Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How Long Before Canadian Jetliners are Forced to Land in the U.S.?

Hang'em High Vic Toews wasted no time defending the right of American authorities to demand the passenger manifests of all Canadian aircraft passing through U.S. airspace.

Canadian carriers would be required to give the U.S. Transportation Security Administration lists of all passengers including names, gender and birth dates.  The idea is that passengers the Americans have on their watch list could either be subjected to additional security or denied passage.

But what if the Americans spotted a name on the list that was the same as a person they really wanted to get to or perhaps had a warrant out for his apprehension?  If the stakes were high enough would they allow the individual aboard the flight and then compel the airliner to land at some U.S. airport to snatch the passenger?  After the Maher Arar case can anyone really believe that to be unlikely?

And what about reciprocation?  Do the Americans have any intention of preclearing their flight manifests with our authorities for Canada overflights?  Didn't think so.

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