An apparent case of mistaken identity seriously disrupted a pilot’s career but it was not a case of discrimination the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled.
Javed Latif, a Canadian pilot of Pakistani descent, was denied training by Bombardier in Dallas, Texas because U.S. authorities had him on a list of suspected terrorists.
He was on the list by mistake and was removed in 2008, after which he was accepted for training by Bombardier.
In the interim, he was unable to find work and took his case to the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal. He won and was awarded $320,000. However, Bombardier appealed in court and the decision was overturned by the Quebec Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court upheld that decision last week.
The court said there was no evidence Bombardier refused to train Latif based on his race. The company testified in the first trial that accepting Latif for training while he was on the U.S. watch list would have had “serious consequences” for the company.