NCCM at Supreme Court on major human rights case
-For Immediate Release-
(Ottawa – January 23, 2015) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent Muslim civil liberties & advocacy organization, is appearing today before the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) as an intervener in a major human rights case that explores issues of discrimination against a Canadian Muslim of Pakistani origin at Bombardier’s pilot training facility in Montreal.
The case, Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse, et al. v. Bombardier Inc. (Bombardier Aerospace Training Center), et al., involves Bombardier’s decision to refuse specialized flight training in Canada to veteran pilot Javed Latif following an erroneous security designation by U.S. authorities in 2004.
The NCCM partnered with the Canadian Muslim Lawyers’ Association (CMLA) to make joint submissions to the SCC. The NCCM will be represented by counsel Khalid Elgazzar (NCCM Vice Chair) and Faisal Bhabha, who will address the Court.
« This is an important case because the Court will decide on whether service providers have a duty under human rights law to adopt practices that do not reinforce stereotypes, » says NCCM legal counsel Faisal Bhabha. « We will argue that a failure to abide by fair procedures increases the likelihood of discrimination, can perpetuate disadvantage for individuals, and heightens the vulnerability of associated groups. »
« Essentially this is about a Canadian corporation voluntarily applying the US no-fly list to Canadian citizens seeking training on a Canadian pilot’s licence to fly in Canada. Those erroneously designated have no means to challenge or correct the designation. This has an adverse effect on Canadian Muslims of various ethnic backgrounds, who are disproportionately affected by false positives in American national security policy, » says NCCM Vice Chair and co-counsel Khalid Elgazzar.
This is the fourth case in which the NCCM has intervened before the Supreme Court. Last year, the NCCM intervened in the case of Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) v. Harkat on the issue of security certificates. Previously, the NCCM intervened in the case of R. v. N.S. on the issue of providing testimony while wearing niqab, and in Charkaoui v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) also on security certificates.
The NCCM is an independent, non-partisan and non-profit organization that is a leading voice for Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.
CONTACT: For media interviews with the NCCM’s legal team, please contact Amira Elghawaby, Human Rights Coordinator, 613-254-9704; aelghawaby(at)nccm.ca