Ex-RCMP cadet wins discrimination appeal

An Iranian-Canadian who has been in a 10-year battle with the RCMP over allegations of discrimination has achieved a key victory in the latest court skirmish.

Iranian-Canadian mocked for signing name in Persian script

An Iranian-Canadian who has been in a 10-year battle with the RCMP over allegations of discrimination while he was training in Regina has achieved a key victory in the latest court skirmish.

Ali Tahmourpour entered the Mounties' training academy, known as Depot Division, in July  1999. Four months later, he was booted out of the 26-week-long program.

Tahmourpour then complained to the Canadian Human Rights Commission that he suffered discrimination based on his ethnic background and religious beliefs.

In 2008, he won the case. The RCMP was ordered to re-enrol Tahmourpour in the academy and pay damages, court costs and lost wages estimated to be worth in excess of $1 million.

But the RCMP appealed and the matter has been before two levels of Federal Court judges.

Most recently, in a decision published online Friday, the Federal Court of Appeal said Tahmourpour's discrimination claim should stand, but the amount of compensation needs to be reconsidered.

Back to tribunal

The court said the order for the RCMP to pay wages to Tahmourpour went too far and the amount should have been capped.

On that issue, the two sides were ordered to go back to a tribunal of the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

According to the Human Rights Tribunal, Tahmourpour was ridiculed by training officers for using Persian script to sign his name. He was also singled out in front of other cadets for being allowed to wear a religious pendant.

Tahmourpour was also found to have suffered "especially verbally abusive and hostile" treatment from instructors, based on his ethnic background.

Tahmourpour, now 37 and living in Ontario, could not be reached Friday for comment. Calls to a media relations officer for the RCMP training academy were not immediately returned.