RCMP collecting race based data is a `double edged sword,’ says Indigenous leader

By Shari Narine  Local Journalism Initiative Reporter Fort McKay Metis Nation President Ron Quintal is surprised to learn that the RCMP detachment that services his northern Alberta community is collecting race-based data. Since Jan. 8, the Wood Buffalo RCMP detachment, along with detachments in Thompson, Man. and Whitehorse, Yukon, has been collecting data based solely on the officer’s perception of the race of the person he is investigating. “We actually have three (RCMP) constables that we pay extra dollars for in Fort McKay to have extra constables in the community because we want a strong police presence,” said Quintal, yet he was unaware that the detachment was a pilot project site. Dr. Mai Phan, acting director of the RCMP anti-racism unit, says public consultations to roll out the pilot project…

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