McGill Alert / Alerte de McGill

Updated: Fri, 07/12/2024 - 12:16

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Alerte de McGill. Le campus du centre-ville restera partiellement fermé jusqu’au lundi 15 juillet, en soirée. Complément d’information : Direction de la protection et de la prévention

A composite graphic of protestors' raised hands and police officers in uniform

Racial Profiling in Policing

MARCH 25, 2021, 1 p.m - 5 p.m

Missed this event? Catch up on the event sessions. You can also read speakers' responses to questions that we didn't have time for at the conference, as well as MPP students' reflections on the conference's proceedings.

Discriminatory profiling and the stereotypes underpinning them have been denounced for decades, and yet there is no national law or standard in Canadian policing that prohibits random stops and similar practices that lie at the core of police racial profiling everywhere. 

This online conference brings together speakers with expertise and personal experience to discuss innovative policy solutions and to foster community trust among marginalized and racialized communities, including Black people, Indigenous people and people of colour.

This event is limited to 1000 people, so be sure to register soon. Due to the number of participants attending this conference we will accepting questions to speakers via email only. You can submit your questions to [at]


Our speakers offer a range of perspectives and experiences. Meet some of them here:

Alain Babineau

Retired RCMP officer, JD/BCL ’19 McGill, Advisor on racial profiling

Fady Dagher

Fady Dagher

Director, Agglomeration of Longueuil Police Department

Joel DeBellefeuille

Entrepreneur and businessman

Pearl Eliadis

Event Chair, Human rights lawyer & Adjunct Professor at McGill University

Hon. Marlene Jennings

President of the Quebec Community Groups Network, lawyer, & member of the Comité consultatif sur la réalité policière

Scott Wortley

Scot Wortley

Associate Professor, Department of Criminology, University of Toronto

Photograph of Anne-Marie Livingstone

Anne-Marie Livingstone

Postdoctoral scholar, Munk School for Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto


Executive Director of the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal

Fo Niemi

Executive Director of the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations

Majiza Philip

Mentor, teacher, performer, choreographer, leader, and tap dancer

Kanika Samuels-Wortley

Assistant Professor, Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Carleton University

Philippe-André Tessier

President of the Quebec Human Rights & Youth Rights Commission





Welcome, Land Acknowledgement and Introduction

With The Honourable Marlene Jennings and Professor Pearl Eliadis.


Panel 1: From Victims to Victors: First-Hand Encounters with Racial Profiling

Language matters. Experience matters. The first steps in developing policy-relevant solutions are to substantively acknowledge and engage with the reality of racial profiling, including its individual and structural impacts on people and communities. This session will highlight the voices of those who have spoken out about their lived experience of profiling.

With Fo Niemi, Joel DeBellefeuille and Majiza Philip


Panel 2: “Why Aren’t We There Yet?" Four Decades of Evidence

Policy guidance based on laws, human rights-based approaches, codes of ethics, and data collection are at the heart of the principles and practices needed to move forward. What do we know about efforts to create accountability so far, and what are the obstacles to moving forward?

With Marlene Jennings, Scot Wortley, Anne-Marie Livingstone, and Kanika Samuels-Wortley.


Panel 3: Remembering the Past, Planning the Future

Monitoring, meaningful accountability, and organizational change are among some of the key steps to addressing racial profiling and respecting equality rights. How can law enforcement both serve and protect all citizens equally? How can communities engage as equal partners to combat racial profiling effectively?

With Alain Babineau, Philippe-André Tessier, Nakuset, and Fady Dagher.


Open Discussion

With Pearl Eliadis 


Event Adjournment

If you would like to submit a question to our panelists in advance, please send your question to the following email address: [at]



We have a prepared a list of sources including case studies, poetry, and documentaries that offer a deeper dive into issues relating to anti-Black racism, race and law, and police accountability.

