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Queen's University
 

Tahmourpour

Facts

Ali Tahmourpour was a Muslim cadet of Iranian origin who was expelled from a RCMP training program and not allowed to reapply. The RCMP argued that he had underperformed in many of the core areas of competency and that his erratic behavior at the time of dismisal caused them to disallow his application to the program. Tahmourpour alleged that he had been the victim of harassment and discrimination, More specifically, he claimed that he was

  • Was ridiculed, in front of the other cadets, for not taking off his religious pendant contrary to RCMP policy
  • Was mocked for signing his name in the Persian language.
  • Was subjected to verbal abuse by an instructor who prided himself with being politically incorrect, and who was known (within the RCMP) for targeting visible minorities and unattractive women.
  • Became a victim of reprisal when he stood up to the bullying instructor, who influenced other instructors to evaluate the complainant very harshly.
  • Was subsequently unfairly and inappropriately evaluated by several instructors who failed to note his improvements and achievements while exaggerating or fabricating his weaknesses.  
  • Was not given the same opportunity to succeed as other cadets on the basis of his religion, race, ethnicity and/or colour. 
  • Was wrongfully expelled from the program and
  • Was wrongfully denied the opportunity to reapply, based on the psychological assessment made by a doctor did not remember making the comment and or assessing the complainant. 

 Ali Tahmourpour and Canadian Human Rights Commission and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (2008) CHRT 10

Issues

  1. Was Mr. Tahmourpour subjected to discriminatory remarks, hostile treatment and verbal abuse by his instructors at the Depot?
  2. Was Mr. Tahmourpour ’s performance at the Depot was improperly evaluated?
  3. Was Mr. Tahmourpour ’s training contract terminated on the basis of false pretences?
  4. Was Mr. Tahmourpour was improperly designated as being ineligible for re-enrolment in the Cadet Training Program at the Depot?
  5. Was Mr. Tahmourpour the victim of harassment on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination while at the Depot?

Ruling

  1. Yes
  2. Yes
  3. Yes
  4. Yes
  5. No  

Reasoning

  1. The religious pendant incident, the hostile and abusive behavior of an instructor, and the derogatory comment about his handwriting were incidents of  adverse differentiation,

  2. Many of the assessments were shown to be inaccurate or at least heavily influenced by racist attitudes. Other were shown to be accurate, but the Tribunal stated that the discrimintaory treatment of the complainant contributed to his poor performance. It relied in part  upon evidence of high attrition rates of minority cadets to draw this conclusion,

  3. The recommendations for dismissal were based on these discriminatory assessments.

  4. The recommendation not to be readmitted was based on a non-existent medical report and on facilitators who had discriminated against him

  5. There was no evidence of harassment

Order

The Tribunal ordered that the RCMP

Ø  Allow the complainant to reapply

Ø  Pay him for two years loss salary

Ø  Pay him the salary of an RCMP officer (corporal rank) minus the average full-time industrial wage for persons his age until such time as the complainant accepts or rejects the offer to reapply 

Ø  Pay him $9,000 in damages to dignity

Ø  Pay him $12, 000 in special damages due to willing and reckless wrongful treatment

Ø  Pay him  $9,500 in compensation for the expenses he incurred in minimizing his losses

Ø  Pay him his legal fees    

NB

This case was appealed to the Federal Court, which found that the Tribunal had made some errors in law and has sent it back to the Tribunal for another member of the Tribunal to hear it.  The Court did not find fault, however, in the use of systemic data to draw conclusions on a case of individual discrimination.  We will keep you updated on the outcome of the case.

Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000