Ontario judge says police need reason for stopping people for questioning

An Ontario judge who reviewed the province's regulations around police street checks says officers should only be stopping people for questioning if they have a clearly defined reason for doing so.

Justice Michael Tulloch says misinformation and confusion over the years have led to many people believing that street checks are synonymous with random, sometimes racially based police stops known as carding.

Tulloch says carding is a specific subset of street checks that should be stopped, as it disproportionately impacts racialized communities and does not help police fight crime.

But he says non-random street checks have real value for investigators and should be allowed to continue as long as officers have clear grounds for why they're being conducted.

Tulloch was appointed by the previous Liberal government to assess whether rules around street checks were being applied fairly.

The new Progressive Conservative government has said it plans to review those regulations and will be guided by Tulloch's findings.