary to assess the state of crime and the effectiveness of the action police”, as well as “information and documents necessary for the exercise of its functions. “.
A provision was added to the Police Act that “in the conduct of police investigations and interventions, [police forces] act independently, free from interference. “.
The bill makes changes to the Police Ethics Commission. It provides support measures for any complainant who claims to be a victim of discrimination or racial profiling; an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Liaison would assist. He would have the choice of participating in a conciliation process with the police officer concerned.
The Police Ethics Committee becomes the Administrative Tribunal for Police Ethics. In addition to the sanctions already provided for in the Police Act, the Tribunal “may impose on a police officer […] one or more of the following measures: successfully complete a training course or refresher course, submit to a medical evaluation , participate in an assistance or support program or therapy related to their needs, participate in a community engagement program or a social and civic immersion course, submit to a supervision plan or participate to an administrative follow-up program”.
Quebec gives new powers to the police to act more quickly when a person disappears. They would have access to more personal information.
Other provisions aim to improve the parole process for offenders.