I. Start here: Introductory Readings

Read more

Eliminating Racial Profiling in Law Enforcement | Policy | Ontario Human Rights Commission

Républik Basket | Documentary | Will Prosper

Race and Criminal Injustice: An Examination of Public Perceptions of and Experiences with the Ontario Criminal Justice System | Report | Scot Wortley, Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, and Huibin Lin

Québec (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse) v Bombardier Inc. (Bombardier Aerospace Training Center) | Current Definition of Racial Profiling in Canadian Law | Case Law | Supreme Court of Canada

II. Random Stops & Arbitrary Detention

Read more

Above the Law | Documentary | CBC-TV

Applying the Racial Profiling Correspondence Test | Article | David M. Tanovich

Carding | Poetry | Lorna King

Crisis of Distrust: Police and Community in Toronto | Documentary | Dan Epstein & Jamil Jivani

Driving While Innocent: Curbing the Excesses the 'Traffic Stop' Power | Article | Steven Penney

Halifax , Nova Scotia: Street Checks Report | Report | Scot Wortley

Garfield Peart, et al. v Peel Regional Police Services Board, et al. | Case Law | Supreme Court of Canada 

Le Profilage Racial à Montréal, Effets des Politiques et des Pratiques Organisationnelles | Article | Anne-Marie Livingstone, Marie Meudec and Rhita Harim

Preventing and Countering Racial Profiling of People of African Descent - Good Practices Challenges | Report | United Nations

Racial Disparity in Arrests and Charges: An Analysis of Arrest and Charge Data from the Toronto Police Service | Report | Scot Wortley and Maria Jung

R v Brown | Case Law | Court of Appeal for Ontario

R v Dudhi | Case Law | Court of Appeal for Ontario

R v Grant | Case Law | Supreme Court Of Canada

Memorandum of Understanding between the Ontario Human Rights Commission and Peel Regional Police and Regional Municipality of Peel Police Services Board | Report | Ontario Human Rights Commission

R v Le | Case Law | Supreme Court of Canada

R v Kenowesequape | Case Law | Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta

The Queen v Campbell, Alexer | Case Law | Court of Quebec

Report of the Independent Street Checks Review | Report | Hon. Michael H. Tulloch

Under suspicion: Research and Consultation Report on Racial Profiling in Ontario | Report | Ontario Human Rights Commission

III. Anti Black-Racism

Read more

Black Criminal Stereotypes and Racial Profiling | Article | Kelly Welsh

A Disparate Impact: Second interim report on the inquiry into racial profiling and racial discrimination of Black persons by the Toronto Police Service | Report | Scot Wortley

Cuz He’s Black | Poetry | Javon Johnson

Inflammatory Rhetoric on Racial Profiling Can Undermine Police Services | Article | Thomas Gabor

Policing the Police: Public Perceptions of Civilian Oversight in Canada | Article | Jihyun Kwon and Scot Wortley

Race and Criminal Injustice: An Examination of Public Perceptions of and Experiences with the Ontario Criminal Justice System | Article | Canadian Association of Black Lawyers (CABL)

Le Racisme Au Québec: Tolérance Zéro - Rapport Du Groupe D'action Contre Le Racisme | Report | Gouvernement du Québec

Policing Black Lives: State Violence in Canada from Slavery to the Present | Book | Robyn Maynard

R v Parks | Case Law | Court of Appeal for Ontario

The Skin We’re In | Documentary | Desmond Cole

Use of Force by the Toronto Police Service Final Report | Report | Scot Wortley, Ayobami Laniyonu, and Erick Laming

Review of Implementation of the Recommendations issued in the Report of the Consultation on Racial Profiling and its Consequences | Report | Scot Wortley, Ayobami Laniyonu, and Erick Laming

Les Interpellations Policières à La Lumière Des Identités Racisées Des Personnes Interpellées | Report | Victor Armony, Mariam Hassaoui, and Massimiliano Mulone

Youthful Discretion: Police Selection Bias in Access to Pre-Charge Diversion Programs in Canada | Article | Kanika Samuels Wortley

