The report, Under suspicion: Research and consultation report on racial profiling in Ontario, details the findings of public consultations conducted over the period of a year. The objective of the research was to collect information that would assist communities and organizations in identifying and addressing racial profiling, as well as preventing it.
CMHA Ontario participated in a policy dialogue hosted by the OHRC which contributed to the report. Issues surrounding racial profiling and policing in particular were discussed by a range of stakeholders, including academics, police representatives, and community advocates. In addition, CMHA Ontario contributed a paper on the intersection of racial and mental health profiling to the Canadian Diversity Journal (sponsored by the OHRC).
Personal accounts of racial profiling included in the report extend well beyond the realm of police interactions, including incidents of unwarranted surveillance, investigation and scrutiny in the private sector, and in public institutions such as education, child welfare, and transportation. The report outlines the negative impact of racial discrimination on a person’s mental and physical health, causing feelings of mistrust and insecurity in otherwise innocent citizens.
In response to the report results, the OHRC is focusing on developing specific policy guidance in the area of services to help individuals, community groups and organizations understand how racial profiling can be prevented and addressed. This policy guidance will focus on policing and law enforcement, child welfare, court and corrections and other sectors as needed.