TORONTO- While Chief Bill Blair’s replacement won’t be part of the discussion during his last board meeting Thursday, the carding policy, something that could define his legacy, is on the agenda.
The board will vote on proposed changes to the practice, where police stop and question people who are not under arrest. An investigation by The Toronto Star revealed that the practice in the city disproportionately targeted people of colour, especially young black men.
A revised TPS community engagement policy was revealed in March and says police officers cannot take into account “race, place of origin, age, colour, ethnic origin, gender identity or gender expression” when they decide to stop someone for questioning, unless the person is a possible witness, suspect or victim.
Blair would not implement the policy the board approved last year which required that officers tell individuals that they have the right to walk away if they are not under arrest, and provide a receipt which would document the reason for the questioning.
The seven member police board, including Toronto Mayor John Tory, will also review the preparations ahead of the Pan Am and Para Pan Am Games, and the operating budget.
While it’s unclear what the outgoing chief plans to do after his term ends, a new campaign ‘Draft Bill Blair’ is hoping to recruit him to the federal Liberals. The group was formed in the veteran cop’s home riding of Scarborough Southwest, where they hope he’ll run.
Some of the rumoured contenders to replace him include Deputy Chiefs Peter Sloly and Mark Slaunders, former Prince Albert Saskatchewan Police Chief Dale McFee, and former Waterloo Region Chief Matt Torigian.