Canada is Free and Freedom is Its Nationality

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The HRCs - Crazy or Evil? Discuss.

I thought I was past being surprised, if not angered, by the Human Rights Commissions, I really did. I have seen them make stupid decisions, I have seen them make not so stupid decisions. I have seen them on innumerable occasions spill mind-numbing quantities of time, money, and ink on the process of dismissing vindictive and fabricated complaints. 

But they managed it. Oh yes, did they ever.

The Quebec HRC has just awarded a pilot by the name of Javed Latif $319,000 in compensation for racial discrimination by Bombardier when it refused to allow him to take pilot training at one of their facilities.

Why did Bombardier do this?

Because, as it turned out, the United States considered him to be a "threat to aviation or national security" and refused to allow him to train in the United States.

Bombardier, after thinking about this for probably less than thirty seconds, decided that if an individual was on the United States' no-fly list (or at least no-flying-training list, reports are a little vague) they probably didn't want to train him to fly jets.

Reasons 1-30 for this decision probably read, "Bad idea for really obvious reasons that no one should have to explain", number 31 was that if they trained him their training facility could be decertified as a training center for US pilots (For this reason alone I would expect them to win the HRC complaint on the grounds of undue hardship), and number 32 was, to quote Bombardier  “If there’s a threat, in good conscience… it ends there. It’s a business call. It’s a decision. It’s a safety call.” (As a potential flyer, thank you)

We won't even go into the consequences of if, God forbid, anything had happened and it turned out that Bombardier had ignored clear warnings of potential trouble, can anyone say  Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab? Methinks $300,000 is suddenly starting to look very small indeed.

But far worse and more sinister than the $300,000, which is probably Bombardier's annual paper clip budget, is the other order the Quebec HRC handed down. They have ordered Bombardier to  “stop applying or considering the standards or decisions of American authorities in terms of ‘national security’”.

Read that again, then continue.

The Americans say, "This person is a potential terrorist". Bombardier says "I never heard that, are you ready to start flight training yet?"

And we have to go through naked scanners and "enhanced pat-downs" on the less than million to one chance that a random person pulled out of an airport lineup is going to be a terrorist.

Why must they ignore American information when deciding whether or not to train a pilot? Because according to a Canadian law professor, American security laws "are based on stereotypes and racial profiling, and identify these groups (Muslims and Arabs) as national security threats.”


A few closing facts for the record. As soon as Mr. Latif was taken off the list as a security threat in 2008, Bombardier happily provided him with all the training he wanted. Bombardier has also trained a number of Muslim and Middle Eastern pilots since 9/11, just not ones that were considered a security risk. So obviously this was no pattern of systematic racial profiling on Bombardier's part.

Also, one may feel sorry for Mr. Latif if, as seems more than likely, he is an innocent person who got put on the list by mistake. But that's not Bombardier's fault, and they made the only responsible decision. After all, what if he wasn't innocent? And even if Bombardier had checked with the Canadian government (as they were faulted for not doing) and the Canadian government didn't have anything on him, there would still exist a significant question mark. 

There is security that is over the top, and there is security that just makes sense. Not letting the mouse guard the cheese, or the potential terrorist fly the plane, seems like common sense to me.

Tasha Kheiriddian
National Post
The Star 


  1. Bang on! I don't think anyone could argue with the logic - though I'm sure many would. There are people in this country who consider American laws worse than the Third Reich's

  2. Wow. Very interesting. So what's Bombardier going to do? Can they take it to a higher court than, say, the kangaroo court that is the HRC?

  3. Never ceases to amaze me that Little Beaurocrats and Tiny Napoleons exercise their powers indiscriminately with total stupidity. You also wonder just how true is the government saying that the only happy G.E's are the ones that reached their LEVEL of INCOMPETENCE. A shame that Politics are for liars mostly... Makes you wonder what it will be like in 20-30 years if were still around this globe...