NS Green Party Leader Calls for a Halt to Street Checks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 15, 2017

“Can’t we be leaders for once?”

(Halifax) The Leader of the Green Party of Nova Scotia has joined the call for a moratorium on street checks.

“Within the Police Act, the Minister of Justice has the ability to regulate this practice. It’s time to stop it,” said Thomas Trappenberg. “Ontario has already done it. Can’t we in Nova Scotia be leaders for once?”

The practice has been demonstrated in Halifax Regional Municipality to unfairly target and penalize members of the African Nova Scotian community.

“The police chief in Halifax claims to see benefit from this practice,” said Trappenberg. “I suggest the benefits do not outweigh the harm.” Social justice is one of the key principles of the Green Party.

A former police officer, Robyn Ivy Atwell, recently circulated a letter calling for a moratorium on street checks. In it, she noted:

“There’s a resonance in the arguments of those who see the current practice of street checks as a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which call for the freedom of association and equality. Yet as a group, the African Nova Scotian community suffers a more sinister breach of our Charter Rights. Section 12 says, “Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment”. Racialized street checks function as a form of unusual punishment for the charge of being Black.”

The Green Party of Nova Scotia calls on Stephen MacNeil’s government to act now to stop this unfair process.

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