The forms of discriminatory profiling that we hear the most about in Québec are:
- racial profiling (based on perceived ‘race’ and/or ‘colour’)
- social profiling (based on perceived ‘social condition’, like being unhoused)
How to identify discriminatory profiling
Discriminatory profiling is when:
1. A person in a position of authority:
- intervenes in the name of safety, security or public protection,
- treats or questions a person differently
- on the basis of a Charter-prohibited ground of discrimination
- without just cause or reasonable suspicion
EXAMPLE: A security guard checks the purchases of Black or Latin American customers only.
2. The law is disproportionately applied to a certain segment of the population (a social group).
EXAMPLE: The unhoused members of a municipality receive more tickets for ‘misuse of urban furniture’ than housed people do.
The Commission and racial profiling
The Commission began accepting complaints of racial profiling in 2003, and has been a Québec pioneer in raising awareness about racial profiling as a form of discrimination.
Did you know?
In July of 2015, the Commission filed the first political profiling case before the Human Rights Tribunal against the City of Québec and its police force on behalf of 36 demonstrators arrested during a peaceful march protesting tuition fee hikes during Québec’s “printemps érable”.
Do you believe you’ve experienced profiling?
Find out whether you can file a complaint.
If the racial profiling incident involved a municipality or the police, it is important to file a complaint as soon as possible: you have 6 months after the fact to do so.