STANDING COMMITTEE ON TRANSPORT AND
LE COMITÉ PERMANENT DES TRANSPORTS ET DES
[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]
Thursday, November 29, 2001
The Chair (Mr. Ovid Jackson (Bruce—Grey—Owen
Sound, Lib.)): Good morning, colleagues. I'd like to
call the meeting to order.
We're here, pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), to
review the safety and security of our Canadian
We have Diane Brunet, William Elliott, and
Jean LeCours. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, from
Transport Canada. You know the routine so you can start
and proceed in whatever way you want to go.
Mr. William J.S. Elliott (Assistant Deputy
Minister, Safety and Security Group, Transport Canada):
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. To make sure that you
and your colleagues are aware of who we are and what we do,
I'm William Elliott, I'm the assistant deputy minister
for safety and security at Transport Canada. My
colleague Jean LeCours is the director of preventive
security, and Diane Brunet is the chief of security
We're very happy to have this opportunity this morning
to speak to you about the airport restricted area
clearance program. We have a presentation that we'll
go through and then we will be pleased to answer any
I'd like to ask my colleague, Monsieur LeCours,
to begin our presentation.
Mr. Jean LeCours (Director, Preventive Security, Transports
Canada): Thank you, Mr. Elliott.
Mr. Chairman, in the wake of the Air India affair in the
1980s, the government of the day asked the Transport Minister to
introduce the screening of people circulated in the restricted
areas of airports. The resulting program was called the Airport
Restricted Area Access Clearance Program. This program aims to
prevent people who could represent a threat to civil aviation
from gaining access to restricted areas of an airport.
The program's objective is to ensure protection against
terrorists, members of terrorist organizations, close associates
of terrorists or of members of terrorist organizations, people
who are prone to commit or prone to aid and abet terrorist acts,
and people who are prone to blackmail or subornation. Lastly,
applicants requesting permission to circulate in restricted areas
must be at least 16 years of age, have Canadian, American or
British citizenship, or be landed immigrants.
All passengers must be searched and screened before entering
restricted areas. Everyone else who wishes to circulate in a
restricted area must obtain a pass. The law requires that, before
issuing a pass, the airport operator must refer the application
to the Minister of Transport for security clearance.
There are two types of passes. The first is the temporary
pass. The holder of a temporary pass must be searched and
escorted. We also issue temporary passes to the holders of
permanent passes who do not have their pass with them—if they
have left it at home, for example. In these cases, a one-day pass
The second type of pass is the permanent pass. As I said
earlier, clearance must be obtained from the Transport Minister
before a permanent pass can be issued.
In this process, it is the airport operator that decides who
can obtain permanent access. The Minister of Transport must grant
clearance as a precondition, and the airport operator issues the
pass after the minister's clearance is obtained.
Both the clearance and the pass are valid for a maximum of
five years and can be renewed after this five-year period. They can
be revoked at any time on reasonable grounds.
I would like to give you an idea of the volume of applications
that we process. In 1997, we processed over 24,000 applications
and, this year, we estimate that we will process 42,000.
Mr. William Elliott: There are a number of checks
involved in the clearance program. First of all, the
employer of an individual is to identify data,
including education and employment history. An
application is then received by Transport Canada. We,
working with other agencies, notably the RCMP and CSIS,
do checks for criminal records. CSIS does national
security indices and there's also a credit history
verification. CSIS then will conduct a field inquiry
where they believe a further investigation is
In addition to the initial granting of a clearance, a
clearance may be suspended for cause. A decision not
to grant a clearance, or to suspend or revoke, is
subject to confirmation by a review board. I'll speak
to the membership of the review board in a moment.
With respect to denials then, the matter would be
reviewed by the review board. The minister would
receive a recommendation, and it's the minister who has
the authority to grant or deny a clearance. As my
colleague has indicated, the granting of a clearance is
a precondition to allow an airport operator to grant a
permanent restricted-area pass.
The review board is chaired by the director general,
security and emergency preparedness. The incumbent of
that position, Hal Whiteman, has been before this
committee recently with the minister. The vice-chair
is the director of preventive security, currently Mr.
