Rocky Mountain Civil Liberties Association
Advancing Fundamental Human Rights and Civil Liberties in Alberta
Calgary Police data suggests Police Carding is Greatest in Diverse Neighbourhoods

May 9, 2016 - CALGARY, The Rocky Mountain Civil Liberties Association (RMCLA), through an access to information request, received partial information from the Calgary Police Service (CPS) on carding (in Calgary they are called Police Check-Up Slips). For more background on the issue of carding and greater details regarding the released information, you can read our background article.

The CPS – FOIP (Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy) Section provided a partial reply and indicated that it would only disclose a full set of information upon payment of a more than $14,000 fee. For example, information about the number of tickets written and charges laid as a result of carding, the number of field checkup slips entered into the Police Information Management System (PIMS) and sharing with other police services was not made available.

The second set of information disclosed by CPS revealed 219,972 carding events in Calgary from 2010 to 2015. The data suggest that these check-ups have reduced from 46,081 checkup slips in 2010 to 27,735 in 2015.

The CPS data also indicates that the greatest frequency of carding occurred within districts that include neighbourhoods with high diversity and a high proportion of low income people (i.e. Districts 1 which includes such neighbourhoods as the Beltline and 5 that include neighbourhoods such as Saddletown) compared to other parts of Calgary.

The reasons why checkups appear to occur more frequently in neighborhoods of greater diversity it is difficult to ascertain because the police did not disclose more information. RMCLA believes this issue is of public interest and ought to be discussed more broadly among Calgarians.

For the Full Press Release, please read it on our blog at:

Click Here for a more detailed background article.

Previous Posts - For a full set of previous posts please visit the Alberta Civil Liberites Blog

The RMCLA Invites you to the National Privacy and Data Governance Congress

Dates: from March 30 to April 1, 2016

Location: at the Carriage House Inn, 9030 Macleod Trail South, Calgary T2H 0M4
Congress Website:

This congress is an opportunity to learn about the most recent issues concerning your privacy rights, access-to-information, and data governance. Selected topics will examine such things as Privacy & Big Data, Surveillance in a Democracy, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Autonomous Vehicles: Data Heaven or Data Hell, and What’s Driving DNA Discovery.

Among the speakers is keynote Edwin Black.

He is the New York Times bestselling international investigative author with more than 1.4 million books in print in 14 languages in 65 countries, as well as scores of award winning newspaper and magazine articles in the leading publications of the United States, Europe and Israel. His work focuses on human rights, genocide and hate, corporate criminality and corruption, governmental misconduct, academic fraud, philanthropic abuse, oil addiction, alternative energy and historical investigation.

Editors have submitted Black’s work eleven times for Pulitzer Prize nomination, and, in recent years, he has been the recipient of a series of top editorial awards. In April 2015, Black testified before the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance as it studied of the cost, economic impact, frequency and best practices to address the issue of terrorist financing both in Canada and abroad.

For more on the speakers and agenda, please visit:


The RMCLA thanks the thousands of Albertans involved in Public Consultations on Gay-Straight Alliances

March 11, 2015
CALGARY, AB — Today is a clear victory for Alberta’s youth and the democratic process. The dignity and liberty of students in Alberta, indeed all Albertans, took a leap forward today. 

RMCLA is delighted that the government of Alberta has accepted most of our recommendations in our recently submitted report which were consistent with the wishes of most Albertans. GSAs will now be available to any students who request one. We are pleased that these friendship clubs will be able to take place on school property and be named by students. We applaud the provision that students will be supported by the Minister of Education to create GSAs in schools when school staff cannot, or appear unwilling, to help create or facilitate clubs.

The Rocky Mountain Civil Liberties Association (RMCLA) would like to thank the thousands of Albertans who gave their time and input into RMCLA’s consultation process, hearings, and report concerning Gay-Straight Alliances in Alberta Schools. The passage of Bill 10, with its significant improvements from the previous draft, is proof positive of the importance of voters being actively engaged between elections so that their views can be considered by legislators and reflected in legislation. 

RMCLA looks forward to providing valued input to the Government of Alberta regarding legislative initiatives aimed at advancing and protecting Albertans’ liberties. We will watch how parental rights with respect to making decisions regarding children’s’ education unfolds, in particular regarding human sexuality and religion, and we are hopeful that these legislative clauses do not impinge on students’ liberties or on those who might wish to create or attend GSAs.

