The RCMP engaged in racial and religious discrimination when it expelled a Muslim man from its cadet academy, the Federal Court of Appeal has ruled, paving the way for the man’s return to training 11 years after his dismissal. The decision upholds a finding by a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in 2008 that Ali Tahmourpour, 37, faced verbal abuse and hostility from instructors, ridicule over his wearing of religious jewellery, and poor performance evaluations while enrolled in the RCMP’s Regina cadet academy .
Ruling his termination was based “discriminatory assessments of Mr. Tahmourpour’s skills” and that the decision to prevent his return to the academy was “based in part on his race, religion and/or ethnic or national background,” the tribunal ordered Mr. Tahmourpour’s reinstatement. But the Mounties challenged that decision last year in Federal Court, where a judge set aside the order and sent the complaint back to the Tribunal for a rehearing. Mr. Tahmourpour appealed that judgment to the Court of Appeal, where Justice Karen Sharlow this week upheld the Tribunal’s 2008 ruling, stating the RCMP’s “discriminatory treatment of Mr. Tahmourpour denied him the opportunity to complete his training at the Depot and to make his living as an RCMP officer.”