First there were the Butts
Apparently Transport Canada is concerned that someone named "Alistair Butt" might try to bring down an airplane. The first two Alistair Butts who presented themselves to fly turned out to be a 10 year old from Saskatoon and a 15-year old from Ontario. [Pictured left. Photo by Jana Chytilova.] Neither seemed much threat to aviation. The Saskatchewan family was furious to hear the airline's proposed remedy:
Civil libertarians point out obvious flaws
With the U.S. list as an example, it was easy for concerned Canadians to focus on likely problems. Paul Berton spelled on the problems in the Edmonton Sun:
He wrote before the Butts' experience came to light.
The Victoria Times Colonist [some name for a paper!] honed in on what in the States would be called "due process" issues.
Privacy commissioners weigh in
Unlike the United States, Canada has government officials charged with protecting citizens' privacy. They called for suspension of the no fly list program.
Maher Arar knows about watch lists
To their considerable credit, Canadians are ashamed and angry that Canadian Maher Arar [pictured with his wife; CP PHOTO/Fred Chartrand] was snatched up by U.S. authorities when in transit through New York and shipped off to Syria to be tortured based on false suspicions emanating from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Canada's FBI equivalent). The Canadian government has paid the Toronto resident $12 million in compensation. He is still on the U.S. no-fly list.
Recently Arar has been speaking out against the Canadian list.
Most Canadians don't want to be pushed around by the angry colossus to the south. Their no fly list sure looks like a concession to the U.S. security theater charade.