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Montreal, August 21, 2017 — Investigation into the case of three Arab men who were expelled from a Tim Hortons in the borough of Saint-Laurent will proceed after mediation failed.

On October 31, 2016, several clients of Arab descent who were inside the Tim Hortons at 2323 boul. Marcel-Laurin were asked to leave by the manager-owner; some had already bought their products while others were about to order them. Without any explanation, the manager-owner aggressively targeted the seven Arab clients in the restaurant and publicly humiliated them with his degrading words and deeds. These persons did not all know one another before the incident and some have frequented the establishment before without any problem.

When some of these clients insisted that they had a right to stay in and finish their orders, the manager-owner threatened to call the police, which he did.

Some clients left the premises, but four remained to wait for the police. Two police officers arrived, and after discussing with the manager-owner, the men were indeed asked to leave. The four men immediately decided to head to a nearby police station in order to file a complaint, where they were told that their complaint could not be accepted because the expulsion was not a criminal act.

Three of the four men have mandated CRARR to file complaints with the Quebec Human Rights and Youth Rights Commission. CRARR is claiming on behalf of each man more than $10,000 in moral and punitive damages, a public apology, the adoption of an antiracist policy to be publicly posted in the restaurant as well as human rights training for management and staff.

A mediation session was held last month to resolve the complaint but failed to reach a settlement. Consequently, the case is now proceeding to investigation.

CRARR encourages other Arab patrons who were expelled that day to come forward as witnesses and contact its office. They can also seek CRARR's help to file complaints.

“In today’s social context of rising racism and xenophobia, we must stand up and fight against discriminatory acts and abuse of authority,” explained Mr. Fo Niemi, CRARR’s Executive Director.

“We cannot be afraid, there is strength in numbers – today it is Tim Hortons, who will be the next restaurant to do the same thing?” asked Mr. Niemi, qualifying the case as that of consumer racial profiling, a legal concept that has begun to receive judicial support in Nova Scotia and Ontario.

Anyone who wishes to file complaints or submit testimony on the incident should contact CRARR. All information provided is treated in a confidential manner.