Image for Ottawa Citizen: The devastating cost of securing our skies
Avatar image of Soledad Vega

Ottawa Citizen: The devastating cost of securing our skies

Amira Elghawaby from NCCM highlights even more ways that C-51 violates our rights.  Stand up against this reckless legislation at Article by Amira Elghawaby for the Ottaza Citizen Who pays the price for a highly-secretive security regime intended to protect North Americans who travel by air?

As the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling in the Latif v. Bombardier case last week illustrates, sometimes it is innocent bystanders who take the hit: paying with their reputations, livelihoods, and freedoms. Their crime is that they have the wrong name, and often the wrong ethnic, religious, or racial profile.

The case of Javed Latif should serve as the latest warning that our security mechanisms have failed to protect Canadians from the ramifications of false positives both within and beyond Canada’s borders.

First, the facts: Latif is a Canadian citizen and a professional pilot with several decades of flight experience. In 2004, he applied for flight training on new aircraft with Bombardier. However, unbeknownst to him, he had been placed on a U.S. threat list. Consequently, Bombardier refused his application. Latif filed a human rights complaint, alleging discrimination. The Quebec Human Rights Tribunal ruled in his favour and awarded him significant damages. But the Quebec Court of Appeal later reversed the decision, raising the bar for proving discrimination higher than anywhere else in the country.

Last Thursday, the Supreme Court dismissed the Court of Appeal’s new standard of requiring proof that discrimination was the main cause of the denial of service, rather than simply a factor in the decision. A bittersweet victory because the Court determined that there was no proof of any discrimination at all in Latif’s case, even according to the proper test.


- Read more at the Ottaza Citizen

Take action now! Sign up to be in the loop Donate to support our work