IV. Anti- Indigenous Racism

V. Race & Law

Read more

Canadian Critical Race Theory : Racism and the Law | Book | Carol A Aylward

Racial Profiling and Human Rights in Canada: The New Legal Landscape | Book | Lorne Foster, Lesley A. Jacobs, Bobby Siu, and Shaheen Azmi

VI. Legislation

Read more

Alberta Human Rights Act | Legislation | Government of Alberta

British Columbia Human Rights Code | Legislation | Government of British Columbia

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms | Legislation | Government of Canada

Criminal Code | Legislation | Government of Canada

Canadian Human Rights Act | Legislation | Government of Canada

Manitoba Human Rights Code | Legislation | Government of Manitoba

New Brunswick Human Rights Act | Legislation | Government of New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Act | Legislation | Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

NorthWest Territories Human Rights Act | Legislation | Government of the Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia Human Rights Act | Legislation | Government of Nova Scotia

Nunavut Human Rights Act | Legislation | Government of Nunavut

Ontario Human Rights Code | Legislation | Government of Ontario

Prince Edward Island Human Rights Act | Legislation | Government of Prince Edward Island

The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code | Legislation | Government of Saskatchewan

Yukon Human Rights Act | Legislation | Government of Yukon

Québec Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms | Legislation | Gouvernement du Québec

VII. Defunding/De-tasking the Police: A Policy Option


The Max Bell School is committed to providing universal access to our events. This online event is free and open to the general public. It will feature auto-live captioning. Please contact the School at [at] to request disability accommodations. All enquiries will be treated confidentially. Advance notice might be necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.



Alain BabineauAlain Babineau

Retired RCMP officer, JD/BCL ’19 McGill, Advisor on racial profiling

After 30 years in law enforcement, including stints with the Ontario Provincial Police and the Canadian Military Police, Alain Babineau retired as a Staff Sergeant from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in 2016. He holds a Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Civil Law from McGill law Faculty, a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Criminology from University of Ottawa, a B.A in Legal Studies and a Graduate Diploma in Conflict Resolution from Carleton University.

Alain is currently an independent advisor and consultant in Montreal, on issues of racial profiling in private and public security. He is also regularly called upon to comment as a law enforcement analyst, on racial profiling issues as well as on general law enforcement matters in live broadcast news segments for CBC, CTV, Global, Radio Canada, TVA, as well as the local and national written press. He has also lectured in Colleges and Universities. Some of his main interests also revolve around social justice, police management accountability, and the use of alternative dispute resolution in law enforcement to mitigate internal and external conflicts.

Fady DagherFady Dagher

Director, Agglomeration of Longueuil Police Department

Since February 6, 2017, Fady Dagher is the director of the Agglomeration of Longueuil Police Department, which has approximately 1,000 employees all categories combined. He previously worked for the Montreal Police Department, an organization to which he gave his first 25 years of career, occupying multiple functions from patrol officer to assistant director. Holder of a Master of Business Administration for Executives (EMBA) from the McGill University - HEC of Montreal, he will have, in 2020, more than 28 years of experience in the police sector.

Well known for his forward thinking approach, Fady Dagher has distinguished himself throughout his career by his ability to connect with various communities and by his taste for innovation. This capacity has led him to obtain several awards. He developed the first Canadian policy on racial and social profiling. The philosophy he brought to the department can be summed up in three terms: Human, Intelligence and Efficiency. He is the instigator of the Immersion project, which was publicized by the newspaper “La Presse” in January 2020. He wishes that, through a culture change, he could establish a model of a “Police de Concertation” in his organization. It is a form of police service whose philosophy is to focus on prevention by supporting and acting on the spot with its citizens and partners.

