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Canadian Forces face racial discrimination and harassment class action

HALIFAX, Dec. 21, 2016 /CNW/ - Systemic racial discrimination and harassment are the basis of a class action filed in the Federal Court by Stewart McKelvey on behalf of three former members of the Canadian Forces. The Plaintiffs, who propose to represent all persons in Canada who have been enrolled as members in the Canadian Forces and who are or who identify as racial minorities, visible minorities or Aboriginal peoples, allege that the Canadian Forces, from top to bottom, has failed to protect racial minorities and Aboriginals from racism within the ranks.

"When individuals enroll in the Canadian Forces, they expect to serve, advance and protect the ideals we value and enjoy as Canadians – equality, fundamental justice and human dignity," said Scott Campbell, co-counsel representing the Plaintiffs. "But our clients allege that the very institution we trust to bring these ideals to the world, has denied them, and those they represent, these basic human rights."

The Statement of Claim outlines the racial harassment and discrimination the Plaintiffs endured while serving as members in the Canadian Forces across Canada and on international soil.  The Statement of Claim also details the resulting injuries, losses and emotional trauma they still endure.

"This filing is a defining moment for Canadian Forces members who have experienced racial harassment and racial discrimination," said Chris Madill, co-counsel representing the Plaintiffs. "We intend to shine a bright light on the alleged behaviours and institutional practices described in the Statement of Claim."

The Statement of Claim alleges that the Canadian Forces is liable for this systemic racial discrimination and harassment, in part because such conduct breaches the equality rights guaranteed by section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Plaintiffs and their counsel will seek to have the action certified by the Federal Court as a class action and expect others who have experienced racial discrimination and harassment in the Canadian Forces will join the class action.

 

SOURCE Stewart Mckelvey