cnews.canoe.ca, Jul 19 ’05
MP blasts ‘no-fly’ list scrutiny
A Manitoba MP [Pat Martin] is questioning the value of airline no-fly lists after being red-flagged for scrutiny at the airport twice in less than four months.
…”There’s no accountability here, there’s no grievance procedure, there doesn’t seem to be any remedy for people who feel they’re being treated wrongly,” he said.
…Following word of [Defence Minister Bill] Graham’s difficulties, Air Canada said in a statement that there had been “technical glitches” resulting in passengers being inadvertently flagged in its system by the U.S. government’s no-fly list.
www.thestar.com, Aug 23 ’05
The trouble with this list is simply getting off it
The Canadian government is planning their own list. Canadian airlines are already using the U.S. list apparently. A Muslim man was not allowed to fly because his name matched another man’s name.
The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is demanding strict rules to protect the rights of flyers:
The association says people have a right to know in advance that they’ve been placed on the list — before they get to the airport check-in counter and have a business trip or vacation stopped cold.
Or before they are sent off to Syria to be tortured like Maher Arar.
But it’s probably expecting too much of the government to allow passengers to challenge the presence of their name on one of these secret lists. The U.S. government’s way of doing things is so extreme that to expect accountability of the Canadian government feels like some kind of fantasy. We feel so thankful that they don’t plan to copy exactly the U.S. nightmare screw-up version.
How can we be made “secure” if we are not made to feel fear and intimidation? The idea is to scare people away from travelling? What does the government have to do with running airlines anyway? The airlines should assert their role and make sure that all passengers are treated respectfully. Every time the government makes a mistake with the list, the airlines should challenge the list on behalf of the passenger and protest the government’s action.
On the other hand, even Transport Canada says the airlines should not be using the U.S. list. So this goes to show you there are also some irresponsible airlines that need to be taught a lesson by consumers.
The bottom-line from my point of view is that the airlines should run their own show and should serve their customers by challenging every aspect of the upcoming list. They should get an explanation from the government for every name on the list. The airlines are the ones who should be calling the shots on security, and who exactly they don’t want on their planes.
And the list should be accessible to the public. There shouldn’t be any secret at all. Why is it secret? So they can lure potential terrorists to airports?? Make it a public list so those on the list know they should stay home, or know they should challenge it.
[Pat] Martin criticizes Lapierre for the lack of specifics.
“If the government is going to infringe on Canadians’ personal freedoms … then they better bloody well justify it with some more detail, and they better be willing to tell us how our names wind up on that list and, more importantly, how the hell we get our names off it.”