question period — Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

No-Fly List

June 6, 2019


Honourable senators, my question is for the representative of the government in the Senate.

Senator Harder, during its study of Canada’s Passenger Protect Program, commonly known as the “no-fly list,” the Senate Committee on Human Rights heard testimony that despite numerous requests from people concerned about the issue of false positives, the government has refused to disclose the exact number, nor any statistics. We heard concerns that it might be as high as 100,000, while some said maybe 200,000. Canadians who have been flagged as false positives on Canada’s no-fly list continue to suffer the trauma of being falsely flagged on that list.

Senator Harder, can you please tell me why the government refuses to disclose this important information?

Hon. Peter Harder (Government Representative in the Senate)

I thank the honourable senator for her question. She will know that the bill, giving some comfort to the Canadians on the no-fly list, was passed in this chamber and is now in the other place, with amendments. Therefore, the government will have to review and return the bill with a message to this place.

I would hope that at that time all of us can agree that the message ought to be received and accepted so that we can, as a Parliament, give some quick comfort to those parents and children on the no-fly list, in particular.

With respect to the specific question, as the honourable senator will know, there are obviously security issues involved in identifying or enumerating the numbers. I’m happy to bring to the attention of the minister concerned the honourable senator’s interest in a particular number; however, I think the more important thing is to get the bill passed and implemented.