LeCours, who is with us this morning. The secretary is
chief of security screening, and that is my colleague
Diane Brunet, who is also with us this morning. We
have a representative of the Department of Justice, a
legal counsel who provides advice and input; a senior
security official who represents an airport authority
or an air carrier; and the director of security for
With respect to the basis on which a denial or
a revocation decision would be made, it's basically based
on an assessment of the individual's presence in a
restricted area—it is counter to, or inconsistent with, the
aims and objectives of the program, as referred to by
Some of the grounds for revocation or denial are that
the individual has been convicted of an indictable
offence or for trafficking in drugs, weapons, or
people; a breach of the Official Secrets Act; an
assessment that he's likely to be suborned or coerced;
that he or she has used threats or has been found to
have committed a serious violent act; that he or she is affiliated
with groups or individuals—as, again, Monsieur LeCours
talked about—such as terrorists and terrorist
organizations, for example; and that he or she has a bad credit history.
This is particularly important with respect to a job
that gives rise to the person requiring a clearance and
a restricted pass. If that person has a bad credit
history and it's proposed that they take up a position
of trust, this would be a grounds for revocation or
Decisions to revoke or deny by the minister would be
subject to review. Where that review would be
conducted depends in part on the basis for the denial
or revocation. If the denial or revocation is based on
information provided for CSIS with respect to national
security, then the review would be conducted by the
Security Intelligence Review Committee. Otherwise, for
other grounds the matter would be reviewable by the
Federal Court of Canada.
I'd like to speak briefly about recent improvements
that we either have made or are in the process of
making with respect to our airport restricted area
access clearance program.
We are in the process of a program called TCAFIS or
the Transport Canada automated fingerprint
identification system. This will allow the
fingerprints of those applying for
clearances to be provided to Transport Canada
electronically and then for us to provide them to our
sister agencies, and for the immediate searching for
fingerprints, for example, in relation to criminal
records. This will significantly speed up the
processing of applications.
Another recent development about which we're very
pleased is that within the last few days
confirmation has been received that we will have access
to the Canadian Police Information Centre and
their system. We are one of the first non-police
authorities to get that access. Again, this will
facilitate our efficient processing of applications for
clearances and specifically searches for criminal
records and warrants.
The second to last slide in our presentation refers to
the Identification of Criminals Act. Canada has a
long-standing system approved by legislation for the
fingerprinting of individuals arrested for indictable
offences, for example. The act provides for the
mandatory submitting of fingerprints and the ability
of agencies to use those fingerprints and other
information with respect to security checks.
Finally, I wanted to touch briefly on some
comparisons between the system we have in Canada
and the current situation in the United States of
America. As Mr. LeCours indicated, our program really
dates back some years following the tragic Air India
incident. We have quite a well-developed and robust
system. Our system was instituted in 1985; the
Americans have only recently indicated that they will
be moving to a system similar to ours.
I've talked a little bit about the check we conduct
for criminal records. You will be aware that the
Americans are doing that as well, although I think it's
safe to say that they did not have and have not had as
comprehensive a system as what we have in place in
Canada. They do not currently conduct the kinds of
checks and verifications we do with respect to credit
about our national security check, which is actually
conducted by CSIS. The Americans are moving to
something resembling that. I think what they do now is
compare the names and identities of individuals against
the watch list produced by the Federal Bureau of
In Canada, the decision.... This indicates Transport
Canada, but as I've explained, it's really a two-tiered
decision with respect to the granting of passes.
Actually, I guess it's a three-tiered system. The
employer of an individual who requires access to
restricted areas at airports decides that the person
requires such access. Based on the information I
touched on this morning, the minister makes a decision
as to whether or not a clearance should be granted. If
a clearance is granted, then the airport authority
actually issues the pass. In the United States, I
understand that in fact it is the employer of an
individual who decides whether or not a pass will be
In Canada, as we've talked about, clearances are valid
for five years unless they are revoked. To my
knowledge, there is not a specific period of validity
specified in the United States.
Mr. Chairman, that concludes our presentation. As I
indicated, we will be happy to try to answer your
The Chair: Thank you, Mr. Elliott.
We'll start with Monsieur Lebel of the Bloc Québécois.
