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Discriminatory profiling is a prohibited form of discrimination. It can be based on any of the prohibited grounds for discrimination.

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)

What are the prohibited grounds for discrimination?

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.