Edmonton (April 8, 2022): The World Sikh Organization of Canada welcomes the announcement by the Government of Alberta that effective immediately, applicants with facial hair for religious or medical reasons can apply to be correctional peace officers (CPOs).
The WSO had been contacted by several Sikh applicants who were barred from becoming CPOs because of their religiously mandated beards. The WSO had reached out to Alberta Correctional Services in order to find a solution.
Pursuant to today’s announcement, Alberta Correctional Services will be procuring Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPRs) which accommodate beards and will allow Sikh CPOs to serve while maintaining safety standards.
World Sikh Organization of Canada President Tejinder Singh Sidhu said today,
“We had been approached by a number of Sikh candidates who had been barred from becoming correctional peace officers in Alberta. We are grateful to Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Tyler Shandro and the Government of Alberta for having resolved this matter in a timely manner.
Inclusion and diversity are essential and religious accommodation is a legal right in Canada.
We are proud to continue to advocate on behalf of the Sikh community to ensure that Sikhs in Canada can serve in every profession without compromising their faith.”
The Government of Alberta news release can be found here.
The World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) is a non-profit organization with a mandate to promote and protect the interests of Canadian Sikhs, as well as to promote and advocate for the protection of human rights of all individuals.