Toronto police board drafts 'historic' policy for collecting race-based data

As early as next year, Toronto police could start tracking and reporting the races of individuals involved in certain encounters with officers, if a "historic" new policy drafted for Canada's largest force is approved.

But the move is drawing both praise and calls for caution.

Slated for discussion at the next Toronto Police Services Board meeting on Sept. 19, the board's draft policy aims to improve "transparency and accountability."

"It's a huge step forward," said Paul Bailey, an urban planner and community advocate from Toronto's Rexdale neighbourhood. "The community has been asking for disaggregated, race-based data for 30 years."

The draft policy also follows a key recommendation from a sweeping 2018 interim report on race and policing from the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC). The report found a black person in Toronto was nearly 20 times more likely than a white person to be shot and killed by police.

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