TORONTO, October 21, 2002 - The Chair of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF), the Hon. Lincoln Alexander, has called for a summit to discuss the practice of racial profiling, systemic racism and other alleged racist practices in the wake of a series of reports in the Toronto Star this past weekend outlining such practices by members of the Toronto police.
Mr Alexander called the findings "clearly disturbing". He hopes that a summit will consist of a "frank and mature dialogue on the issue concentrating on finding constructive solutions. We need the Ontario Solicitor General; we need the Mayor, the Chair of Toronto Police Services Board, the Chief, the Commissioner of the RCMP and the Commissioner of the OPP; the president of the Police Association and representatives of the Black Officers' Association. We must admit that there is a problem and those with the power must make the changes that are needed
We know what is happening out there, it has been going on for years. While we know it is not characteristic of the behaviour of all officers, the data show there are too many who behave in ways unbecoming police officers. Time is long overdue to apply remedies," said Mr Alexander, who is Honorary Chief of the Toronto Police Service.
Toronto Police Chief Julian Fantino has indicated to Mr Alexander that he is willing to meet. Norm Gardiner, Chair of the Toronto Police Services Board, has also signaled his willingness to participate in such a meeting.
"The Canadian Race Relations Foundation is prepared to coordinate this meeting," said Dr Karen Mock, Executive Director of the CRRF, adding that, "while there may be no official policy of racial profiling, the numbers show that the practice does go on, which means there's a problem. This is not about just blaming some of the police. There is responsibility at every level for not effectively implementing the recommendations of countless task forces and commissions. The CRRF will assist all parties to develop practical solutions to a very serious problem." propriate and, if the film's message is positive, may even gain its support," added Dr. Mock.