Bombardier ordered to pay Pakistani-origin pilot for discrimination

By Gurmukh Singh, IANS
Thursday, December 9, 2010

TORONTO - Global metro and corporate aviation giant Bombardier has been ordered to pay $319,000 to a Pakistani-origin man for denying him pilot training because he was listed as a “threat to aviation or national security” by US authorities.

In its ruling, the provincial Quebec Human Rights Tribunal have found that Pakistani-origin Javed Latif was discriminated on ethnic grounds and ordered Bombardier to pay him more than $319,000 in material, moral and punitive damages.

Ruling in favour of the Pakistani-origin man, Judge Michele Rivet said that Bombardier never tried to find out whether Latif was an objective security risk for Canadians or aviation, nor “never thought it useful to seek advice from Transport Canada or the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.”

There was an intentional unlawful interference with the rights of Latif, the judge said.

As per evidence produced before the judge, the Bombardier centre in Montreal turned down Latif’s request for training under a Canadian licence to fly a Challenger 604 because US air safety authorities had denied him a similar request in 2004 “to protect US national security.”

During the hearing, the head of Standard and Regulatory Compliance at the Bombardier centre stated that American authorities told him not to train Latif. He said he considered the Americans credible when they said that Latif was “a threat to aviation or to aviation safety,” despite the fact that the centre in Montreal had provided him with many training sessions in the past.

In his testimony, the Pakistani-origin pilot said he was surprised to be denied training and initially thought that he was a victim of mistaken identity. He said he not only felt humiliated, but also persona non grata in the aviation sector after Bombardier’s decision.

This is the first such ruling in Canada in a case related to the impact of post-9/11 measures adopted in the US.

Bombardier was also ordered to stop considering standards and decisions of American authorities while considering requests for pilot training under Canadian licences.

Though Canada is thoroughly dependent on the US for its trade and security, Canadians always try to project as if they are superior to the Americans and independent of the US influence.

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at

Filed under: Immigration, India, Pakistan

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