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SCC dismisses application for leave to appeal in case of Sikh truck drivers wanting helmet exemption

Decision confirms safety exceeds religious freedom

Montréal (May 6, 2020) – On April 30, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) dismissed the application for leave to appeal in the case of Singh et al. v. Montréal Gateways Terminals et al., confirming that safety must trump religious freedom at the Port of Montreal Terminals. This is an outstanding victory for BLG that puts an end to over 15 years of litigation.

The SCC has affirmed the Superior Court of Québec's decision, unanimously confirmed by the Court of Appeal, establishing that Montreal Gateway Terminals and two other maritime terminals are entitled to require that truck drivers of Sikh faith wear hard hats over their turbans, despite their religious beliefs prohibiting them from doing so.

The team representing Montreal Gateway Terminals was comprised of Justine Laurier and Marie-Pier Emery from BLG’s Labour and Employment Group in Montréal.

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As the largest, truly full-service Canadian law firm, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP (BLG) delivers practical legal advice for domestic and international clients across more practices and industries than any Canadian firm. With 800 lawyers, intellectual property agents and other professionals, BLG serves the legal needs of businesses and institutions across Canada and beyond — from M&A and capital markets to disputes, financing, and trademark and patent registration.


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