Mr. Ghislain Lebel (Chambly, BQ): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you for your presentation. I am struck by the difference
between the way things work in the United States and in Canada
regarding credit bureau checks: these are done here, but not in the
US. In other words, do you have to be rich to get a pass? Is there
something wrong with being poor? Does being in debt or having a
mortgage mean that a person is not entitled to a pass, do you
understand my concern?
Either of you may answer the question.
Mr. William Elliott: Thank you very much. It's
difficult to answer the question generally because it's
fair to say that the situations are different.
It's not necessarily fair or reasonable for anyone to
conclude that because an individual may have had some
financial difficulty, they necessarily pose a risk to
security. On the other hand, certainly if there is a
long history of people not acting responsibly with
respect to credit, I think that can be a concern. But
overall, what we attempt to do and what the program is
designed to do is to bring to bear a variety of pieces
of information so that a reasoned assessment can be
made, based on all the available information, as to
whether or not someone is prone to commit an offence or
likely to be a threat to aviation security.
Mr. Ghislain Lebel: In light of the events of September 11, do
you think that there are enough staff checking and inspection? If
there are not enough, could you make suggestions and
recommendations in this area?
Mr. William Elliott: I would answer this question
by explaining a little bit about what the current
situation is with respect to the verification of passes
at airports. I've talked a little bit about the
computerization of the system to allow us to process
clearances more quickly. Passes are issued by airport
Once they are issued, it is the airport
authority's responsibility to maintain control over
Since September 11, we have mandated a number of
enhancements to airport security. One of those is to
reduce the number of access points at airports to the
minimum required and to require that a security person
be present at access points to verify that people
coming into the restricted area in fact have a
restricted area pass and that they are the individual
to whom the pass was issued.
Mr. Ghislain Lebel: I do not think that you understood my
question. You are responsible for issuing restricted area passes.
The transport department makes decisions on that, investigations,
and so on.
Mr. Jean LeCours: Perhaps I can clarify—
Mr. Ghislain Lebel: Go ahead.
Mr. Jean LeCours: The passes themselves are issued by the
airport, not by Transport Canada. It is Transport Canada that has
the authority to issue a pass, but not the document itself.
Mr. Ghislain Lebel: My question is as follows. If you issue
passes and are in charge of security, you must ask the various
airports if, given the current circumstances, they have enough
personnel to provide adequate security. Is that the case? Do you
Mr. Jean LeCours: We impose standards on airports and they
must comply with them. We assume that they have the resources to do
so. We also have inspectors who make sure that these standards are
Mr. Ghislain Lebel: Have the airports complained that they do
not have enough personnel or that they have had to hire more,
because of the constraints that we are currently facing?
Mr. Jean LeCours: I think that there was a problem in
September, but that now it has been more or less resolved.
Mr. Ghislain Lebel: That answers my question. Thank you. That
is all, Mr. Chairman.
The Chair: Thank you very much.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi (Thunder Bay—Superior North,
Lib.): I just have a correction. You said that
fingerprinting was for those arrested on indictable
offences. Does that go into your system immediately if
and when there's a conviction, or is it activated on
the conviction of the indictable offence?
Mr. William Elliott: I actually have a copy of the
act here. The act does authorize the fingerprinting of
people arrested for indictable offences. So
fingerprints for individuals arrested but not yet
convicted would in fact be processed and put into the
system. There would be some time involved with respect
My understanding is that if a person is subsequently
acquitted or not convicted, there is not an automatic
removal of the fingerprints from the system, although
there is the possibility under the act for someone to
apply to have their fingerprints removed.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: That's not well known.
Mr. William Elliott: I think that's a fair
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: Okay.
Just so I have it straight, in this document you've
given us today, we're talking about people who have
access air-side to every aspect of the aircraft. Am I
Mr. William Elliott: We're talking about people
who are granted access to restricted areas of airports.
It certainly is open to airports and to carriers to put
additional measures in place to restrict access to
aircraft, for example. But our clearance program
really deals with the question of access to restricted
areas in general terms.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: But does that not include access
to the aircraft?
