Goodale weighs options in overhauling 'no-fly list'
Published Friday, January 8, 2016 9:08PM EST
Last Updated Saturday, January 9, 2016 12:19AM EST
The government is examining possible changes to Canada’s air travel security programs, including putting additional “identifiers” such as age, date of birth for individuals on the “no-fly list.”
Speaking on CTV’s Power Play on Friday, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said that the government is looking at ways to make the Passenger Protect Program more effective, after several children were mistakenly flagged.
Goodale said he’s seeking a “common-sense solution, where we are maintaining the effective safety of travelling Canadians, but at the same time, respecting the rights and the values and the nature of the country.”
One of the suggestions, Goodale said, includes additional identifiers on the no-fly list, such as age, residency and date of birth.
“Not simply the name without any other information to go along with that name,” the minister said.
Goodale also said officials have also reminded airlines of the existing regulations, including that it is not necessary to provide secondary screening for a “red flag” on a name where the proposed traveller is under the age of 18.
“So we have informed the airlines that if there is a name flagged that comes up confusing somebody on the list with a child, that they don’t have to do the additional security clearing on the child,” the minister said.
Biometric testing, which can involve a range of physiological testing such as fingerprinting and retinal scans, could also be a way to make the no-fly list more effective, Goodale said. However, he noted there are concerns from the privacy commissioner over biometric testing.
Goodale said the government may also consider lowering the age limit so that anyone 15 years or younger cannot be added to the no-fly list.
The Liberal government is also proposing to establish a new parliamentary committee, “the function of which will be to provide review and scrutiny of all the national security activities undertaken by any agency or department of the government of Canada,” Goodale said.
The committee would be made up of parliamentarians from all parties and MP David McGuinty would serve as chair. Goodale said similar committees already exist in places like the U.K., the U.S., New Zealand and Australia.
“All of these other allies of ours have this kind of a review mechanism, Canada is the anomaly.”