Joel DeBellefeuille

Entrepreneur and businessman

Mr. Joel DeBellefeuille is a Quebec entrepreneur and businessman, and founder of Just3 a boutique consulting firm providing strategic business solutions to companies. He is also CEO and Co-founder of Marianna Naturals Corp., a skin care, health and wellness brand, as well as a husband and father. Mr. DeBellefeuille has filed several human rights complaints in Quebec arising from racial profiling, and has been featured regularly in media reports. The most recent case arose in 2012, when Mr. Debellefeuille was driving his son to daycare and was followed by police for 11 blocks before being stopped and asked for identification. He filed a human rights complaint, and after eight years of litigation, the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal delivered a landmark ruling that the police had had no valid reason for the stop and that incident had been motivated by systemic racism. Mr. DeBellefeuille’s fight against racial profiling has resulted in jurisprudence that is changing how law enforcement agencies, government bodies and municipalities handle systemic racism and discrimination

Pearl EliadisPearl Eliadis

Human rights lawyer & Adjunct Professor at McGill University

Pearl Eliadis is an award-winning lawyer, educator, and author. Her law practice focuses on human rights, national institutions, and democratic governance. She also serves as adjunct professor of law at McGill's Faculty of Law and is cross-appointed to the Max Bell School of Public Policy. Since 2011, Pearl has taught civil liberties with a focus on deliberative democracy and the role of dissent. Pearl is a full member of McGill's Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism and an Associate Member at Max Bell, where she teaches foundations of law for policy makers and gender equality, as well as a new case study on racial and social profiling. Pearl also has decade of public policy experience in federal and provincial governments and agencies, and is deeply engaged with civil society organizations in Canada and internationally. She is a recipient of awards for community engagement and social justice, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Canada 125 Commemorative Medal and was named a Human Rights Change Maker in 2017 by Equitas. Pearl has published extensively on human rights and public policy issues. She has been appointed three times to head the Quebec Bar Association's human rights committee and its specialized working group on human rights and diversity.     

Hon. Marlene JenningsHon. Marlene Jennings

President of the Quebec Community Groups Network, lawyer, & member of the Comité consultatif sur la réalité policière

The Honourable Marlene Jennings, who became President of the Quebec Community Groups Network in November 2020, is a retired lawyer and former Member of Parliament who is a valued contributor to Quebec’s English-speaking community on a wide range of issues ranging from education to health and access to justice. Until her election at the helm of the QCGN, she was the organization’s Treasurer and co-chaired QCGN’s Access to Justice in English Committee. Marlene currently sits on the Ministry of Public Safety, the Comité consultatif sur la Réalité policière that has conducted private and public consultations, including public forums, as part of a bigger effort to modernize the Quebec’s police forces on the basis of modernity, efficiency and trust. Before being elected to represent the riding of in the House of Commons, where she represented the riding of Notre-Dame-de-Grace-Lachine for close to 14 years, Marlene was Deputy Commissioner for Police Ethics for the government of Quebec. She managed the Montreal office comprised of staff lawyers, investigators, and administrative personnel and had exclusive jurisdiction to receive, investigate and conciliate public complaints about police conduct. She laid ethical charges against police officers and prosecuted them before the Quebec Police Ethics Tribunal. Until recently, Marlene was the government appointed trustee at the English Montreal School Board where she accompanied the board in implementing governance reforms. In 2015, Marlene chaired the Elections Systems Study Panel which handed down recommendations that aimed to protect the constitutional rights of English-speaking Quebecers and the integrity of our educational institutions. Marlene also sits Board of the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal and is a member of its Finance Committee which oversees an annual budget of close to $2 billion and some 17,000 employees.

Photograph of Anne-Marie Livingstone

Anne-Marie Livingstone

Postdoctoral scholar, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto

Anne-Marie Livingstone is a postdoctoral scholar attached to the "Ethnic, Immigration, and Pluralism Studies" program at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy of the University of Toronto. Dr. Livingstone completed a Ph.D. in Sociology at Johns Hopkins University in 2018. Between 2018 and 2020, she was a postdoctoral fellow with the Canada Program at Harvard University. Dr. Livingstone's research aims to illuminate the political and organizational sources of racial inequality, particularly as this pertains to the experiences of Black Canadians. Her most recent investigations have explored the significance of Black political mobilization to the development of race-conscious policies in Canada, and the prevalence of racial profiling in the lives of Black and other racialized youth in Montreal. She is a member of the multi-generational and multi-racial collective known as #MtlSansProfilage, which is undertaking a new project to examine the persistent obstacles to ending racial discrimination in policing and the means by which to effect policy change. Prior to returning to academia, Dr. Livingstone worked for a number of years in program evaluation and management for public, philanthropic, and non-profit organizations in Canada, Ghana, Tanzania, England, and Switzerland.