Mr. William Elliott: Not necessarily.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: So what you're saying is that we
have restricted areas and you have to go through a
comprehensive program to become entitled to go into the
restricted area, but there may still be people in the
restricted areas who don't have to go through that
Mr. William Elliott: No, that's not what I'm
Let's pick WestJet for an example. WestJet's
employees who are required to work in restricted areas
of airports, which might include airplane mechanics,
would require a restricted area pass. In order to get
that, they would have to apply to the minister for a
clearance. But WestJet may well put in place further
measures to ensure that people who work at Dunkin'
Donuts who have restricted area passes do not have
access to airplanes, because there's no requirement for
them to do so.
That distinction is really not one that's dealt with
in the clearance process. We treat applications for
anyone who requires access to restricted areas of
airports in the same manner. It's then up to the
airport to actually issue passes. Others in the
airport, including the airport authority and carriers,
implement any further measures that might be
appropriate with respect to access.
There are some mandatory requirements with respect to
access to aircraft and identification as well.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: So we really have a two-tiered
Let me give you an example; maybe that will clarify
it. I work for a caterer and I'm bringing food to the
airplane. I'm coming in contact and putting something
on that aircraft. Do I have to go through any security
in order to bring food to that airplane?
Mr. Jean LeCours: The program provides for a
security clearance to be imposed on the person who
performs the final inspection on any food or
comestibles being brought onto the aircraft.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: I clean an aircraft. Do I have
to have security?
Mr. Jean LeCours: Yes.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: Who provides that security? Do
they have to have this pass that you're talking about,
or is it an airline function?
Mr. Jean LeCours: They have to have the clearance
and then a permanent pass in order to circulate freely.
If they do not have a clearance, then they can receive
a temporary pass, as I indicated earlier, provided they
are searched and escorted during their presence there.
Mr. William Elliott: But just because you have a
restricted area pass does not necessarily mean you will
be granted access to an aircraft. The carriers also
have systems in place, some of them mandatory and some
of them imposed by the carriers themselves, to issue
company identification to people and to check the
identification of people who have access to aircraft.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: So there are two tiers. There
are those who are allowed by the industry to have
access to what I call air-side facilities, and there are
those who are granted.... This is a question; this
isn't a statement of fact. Is it basically a
two-tiered system? There are those who are granted
airline permission and then there are those who are
granted Transport Canada permission. Yes or no?
Mr. William Elliott: In part, Mr. Chairman, I
would agree to that, except that an airline can't grant
access to aircraft in restricted areas to anyone who
does not already have a restricted area pass from the
airport authority. A precondition for that is a
clearance from the minister.
There may be other restrictions as well. Just to give
an example, I raised the issue of a concessionaire.
There may well be parts of a concessionaire's
operations that are not open to the public and that are
not open to all holders of restricted area passes.
So people who operate in the restricted area can and
do put in their own systems with respect to restricting
access to appropriate people. Just because you have a
restricted area pass does not automatically mean you
can go anywhere or do anything in the restricted area.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: Who controls that?
Mr. William Elliott: In part it's mandated by
Transport Canada pursuant to our security measures, and
in large part it's up to the individual carriers,
airport authorities, and others who have business in
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: I think I'm out of time, Mr.
Chair, but I'm still not clear on that. I'm still not
clear who has access to an aircraft and what kind of
security they need in order to have access to the
The Chair: We have Mr. Turpen coming. He might be
able to tell you a little more about that, except that
Toronto might be different from Vancouver; we'll see.
I know where you're trying to go with that, Joe.
We'll go to Val.
Ms. Val Meredith (South Surrey—White
Rock—Langley, PC/DR): I'm clear. My understanding is
the person who is working behind the secure zone at
Dunkin' Donuts still has to have a security pass. Air
Canada or WestJet are not going to allow that guy who
works at Dunkin' Donuts to have any access to the
airplane, but he still has to get the clearance to get
to Dunkin' Donuts behind the secure line.
I'm concerned about the guy from Dunkin' Donuts who
gets a security pass that's good for five years and
then quits, because he doesn't like working at Dunkin'
Donuts, six months later. What happens to his pass?
