Mr. Speaker, on August 1, 2005, Canadian Pacific Railway issued a memo that indicated that all truck drivers must wear a hard hat when entering CP Rail property or else face suspension.
This zero tolerance policy affects hundreds of Sikh truck drivers who have worked without a hard hat for many years. By requiring Sikh men to wear a hard hat, CP Rail is asking them to remove an essential article of their faith, the turban.
CP Rail is attempting to implement a safety policy where safety concerns are minimal and I believe this policy is in violation of the freedom of religion.
Under Canadian law there has been a well developed history of charter cases which has established that any violation of a person's freedom of religion must be balanced, proportionate and justifiable. In this case, CP Rail's zero tolerance policy on hard hats is not balanced, not proportionate and definitely not justifiable.