Mounties deny officers carded Mi’kmaq artist after Trudeau swearing-in

RCMP spokesperson says officers were acting on bulletin

Jorge Barrera
APTN National News
The RCMP says officers stopped a Mi’kmaq artist after he left Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s swearing-in ceremony because he matched the description of an “individual of interest” described in a bulletin connected to a separate matter.

Multi-disciplinary artist Thomas Clair, 53, said he was carded by RCMP officers as he walked past the prime minister’s official residence on Sussex Dr. after attending Trudeau’s swearing-in ceremony on the grounds of Rideau Hall. Clair previously told APTN National News the officers told him they were on the look-out for a “suspicious Native man.”

An RCMP spokesperson said Clair was stopped and asked for identification because he matched the description of an individual described in the police bulletin.

“The bulletin included the name and description of an individual of interest to police,” said RCMP Staff-Sgt. Julie Gagnon. “The officers on the ground believed there was a positive match between the subject of (APTN’s article) and the descriptors received and therefore conducted a basic identity check which revealed to be negative.”

Gagnon said the Mounties do not conduct carding because the controversial police activity goes against RCMP policy, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and other laws.

“In any interaction with the public, RCMP members are guided by the RCMP’s bias-free policing policy, which is based on the principles of equality and non-discrimination as well as the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act, the RCMP Act and the RCMP’s mission, vision and values,” said Gagnon.

The act of carding, where police officers ask individuals for identification to collect information about them, was declared “illegal” by Ontario’s ombudsman.

Clair said he was stopped by the RCMP officers after he left the Rideau Hall grounds and crossed Sussex Dr. to the opposing sidewalk by the entrance of the prime minister’s official residents.

He said an RCMP officer approached him and asked him for identification. Clair said he asked the officer why he needed to see identification and at that point two more officers showed up around him.

“I asked, ‘Why? What was wrong?’ They said they had seen a suspicious Native man leaving the grounds,” said Clair, in a previous interview.

Clair said he then showed the officers his ID because he didn’t want the hassle of getting arrested.

“It was kind of weird actually. I felt funny about it,” said Clair.

[email protected]


Contribute Button