Founded in 1983 - United for Diversity and Racial Equality


Montreal, November 1st, 2010---Two Montreal Black men have been awarded more than $100,000 in damages for having been exposed to racial discrimination and harassment in employment at the provincial detention center of Saint-Jérôme in 2004.

Through CRARR, both men filed a complaint with the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission after having been fired after one month of probation as correctional officers.

Investigation confirmed incidents of race-based differential treatments and racial hostility and harassment to which both men were exposed. Working in a climate poisoned by racism, both men (and another ethnic minority woman) were let go on the last day of their probation, for artificial reasons.

The same detention center was the object of another civil rights complaint and court decision in 2008, in which another Black correctional worker decried similar acts of race-based discrimination, harassment and violence at work. He was found to have been exposed to constant racism on the job and also received major financial compensation.

In the present case, the Commission took five years to investigate the alleged acts of racism and another ten months to negotiate a settlement with the Department of Public Security of Quebec. On several occasions, CRARR had to push to prevent the case from being mishandled or further delayed.

“The unacceptable length that it took to investigate this case should deter many victims of racism from filing complaints, because justice delayed is justice denied, and equality delayed is equality diminished,” said CRARR Executive Director Fo Niemi, speaking on behalf of the two men.

”In the end, the message is clear: racism in employment costs and victims of discrimination are increasingly determined to take action to uphold their civil rights, delays and other obstacles notwithstanding,” he added.

As a reflection of the state of the economy, half of complaints received by CRARR this year involve discrimination in employment and education.