As of January 1, 2017, a new regulation comes into effect that will prohibit police from requesting identifying information arbitrarily, or based on a person's race or presence in a high-crime neighbourhood during certain police-public interactions.
The regulation reflects feedback from public consultations on how to improve transparency, oversight and public confidence, and establishes new training, record-keeping, and reporting requirements to strengthen accountability. The regulation also sets out new rules that police must follow when requesting identifying information, and outlines in what situations these new rules apply.
The new rules apply if an officer asks the person for identifying information or to see an identifying document while:
- Looking into suspicious activities
- Gathering intelligence
- Investigating possible criminal activity
The new rules do not apply if police ask for identifying information or to see an identifying document while:
- Doing a traffic stop
- Arresting or detaining someone
- Executing a warrant
- Investigating a specific crime
Ontario is the first jurisdiction in Canada to set out clear and consistent rules for voluntary police-public interactions where police are seeking to collect identifying information. These rules aim to help ensure these interactions are conducted without bias or discrimination, and done in a manner that promotes public confidence and keeps Ontario communities safe.