Alberta BANS carding by police | Justice Minister Kaycee Madu with Sheila Gunn Reid

Alberta’s government, under the direction of Justice Minister and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu, is outlawing the police practice of carding and making firm rules around street checks. The announcement of the changes was made in a press conference Thursday afternoon. 

Though the two terms are often used interchangeably, street checks and carding are very different. Street checks occur when police stop and question people for investigative purposes. Police need to have a reason for a street check.

Carding, as it was defined here in Alberta, was an arbitrary practice in which police did not require as a reason to reason to stop someone and subject them to questioning. Carding was banned Thursday by Madu, who described it as unconstitutional. 

Police chiefs are on board. Community activists are on board. Indigenous representatives say it’s a step toward reconciliation. The media mean girls, on the other hand, are looking for reasons to be against a carding ban because a conservative government is responsible for it. 

After yesterday’s historic press conference in Edmonton, I caught up with Madu on the legislature grounds. I asked him to clarify the difference between carding and street checks, and why he thinks the NDP didn’t bother to outlaw carding when they had the chance. 

Madu also told me he will use his powers as the minister in charge of policing to ensure Calgary's officers have the resources they need after the police commission voted to defund the force by $20 million.