Mr. Jean LeCours: According to the program, the
actual law requires that the pass be retrieved. The
duty is imposed on the airport operator to retrieve
Ms. Val Meredith: I think when we were in Toronto
the number of these passes that are not retrieved was
brought up. Do you, in Transport Canada, keep a record
or have files on the passes that have not been
retrieved and are not able to be retrieved, so that you
know whose name and identity is attached to a pass that
somebody else may be using?
Mr. Jean LeCours: Transport Canada does not keep
an inventory of those passes, but the aerodrome
operator is obliged to do so. Let me read to you from
the airport measures: “Where an aerodrome operator is
unable to retrieve the person's...area pass in accordance
with subsection (10)”—which is the obligation to
retrieve the pass—“the aerodrome operator shall take
such steps as necessary to prohibit further access to
restricted areas by that person”.
The way that's done in practical terms is they have a
list of all passes that are unaccounted for, and they
check against that list for people coming through into
the restricted area.
Ms. Val Meredith: Is Transport Canada satisfied
with the level of actual pass—the blue card you're
wearing? Is it satisfied with the tamper-proof element
of these cards that the airport authorities or
aerodromes are passing out?
Mr. William Elliott: I would say the short answer
to that is no, but I'd like to qualify it. We are
certainly interested in working with other departments
and agencies and with industry to take advantage of new
and evolving technology to enhance the integrity of
passes, and we are actively engaged in that effort.
Ms. Val Meredith: You're actively engaged in
trying to convince airlines or airports to get into the
higher high-tech cards. Or are you going to legislate
it or regulate it, and do you have the money to do
that? Is there money in the budget to allow the
department to do it?
Mr. William Elliott: The minister recently
announced that funding had been provided to us in order
for us to do some testing of technology in relation to
airport security. Decisions with respect to mandating
the use of specific technology have not yet been made.
Ms. Val Meredith: Can I assume that's some of the
regulatory stuff that probably will come through Bill
Mr. William Elliott: Certainly under the
Aeronautics Act the minister has the authority
to bring forward regulations that could require that,
Ms. Val Meredith: Do you mean now, without the
legislation that's just been introduced? Does the
minister right now have the regulatory authority to do
Mr. William Elliott: I believe the answer to that
question is yes, although I must say if I had
anticipated we were going to speak about the
authorities under the act and the bill, I would have
brought some of my colleagues who are more
knowledgeable about the current and proposed
authorities than I.
Ms. Val Meredith: Fair enough.
You said these passes are valid for five years. Does
that just mean the individual doesn't go through the
clearance process except every five years; that once
that process is done a person has five years before the
process is repeated?
Mr. Jean LeCours: That is so, unless there's a
reason for us to conduct a check for cause. Often,
when a person is arrested and charged within that
five-year period, we are notified of that fact and
suspend the clearance, which then creates a duty on the
airport operator to retrieve the pass at that time.
Ms. Val Meredith: You know, the thing that came up
when we were down in the States that raises concern is
if somebody is absent from work for a period of time.
That would be one thing that would kick in a concern,
because they don't have a five-year review. Once you
get the pass, that's pretty much it. The only thing
that kicks in a concern is if the person is “absent
from” for a period of time.
What is our response if somebody, say, takes a
three-month leave of absence, or whatever? Does that
trigger a concern? I think they call it an
interruption of their employment.
Mr. Jean LeCours: Yes, a gap in the
Ms. Val Meredith: A gap, yes.
Mr. Jean LeCours: One of the reasons why we
review, for example, the credit bureau history that was
talked about earlier is that it provides us with an
opportunity to corroborate the residential history and
the employment history in the application form with
that same information from the credit bureau. A credit
bureau report would also provide previous addresses,
previous employers, current employer, and so on. We're
able to corroborate or to match the two and come to a
decision that, yes, this person can be accounted for
over the last five years; that he didn't show up from
some country just last month.
Ms. Val Meredith: So it's in reference to an
employment history, as opposed to a case where somebody
works for WestJet, then takes a leave of absence or
extended sick leave or something that may take the
person out of operation for a period of three or six
months. What happens to his pass or her pass?