Executive Director of the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal

Nakuset, the Executive Director of the Native Women's Shelter of Montréal, is Cree from Lac la Ronge, Saskatchewan. She has three beautiful boys, Kistin, Mahkisis and Mahihkan. She was adopted by a Jewish family in Montreal and draws on her adoptee experience in her advocacy work for Indigenous children in care. Nakuset created, produced and hosted the television series Indigenous Power, she was voted “Woman of the Year 2014” by the Montreal Council of Women, and she is the Indigenous columnist for MaTV’s CityLife. Nakuset was featured in Real Talk on Race, the award winning CBC series. In 2017, she was selected by the CKX City Series as a speaker/shift disturber due to the work she does to shift the status quo for urban Aboriginal women. In November 2017, she was a speaker for TEDxMontrealWomen.In 2018, she testified for 3 days at the Viens Commission, a public inquiry into the discrimination of Indigenous people of Quebec. She testified in June, 2018 at the MMIW Inquiry in Calgary. In February 2019, she presented at WE Day. She was recently featured in the “End of 2010’s interview for Global” to discuss the past decade work with the urban Indigenous community. She is honoured to spearheaded and run the Cabot Square project since its inception and to co-found Resilience Montreal. She is dedicated to improving the lives of urban Indigenous people.

Fo Niemi

Executive Director of the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations

Fo Niemi is Executive Director of the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations, a Montréal-based non-profit that actively engages, since 1983, in public education, training and assistance for victims of race and other forms of discrimination.

Bilingual and multicultural, Fo is a graduate in social work from McGill University and political sciences at Concordia University.

His extensive experience includes policy review, design and development; employment system review and employment equity policy development; critical race, gender, class and sexual orientation analysis; community development; training on systemic discrimination, racial bias, and racial profiling (in law enforcement and customer service); assistance and support to victims of discrimination; and civil rights litigation and mediation, resulting in major court decisions/settlements including policy and other systemic remedies in employment, education, justice and public and commercial services.

In addition to his full-time position as CRARR Executive Director, Fo has also served as Chair of the Montréal Urban Community Transit Corporation’s Complaints Examination Committee and Commissioner with the Quebec Human Rights Commission (1991-2003). During his term at the Human Rights Commission, he chaired the Commission’s historic public hearings in 1993 on discrimination and violence against gays and lesbians that led to major changes on access to health and social services; justice; hate crimes, and civil unions in the province of Quebec. He has also written articles in policy journals and newspapers on race relations and equity issues in Canadian media.

Fo has participated in government missions to discuss state policies on race relations and human rights in the United States, France and Europe.

In the last 25 years, he has served as member of an advisory committee on the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; the Board of Directors of the Court Challenges Program of Canada, the Board of Directors of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation; the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council; the Canadian Bar Association’s Committee on Racial Equality in the Legal Profession; the City of Montréal Task Force on Democracy, and the Quebec Government’s Task Force on Racial Profiling.

Photograph of Majiza PhilipMajiza Philip

Majiza Philip is a mentor, teacher, performer, choreographer, leader, and tap dancer. A home-grown talent hailing from the historical black community of Little Burgundy, she also happens to be the granddaughter of Montreal's legendary rhythm tap queen, Ethel Bruneau. Ms Philip and her sister were chosen by Gregory Charles to perform at the Governor General’s award ceremony becoming the first black minors to appear at this event. She also performed at the 1998 Montreal Jazz Festival with the Vic Vogel big band. She would go on to achieve a diploma of Culinary Arts.

