Federal Court


Human Rights

What constitutes discrimination

Race, ancestry or place of origin

Noting absence of discriminatory assumptions differed materially from basing decision on whether there was intention to discriminate

Applicant was American-trained psychiatrist. Canadian Armed Forces required its psychiatrists to be accredited by Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) whose accreditation was recognized across Canada. Applicant unsuccessfully attempted to pass accreditation process. Applicant unsuccessfully brought human rights application challenging requirement that its psychiatrists be accredited as specialists by RCPSC discriminated on grounds of “national origin” contrary to section 7 of Canadian Human Rights Act and that requirement was not bona fide occupational requirement. Applicant brought application for judicial review. Application dismissed. Tribunal was open to find that evidence did not establish that American-educated physicians were substantially of American origin such that applicant’s American training was proxy for national origin. Whether Canadian, American or other, Canadian Armed Forced required same qualification. Tribunal did not act unreasonable in concluding that there was no compelling evidence that applicant was treated differentially as result of his educational qualifications from any other party as result of being American. Simply noting absence of “discriminatory assumptions” within hiring practice differed materially from basing decision on whether there was intention to discriminate.

Keith v. Canada (Human Rights Commission) (2018), 2018 CarswellNat 3393, 2018 CarswellNat 3721, 2018 FC 645, 2018 CF 645, Henry S. Brown J. (F.C.).

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