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Supreme Court tells Sikh truckers they need to wear hard hats at Port of Montreal

FILE PHOTO: Sikh truck drivers argued that they are victims of religious persecution for being required to wear hardhats at the Port of Montreal.

PortandTerminal.com, May 1, 2020

The Port of Montreal requires hard hats for all workers on its property. Three Sikh truck drivers who perform regular pickups at the port say that forcing them to wear hard hats is religious discrimination.

MONTREAL – The Supreme Court of Canada (SCOC) has refused to hear an appeal from Sikh truckers who wanted to be exempt from having to wear a protective helmet when travelling in the terminals of the Port of Montreal.

The men, who wear turbans, had challenged – on religious grounds – the obligation to wear a helmet when travelling outside their trucks in the Port.

The port’s helmet safety measures were put in place in 2005.

In a case dating back to 2006, Sikh men had argued that they were victims of religious discrimination after they were no longer allowed to enter the port’s terminals without protective headgear.

Canada highest court announced its decision on Thursday morning. As always, it did not provide a reason for its decision.

The SCOC’s decision maintains the judgement of the Quebec Court of Appeal, the province’s highest court.

The latter had decided that in the case of the Sigh truckers, workplace safety must take precedence over the harm caused to their freedom of religion.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 30, 2020.

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