Government of Canada will take necessary steps to protect air travellers

OTTAWA, Aug. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, Canada's Transport Minister John Baird made the following statement:

    "Recent media reports have suggested that individuals routinely board
    aircraft without being visually identified.

    Under the Identity Screening Regulations, airlines must be able to verify
    the identity of all passengers before they are allowed to board. Airlines
    in Canada are required to have procedures in place to verify the identity
    of any person whose face is covered. Their approach is to be consistent
    with international standards and apply equally to all passengers,
    regardless of a person's culture or religion.

    If the reports are true, the situation is deeply disturbing and poses a
    serious threat to the security of the air travelling public.

    Therefore, I have instructed my department to immediately look into this
    matter and report back. If our current security policies in this area are
    deemed to be lacking, our government will take the necessary steps to
    protect the safety and security of the travelling public."

    Our government is determined to keep the air travelling public safe and
    secure. Since 2006, our government has taken steps to protect the safety
    of air travellers through:

    -  Measures to improve the screening of air cargo and to improve the
       security and screening of passengers and their luggage at airports,
       including explosive detection and full body scanners;

    -  A new Passenger Protect Program to keep people who may pose an
       immediate security threat from boarding commercial flights;

    -  Establishing an information-sharing agreement with the Royal Canadian
       Mounted Police to conduct more extensive criminal background checks of
       workers with access to secure areas at Canada's airports;

    -  Legislation to help starve terrorists of financing; and

    -  Openly condemning groups with links to terrorism, and working with the
       United Nations and our allies to resist and prevent terrorism."

Transport Canada is online at Subscribe to news releases and speeches at and keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada. This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.

SOURCE Transport Canada

For further information: For further information: James Kusie, Director, Issues Management and Parliamentary Affairs, Office of Canada's Transport Minister John Baird, Ottawa, 613-991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, 613-993-0055

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