Mr. William Elliott: Again, we have a system where
the minister issues clearances, and it is airport
authorities working with employers that issue passes
based on that clearance. So in the situation you're
describing, unless an employer or an airport authority
brought it to our attention, we wouldn't deal with that
issue. But the employer and/or the airport authority
may very well.
Ms. Val Meredith: So really, yours is a paper
trail. The name is given to you, you do the
clearances, and then the word either goes back, “This is
an okay employee”, or “Don't hire them.” I
shouldn't say “Don't hire them”; “Don't give them the
clearance.” In essence, is that what is received from
the airport authority, or the aerodrome or whoever is
asking for this? It's just a decision that's been made
by Transport Canada that this person meets the
requirements for a security clearance.
Mr. William Elliott: That's correct.
Ms. Val Meredith: Beyond that, Transport Canada
has no involvement?
The Chair: You're finished?
Just to refresh your memory, when we were down in
Washington, the one gentleman who was taking us around
had the pass on, but he said on his anniversary date he
had to give in that one and get another one. That's
one way. That may be a suggestion how—
Ms. Val Meredith: But he also said it's an
automatic thing; that on his anniversary date he gets a
new pass, and there is no security clearance done
again. He had been there, I believe, 33 years or
something, and in that period of time they did the
initial security clearance 33 years ago and that was
A lot can happen in 33 years. Although they renewed
it every anniversary, there was not any security check
done on it.
The Chair: Mr. Szabo.
Mr. Paul Szabo (Mississauga South, Lib.): There
were reports of audit performance of security screening
that indicated, as I recall, something as much as a 20%
incidence, in some cases. How does that stack up to a
confidence level or targets that Transport Canada sets?
Mr. William Elliott: I guess our target is 100%
success with respect to screening. Certainly I would
agree that whenever there is performance less than
that, it is reason for people to question the
confidence in the screening system.
Mr. Paul Szabo: How does that 20% compare to
recent history, in terms of performance?
Mr. William Elliott: I'm not in a position to
answer that question. I don't know the answer to the
Mr. Paul Szabo: Okay. Do you think you should know?
I'm sorry, it's just that you're the assistant deputy
minister of the safety and security group. I thought
Transport Canada was responsible for setting the
guidelines and the standards and for the quality
assurance—for the testing—to see whether it's 20% or
10% or 5%; if it isn't, we have to modify or do
something to take corrective action. If you get 20%,
the first thing I'd want to know is, how does that
compare to recent history? Is it getting better?
Worse? What does it tell me? I'm confused, obviously.
Mr. William Elliott: Well, again, I guess I would
say I did not come this morning prepared to speak to
information related to security screening, because my
understanding was we were going to talk about the
With respect to Transport Canada's responsibility,
yes, we are responsible for the setting of standards
and oversight of screening, and, yes, we monitor
screening at airports across the country on an ongoing
basis. But your question, as I took it, was asking a
very precise question, and I would say the performance
of screening varies from time to time and from place to
place. Certainly we are actively working to make
improvements to screening. I don't have the most
recent information with respect to the results of
infiltration testing or inspections across the country.
I am not saying it's not an area that I have no
knowledge of, nor that I'm uninterested in it. It is a
keen interest of mine and a major preoccupation for me
and all of the security staff of Transport Canada.
Mr. Paul Szabo: A major preoccupation?
I raised that measurement or statistic so I could lead
to the issue you rightly stated you were here for or
came prepared to talk about. We know some performance
measures on the screening side. What performance
measures do you have on the employee security side, for
example, concerning violations? How many people
have been charged with criminal offences or other
indictable offences for theft, for smuggling, for all
kinds of other things? What is our performance
Mr. Jean LeCours: Anyone who applies for an
access clearance who has a significant criminal record
will be denied that clearance and will not be allowed
Mr. Paul Szabo: I'm sorry, you missed my question.
You're responsible for issuing these things. We have
to check to make sure the airports are doing their
thing regarding access and all this other stuff.
in airports we have baggage handlers who steal, baggage
handlers who smuggle, who are into drugs. We read
these stories in the newspapers.
We have done clearances. The airport authority will
do some. Dunkin' Donuts has people who have to
have one or both. This is wonderful. Now we have a
system, and we think it works. Obviously, the
actual occurrence of problems will tell us whether or
not our approach to security with regard to employees,
etc., is adequate.
