(Oh)Canada Police State

A Canadian no-fly list of people to be barred from boarding domestic and international airline flights is set to take effect June 18, just as the busy summer flying season gets underway.

Under the rules, as passengers check in for flights, whether at kiosks or counters, their names will be automatically screened against the government’s list, known as the Passenger Protect program.

The no-fly list will be drawn up by Transport Canada, with input from the RCMP and CSIS.

If a name is red-flagged as a possible match with a name on the no-fly list, the traveller will be directed to a flight agent, who will contact Transport Canada for a decision on whether to allow boarding. Airlines are responsible for protecting the passenger’s confidentiality.

People denied access to a flight will be able to challenge their inclusion on the list, but in the short haul, they will be grounded. And the airport or local police will be notified.

Critics say the plan will not make air travel safer, and will likely lead to the kinds of false positive identification of people that has plagued a similar list in the United States. The most celebrated example involved Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, who was barred from boarding a flight when he was wrongly identified as being on the list. Infants have also been banned.

As well, critics worry that it will prove almost impossible for those wrongly included to have their names removed from the list.

The federal government says it will provide a non-judicial and efficient mechanism for individuals to appeal their listing through a Transport Canada Office of Reconsideration.
read more

So. Let me get this straight. You have just spent 6 monthes to a year saving your money for that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe, Africa or Asia… and you have sunk thousands of dollars into the planning and execution of this dream…

And because your name is John Smith or Jane Young and someone with your namesake is on this list, you are f*cked.

Plain and simple.

What’s the deal? We are already forced to show our passports on travel within Canada (by default, I mean who has photo ID other than their drivers license?) Is this 2007 or 1956?

And the Office of Reconsideration? Who thought that name up, Stockwell Day? Isn’t he the same jet-skier than believes in intelligent design and the fact that the Earth under Canada is only 3000 years old? Sorry folks – I don’t make this stuff up.

So anyway – please think about how this might affect you this summer.

Bon voyage my ass.