U.S. 'no-fly list' may have ensnared Canadian children, Goodale says

OTTAWA - The U.S. no-fly list, not Canada's secret air-security roster, might be what has been ensnaring Canadian youngsters, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale is telling several families experiencing travel headaches.

See Full Article

In a letter to a representative of dozens of families whose children have trouble boarding airplanes, Goodale says delays can occur for passengers who have the same name as a person on Canada's list, or "another security-related list such as the U.S. no-fly list."

The reply to Khadija Cajee, whose six-year-old son Adam has been repeatedly delayed at the airport, underscores the complex - and often hidden - web of security measures intended to keep North American skies safe.

Goodale promised to investigate after Adam's father, Sulemaan Ahmed, tweeted a photo from Toronto's international airport that appeared to show the boy's name with a "deemed high profile" label and instructions on how to proceed before allowing the youngster to check in.

They were trying to board an Air Canada flight Dec. 31 to Boston to see the NHL Winter Classic.

Soon after, Goodale said his officials had reminded airlines they don't need to screen children against Canada's no-fly list, officially known as the Passenger Protect Program.

Goodale's department is also exploring possible changes to the Secure Air Travel Regulations that would help identify those who have similar or the same names as people on the no-fly list, but are not the intended targets.

In addition, Goodale indicated the Passenger Protect Program would be examined during broad public consultations on Canada's overall security framework.

People with similar stories of airport snags began contacting Cajee, of Markham, Ont. She then put questions to Goodale on behalf of 21 families with Canadian-born children ranging in age from six months to 17 years. Several others who spoke with Cajee were wary of attaching their names to the letter.

In his reply, which Cajee shared with The Canadian Press, Goodale says there are "many reasons" people might experience delays or be prohibited from boarding a flight.

"For example, other countries, as well as airlines, maintain various security-related lists with different criteria and thresholds, which may result in delays for individuals travelling to, from, or even within Canada," Goodale writes.

"Delays may occur for passengers who have the same name as a person listed under the (Passenger Protect Program), or another security-related list such as the U.S. no-fly list."

Goodale suggests these travellers might want to contact the airline's customer service representative to explain their situation and to see what steps can be taken before arriving at the airport. "Furthermore, if you suspect you are on another country's list, it is recommended that you explore their specific recourse mechanisms."

Cajee says she is pursuing the U.S. government's redress process on behalf of Adam.

And while she appreciates the minister's response, Cajee says there should be a better Canadian recourse system. The existing one applies only to those explicitly forbidden from getting on a plane due to the Passenger Protect Program.

"Currently, as a Canadian, I have access to a U.S.-based redress process but as a Canadian I do not have access to a Canadian redress process unless I have been denied boarding," she said.

"Our children have never been denied boarding because they are, well, children and obviously innocent. It boggles the mind that a potentially guilty person who is denied boarding can access a Canadian redress process but a six-year-old child cannot."

Cajee also takes issue with the assertion the problem might be a foreign-security issue.

"I still have not received an answer to a very basic question: Who creates and maintains the DHP list? It is a fairly straightforward question."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Wynne says marijuana revenue deal with feds means money for municipalities

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Municipalities can begin discussions with Ontario over costs associated with legalized marijuana in light of a new tax revenue-sharing agreement between the provinces and federal government, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Tuesday. Wynne's comments come after Ottawa agreed Monday to give provinces and territories a 75 per cent share of federal excise tax revenues from the sale of legalized pot. Source
  • B.C. premier says pot smokers may face same outdoor rules as cigarette smokers

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- Premier John Horgan says marijuana users in British Columbia could face the same rules as those who smoke tobacco in public. Horgan says his government is still formulating its marijuana policy, but following bylaws that prohibit people from smoking near buildings or public spaces is under consideration. Source
  • 25,700 college students get refund after strike, according to early numbers

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Nearly 25,700 full-time Ontario college students received tuition refunds after a five-week strike derailed their semester. Ontario's Ministry of Advanced Education confirmed Tuesday that 10.3 per cent of Ontario's roughly 250,000 full-time college students asked for, and received, their money back after the strike. Source
  • Man who tricked teen by pretending to be Miley Cyrus' brother gets 6 years prison

    World News CTV News
    CONCORD, N.H. -- Authorities say a New Hampshire man who pretended to be Miley Cyrus' brother to entice a 14-year-old boy to send him sexually explicit photos and videos online has been sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison. Source
  • Iraq PM warns Islamic State might erupt again somewhere else

    World News CTV News
    PARIS - Three days after declaring victory over the Islamic State group, Iraq's prime minister warns that the group's extremists might "erupt again somewhere else" without international co-operation in combatting the militants. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told reporters Tuesday that "we have managed to break them" in Iraq, but added that it's a worry for everyone that IS has "this unfortunate ability to recruit young people very quickly. Source
  • Ontario enshrines Trans Day of Remembrance in law as Nov. 20

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - Ontario will officially mark Nov. 20 as an annual Trans Day of Remembrance as all parties agreed to pass legislation Tuesday. New Democrat Cheri DiNovo introduced the private member's bill last year to enshrine the day in law. Source
  • Former N.S. female firefighter says she is to get official apology for discrimination

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- A former firefighter says her 12-year battle against "systemic" gender discrimination has ended with a settlement that will see a public apology issued by the city of Halifax on Monday. In an interview Tuesday, Liane Tessier released details of an agreement that she says comes after years of complaints about abusive and disrespectful behaviour from her male counterparts. Source
  • U.S. ready for talks with North Korea without preconditions: Tillerson

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has softened the U.S. stance on holding talks with North Korea amid high tension over its nuclear and missile programs. Tillerson said Tuesday that the U.S. was ready to hold exploratory talks without preconditions, but North Korea would need to hold off on weapons testing. Source
  • Death certificate says Charles Manson died of heart failure

    World News CTV News
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Cult leader Charles Manson died of cardiac arrest accompanied by respiratory failure, triggered by colon cancer that had spread to other areas of his body, according to his death certificate. He died Nov. Source
  • Visible minorities feel less safe: Statistics Canada

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL - Visible minorities, particularly Arabs and West Asians, feel less safe walking alone in their neighbourhoods after dark than do other Canadians, according to a Statistics Canada survey released Tuesday. The study was conducted with data collected in 2014. Source