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Ontario proposes new anti-carding regulations

The province of Ontario plans to introduce new regulations designed to prevent  police from stopping people randomly on the street, also known as carding. Ontario Minister of Community Safety Yasir Naqvi made the announcement on Oct. 25, following a long debate over the practice of carding in Ontario.

A number of Ontario police forces have faced allegations of racially profiling individuals they card. Ontario is the first province to put forward regulations on carding.

“We are saying that (a police stop) cannot be random, nor arbitrary, nor can it be based on race or the neighbourhood you live in,” Naqvi told the Ottawa Citizen.

Ottawa’s police chief Charles Bordeleau told the Citizen that the proposed regulations put an extra burden on police officers by forcing them to document a large number of interactions with civilians. He and Police Association president Matt Skof also denied that police act in an arbitrary way when making street checks.

“The Ottawa Police Service has always maintained that random and arbitrary street checks are illegal and are not practised by our officers,” Bordeleau told the Citizen.

The new regulation will come into effect in March 2016.

—Eric Davidson

Brazeau given absolute discharge, wants to return to Senate

Former Senator Patrick Brazeau was given an absolute discharge on the charges of cocaine possession and assault on Oct. 25. He still faces charges of fraud and breach of trust stemming from his Senate expenses.

Judge Valmont Beaulieu granted Brazeau an absolute discharge, meaning he won’t have a criminal record, after Brazeau pleaded guilty to the charges in September.

Brazeau told the Ottawa Citizen that he plans to return to the Senate “as quickly as possible.”

Brazeau was suspended without pay over his housing expense claims alongside Senators Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin, but the suspension was lifted when Parliament was dissolved for the federal election.

Brazeau is currently on leave with pay, with his salary being clawed back to reimburse the Senate for his disallowed housing expense claims.

—Eric Davidson

Government funding encourages young parent entrepreneurs

Ontario MPP Bob Chiarelli announced that $334,000 in funding would go towards the Hope Ventures program on Oct. 27. The program, which is housed at the Salvation Army Bethany Hope Centre, helps young parents start their own business.

The money, would come from the province’s Local Poverty Reduction Fund, announced Chiarelli, which looks to improve the lives of people affected by poverty.

Chiarelli told the Ottawa Citizen that the province selected the Hope Ventures program because it shows “tremendous leadership.”

The additional funding will help the centre expand by allowing for more participants.

—Eric Davidson