Bombardier Fined $319,000 for Denial of Pilot Training

 - December 16, 2010, 11:03 AM

The Quebec Human Rights Tribunal has ordered Bombardier to pay a Pakistani-born Canadian citizen more than $319,000 for denying him Challenger 604 flight training in 2004, after U.S. authorities identified him as a “threat to aviation or national security.” In its ruling, the tribunal deemed Javed Latif a victim of discrimination based on his ethnic and national origin. Out of the total award, punitive damages accounted for $50,000–the highest amount ever awarded by the tribunal. The court also ordered Bombardier to stop applying or considering standards and decisions of U.S. authorities relative to requests for pilot training under Canadian licenses. Court testimony established that Bombardier turned down Latif’s application because U.S. authorities had denied him a similar request in April 2004 “to protect U.S. national security.” By 2008, however, U.S. authorities no longer considered him a threat, the court heard. During the hearing, expert witness Professor Reem Anne Bahdi of the University of Windsor told the court that many security programs in the U.S. use racial profiling to target Arabs and Muslims. She added that in 2007 the U.S. labeled more than 700,000 people as “potential terrorists.”