Canadian Privacy Commissioner Comments on the No-Fly List
Stoddart told inquiry Commissioner John Major she is concerned that people could be placed on the list in error and face dire consequences if their identities are then disclosed to the RCMP or passed on to police agencies in other countries.
And she questioned why, if people are so dangerous that they can’t get on a plane, they are deemed safe to travel by other means in Canada.
Between June 28, when the program came into effect, and the end of September, no passengers were turned away because of the list, the inquiry heard. Stoddart said that information only increases her suspicion about the value of the program.
“I think it only deepens the mystery of the rationale, the usefulness of this,” Stoddart said. “The program is totally opaque.”
Major suggested that perhaps less extreme measures could be taken. For example, individuals on the list might be able to undergo extra screening so they could be allowed to travel.
“We are looking to avoid what happened in 9/11. Presumably it’s to keep dangerous people capable of blowing planes up—or capturing them—off the plane. It seems difficult that you can do that by a name (on a list) alone.”
Other members of Stoddart’s staff added there are concerns someone could be stranded in Canada after arriving without incident, only to be prevented from boarding their return flight.