In 2014, Majiza was the victim of a violent attack by the Montréal police. She was left with a broken arm and criminal charges. Majiza fought long and hard to clear her name in court and was acquitted of all charges against her, with the judge ruling in her favor against four police officers. Majiza is currently suing the city and those officers for $700,000. For the last six years, she has continued to fight against racial profiling and systemic racism by making her case public and keeping it in the news.

Kanika Samuels-WortleyKanika Samuels-Wortley

Assistant Professor, Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Carleton University

Kanika Samuels-Wortley is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Carleton University. Dr. Samuels-Wortley's research centres race and racism, youth engagement in crime, policing, and critical race theory. She has co-authored several provincial reports for the Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services, including the Roots of Youth Violence. She has presented her research on systemic racism in policing in both provincial and federal processes including the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. Recent publications can be found in Crime and Delinquency, Race and Justice and the International Criminal Justice Review.

Philippe-André TessierPhilippe-André Tessier

President of the Quebec Human Rights & Youth Rights Commission

Mr. Philippe-André Tessier was appointed President by the National Assembly on February 28, 2019. Vice-President in charge of the Charter mandate since December 2017, Mr. Tessier had been acting as Interim President since March 15, 2018. Prior to his appointment, Mr.Tessier was Practice Group Leader of Robinson Sheppard Shapiro’s Labour Law Group, acting both as a lawyer and as a Certified Industrial Relations Counsellor. A graduate of Université de Montréal, he is a member of the Québec Bar and a member of Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines et relations industrielles agréés du Québec (Quebec order of chartered human resources and industrial relations advisors). He is also a certified director of the Collège des administrateurs de société. Listed as a leading transportation law practitioner by Best Lawyers in Canada from 2012 until his appointment, his practice focused on labour and employment law under both federal and provincial jurisdictions.

Mr. Tessier was very active in his professional order having been president of the Young Bar of Montréal (AJBM), secretary and treasurer of the Council of the Bar of Montreal and member of the Executive Committee and the General Council of the Barreau du Québec. He was also a member and secretary of Éducaloi's board of directors and chairman of the board of the Société québécoise d’information juridique (SOQUIJ) until his appointment at the Commission in 2017. Mr.Tessier was also very involved in the college and university student movement during his studies and chaired the Accreditation Committee established under the Act Respecting the Accreditation and Financing of Students’ Associations.

Scott WortleyScot Wortley

Associate Professor, Department of Criminology, University of Toronto

Dr. Wortley has been a Professor at the Centre of Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, University of Toronto since 1996. His academic career began in 1993 as a researcher with the Commission on Systemic Racism in the Ontario Criminal Justice System.  Over the past twenty-five years Professor Wortley has conducted numerous studies on various issues including youth violence and victimization, street gangs, illegal firearms, crime prevention programming, public perceptions of the police and criminal courts, and racial disparity within the Canadian criminal justice system.  In 2007, he was appointed by Metropolis to the position of National Priority Leader for research on Immigration, Justice, Policing and Security.  Professor Wortley has also served as Research Director for several government commissions including the Ontario Government’s Roots of Youth Violence Inquiry. In 2017 Professor Wortley worked with Ontario’s Anti-Racism Directorate to develop standards and guidelines for the collection and dissemination of race-based data within the public sector.  Professor Wortley has recently led two major investigation into possible racial bias within policing for both the Nova Scotia and Ontario Human Rights Commissions.  He, along with Professor Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, is currently heading an investigation into racial bias within the Toronto Transit Commission and an investigation into police use of force in Canada.

Event Steering Committee

Alain Babineau (external advisor to MBSPP); Pearl Eliadis (Event Chair), Clarissa Passos (Administrative Coordinator, Member of the Max Bell Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, MBSPP; Nayantara Sudhakar (MPP candidate 2021, PPAGS member of the Max Bell Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee)



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