Nova Scotia's NDP wants immediate moratorium on police street checks

Nova Scotia's opposition New Democrats have proposed legislation that would impose an immediate moratorium on random police street checks.

The bill, introduced by Halifax-Needham MLA Lisa Roberts, would also require the government to introduce legislation about the collection of data from residents by September 2019 once a Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission study of the issue is complete.

Last fall the commission hired an independent expert to review street checks in Halifax after police data showed black men were three times more likely than whites to be subjected to the controversial practice.

But Roberts says the government should act now given the number of stories that have emerged in recent years from members of minority communities.

The NDP bill followed a renewed call for a ban on the practice, sometimes known as carding, by federal party Leader Jagmeet Singh in Halifax on Thursday.

Premier Stephen McNeil says the government intends to wait for the rights commission report before taking "next steps," but believes the interaction between police forces and citizens should be carried out in a "fair and just way."