We are pleased, on behalf of all Albertans, that members of the public, the government and the opposition parties participated in the consultative process that RMCLA established. We are encouraged that the government acted upon the recommendations from these GSA public consultations, which can be a model for future legislative consultative processes.

The RMCLA Annual General Meeting and Results from the Human Rights Committee’s Public Consultations on Gay-Straight Alliances

The RMCLA announced the results of it public consultation process on legislation regarding gay-straight alliances (GSAs) in schools in Alberta on March 3rd, 2015 at its Annual General Meeting. Click here to read the report.

Austin Bender presented his commentary on the findings. Austin is a recent recipient of the Governor General’s Canadian Caring Award for his work in founding a gay-straight alliance at Springbank Community High School and his work with Bullying Ends Here.

Bill 202 v Bill 10: A Battle of the Bills

An article on Bills relating to Gay-Straight Alliances in Schools

The Alberta Legislature has been the subject of some controversy in recent weeks. On November 20, Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman introduced Bill 202: The Safe and Inclusive Schools Statutes Amendment Act, 2014, 3rd Sess, 28th Leg, Alberta, 2014. A week later, in an abruptly called press conference, Premier Jim Prentice described Bill 202 as “unnecessarily divisive” and announced that his government would introduce its own bill dealing with the issues raised by Bill 202. On December 1, Bill 10: An Act to Amend the Alberta Bill of Rights To Protect Our Children, 3rd Sess, 28th Leg, 2014 was introduced by the Progressive Conservatives.  After being subjected to widespread public scrutiny, Bill 10 was amended on December 3, 2014. By the next day, it was clear that the amendment did not quell the rising tide of opposition and on December 4, Premier Prentice announced he was deferring Bill 10’s Third Reading until 2015.

The full article can be read at:

Previous Posts

Slow Down and let Cool Heads Prevail in Responding to Violence
Statement on Lawmaking Responses to Possible Terror:

History tells us the worst laws are hastily made in the heat of crisis. It is far too easy to create greater police powers, while our civil liberties are eroded in the process. Speed can be a dangerous thing in this regard. It would be premature to enact laws when not all the facts are known.

The full article can be read at:

Freedom of Expression

Position Paper:
RMCLA is not only mandated to ensure the protection of expression for Albertans— it is also within its mandate to promote the fundamental dignity and worth of all Albertans. As such, it abhors acts of discrimination and hate. However, RMCLA realizes that conflicts and dilemmas may arise when the protection of differing rights may be required, such as protection of both fundamental dignity and free expression. RMCLA’s position on free expression is not only intended to best protect free expression, but also to forward what we believe to be the best way to also uphold the fundamental dignity of all persons.

Read the full position paper at:

Protect Our Privacy Coalition:
The RMCLA has joined the Protect Our Privacy Coalition. Initiated by, the Protect Our Privacy Coalition includes over 30 major organizations and more than a dozen leading experts, making it the largest pro-privacy coalition in Canadian history. As a member of the Coalition, the RMCLA has signed onto the statement: "More than ever, Canadians need strong, genuinely transparent, and properly enforced safeguards to secure privacy rights. We call on Government to put in place effective legal measures to protect the privacy of every resident of Canada against intrusion by government elites." The Coalition officially launched on Thursday, October 10th, 2013.

It's time to stand up and stop illegal spying: Protect Our Privacy Coalition member, The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, has launched a lawsuit against Canada's secret spy agency, CSEC, for unconstitutional surveillance of Canadians.

The RMCLA responds to Police Chief Rick Hanson's push to allow for DNA samples prior to conviction: In his comments to the Calgary Sun, Hal Joffe states: "It should be mandatory that DNA samples be taken, if at all, only after conviction. I appreciate that the police would have an easier job of citizens were required to self-incriminate in the manner Chief Hanson wishes, but our Constitution and Charter protect us from having to do so."

The Rocky Mountain Civil Liberties Association is an Alberta organization based in Calgary founded to promote respect for and observance of fundamental human rights and civil liberties. Our work aims to defend and ensure the protection of individual rights, freedoms and liberties.


For more information, media may contact:

Rocky Mountain Civil Liberties Association

About Us
Contact Us