What is the actual incidence rate of problems with
employees that would indicate whether or not our
security processes are adequate?
Mr. William Elliott: If the measure is people with
restricted area passes who are charged with indictable
offences, I do not have a specific number, but I can
tell you it's very few.
Mr. Paul Szabo: How many people in the past year,
in 2001, have been arrested and charged out of airports
for smuggling, stealing, baggage theft—the things
we're concerned about?
Mr. William Elliott: I'm advised there are
approximately 50 suspensions currently that arose as a
result of people being charged with indictable
Ms. Val Meredith: And that's out of the number—
Mr. William Elliott: No. The number would be much
larger than that. The statistics that were in our
presentation were the number of—
Mr. Paul Szabo: Let's assume it's 50. If 50
people are able to get through the system in terms of
risk profiling, etc., would it be an acceptable
standard if our safety and security system, say in
screening, could allow in one year 50 terrorists to get
through who shouldn't get through?
If 50 people who have access to sterile and secure
areas can be a problem, is that insignificant, of no
concern to you? And if you transpose that percentage or
that failure rate to identify problems to the rest of
the security system, is it okay?
Mr. William Elliott: I certainly would say it
isn't okay, but the only tool we have available to
reach a decision as to whether or not someone should be
granted a security clearance is their history.
The unfortunate reality is that if someone who is a
bad person does not have a history demonstrating that
they are a bad person, there is no way, under our
clearance program, we can make that determination.
If there are ways other than the checks I have
described today for us to make accurate assessment
with respect to whether someone is a bad person, I am
certainly interested in making improvements to our
system. But I am not aware of any other reasonable
basis on which we can make determinations about whether
or not people should be granted access, and in effect,
therefore, whether or not they can work at an airport,
in the absence of any concrete evidence indicating
there's a problem.
But certainly, am I concerned about the fact that 50
people with passes have been charged? Yes.
Mr. Paul Szabo: Mr. Chair, I guess the conclusion
is that we do not employ any profiling techniques
whatsoever in what we do. We just look at whether they
have a criminal record, yes or no. If it's no, then
If that's our starting point, I don't know how the
hell we're going to get to a security and safety system
that allows us to identify risk, to focus resources on
risk areas, and fast track, or get smart cards and all
this other stuff.
You can't do everything 100%. We know that. The U.S.
confirmed that to us. Obviously, we have to be a
little smarter. My assessment is that Transport Canada
is in charge.
If I had to say who's in charge of safety and security
at our airports and in our airlines today, I'd say
Transport Canada is, because they set the rules. They
monitor or check the quality control and assurance.
So if our system today is identified as being
unacceptable in terms of achieving appropriate
standards of safety and security, and therefore has a
failing grade, by extension it means Transport Canada
has failed to do its job.
The Chair: I'll move on to Mr. Shepherd.
Mr. William Elliott: If I may, Mr. Chairman, I'd
like to clarify one thing.
The Chair: A quick response.
Mr. William Elliott:
I'd like to restate that our clearance program is not
based simply on a criminal records check. As we have
identified, there is personal data on the
individual, education history, employment history,
criminal records checks, national security indices, and
a criminal bureau check.
I would also add that although I'm concerned about the
fact that individuals with restricted area passes have
been charged with offences, I am not aware of anyone
with a restricted area pass significantly interfering
with civil aviation in Canada.
The Chair: Mr. Shepherd.
Mr. Alex Shepherd (Durham, Lib.): You were stating
that because of the information flow, once a person is
issued a pass, it's dependent to some extent on the
carriers to inform you when that person no longer works
there. Is that correct?
Mr. William Elliott: No. I think what I stated
was whether or not someone requires a pass is initially
decided by the employer. Then they have the person
fill out an application, and that's provided to the
minister. It's on the basis of that application that
we do our work with respect to clearances.
Mr. Alex Shepherd: But if Air Canada fired him for
some reason or other, they presumably are
supposed to inform you that the person is no longer in
their employ and therefore is no longer eligible to
carry a pass.
Mr. William Elliott: Well, that's not quite the
case, because again there's a distinction between
clearances on the one hand, which Transport Canada
issues, and passes on the other, which are issued by
the airport authority.
There is an obligation, which Monsieur LeCours referred to,
that when a person, as in your example, leaves their
job and no longer requires a pass, it's mandatory that
that pass be retrieved from that individual.
Mr. Alex Shepherd: Okay.
So from your perspective, it's clearances. We're
talking about clearances that you're responsible for,
Mr. William Elliott: Yes.
Mr. Alex Shepherd: Okay.
I guess the question I want to ask is whether Air
Canada says on a regular basis, say a monthly basis,
these are the people they've issued passes to who
are no longer in their employ, and they've
requested them to return their passes.
Mr. Jean LeCours: It doesn't matter if it's Air
Canada or United Cigar Stores. When a person leaves the
airport environment, Transport Canada does receive
notification by the airport operator that the pass is
no longer required. At that time we tag the clearance
file for destruction in accordance with the airport
Mr. Alex Shepherd: I still don't understand what
triggers this. Is it the airport authority that is
saying the person no longer requires a pass?
Mr. Jean LeCours: It begins with the employer.
Once the employee leaves the company, for whatever
reason, as part of the clearance process—
Mr. Alex Shepherd: Let's just use an example. He
works for Air Canada. He has a pass. He first of all
had to go through the process of getting clearance from
you people, then got a pass from Air Canada to work on
the aircraft, or whatever the case may be.
He's terminated, for whatever reason. Air Canada
presumably asks him for his pass back. What triggers
the cancellation of his clearance pass?
Mr. William Elliott: Again, there's a distinction
between passes and clearances.
In your example, the individual would have a
restricted area pass issued by the airport authority,
and he would have Air Canada identification issued by
Air Canada. Air Canada would be obligated to tell the
airport authority that the employee is no longer an
employee. The airport authority would be obligated to
retrieve the pass.
Mr. Alex Shepherd: But as far as that clearance or
whatever you issued originally is concerned, it's
irrelevant. Your records would still indicate the
person is eligible for a clearance certificate of some
Mr. William Elliott: We would be
informed the person's pass had been cancelled, so
we would have on our file an indication that the person no
longer had a valid pass. But unless there was a basis
on which we would revoke his clearance, we wouldn't
revoke his clearance.
Mr. Alex Shepherd: You're saying that
people who have eligible clearance and presumably
passes are cross-checked with criminal proceedings
from time to time. In other words, you receive
something from the police authority saying a certain
person's been charged.
How does that happen in reality? He's convicted of an
indictable offence. What triggers the relationship
between the police authorities and you to say you know
this guy has a pass? Do the police authorities, or
whoever, have to note he has a pass before they can
actually inform you that this indictable offence has
Mr. Jean LeCours: Every case is different. There
are cases where an individual is arrested, and as part
of the arrest procedure he's searched and found to be
in possession of an airport pass. That's reported to
the police force of jurisdiction at the airport. There
are times when the crime has such a high profile that
it's in the media, in which case the airport
authorities find out about it. There are times when
the individual's in custody, does not show up for work,
and the employer finds out about it. There are various
ways in which this comes up.
Mr. Alex Shepherd: There's no holistic system
where somebody who is charged with an indictable
offence is asked whether they are in receipt of a
clearance from Transport Canada. So the reality is
that the information you get is pretty much on some
kind of an exceptional basis. Is that fair to say?
I'm saying that the information coming from police
authorities and so forth is just coincidental. In
other words, there's no holistic process where you're
informed that somebody has been charged with an
indictable offence and you revoke.
Mr. Jean LeCours: We don't do a daily monitoring
of everyone in the system. I can add that under the
TCAFIS program Mr. Elliott talked about, we will
have the ability to go in on a person's anniversary
date every year to check their fingerprints, so we will
be less than a year away from being informed of any
subsequent charges. That's the closest thing to what
you're looking for.
Mr. Alex Shepherd: Okay. It's still conceivable
that somebody has been charged with an indictable
offence such as stealing, theft, robbing a bank, and
he's still working down at the airport. You don't
Mr. Jean LeCours: Yes, that's right.
Mr. Alex Shepherd: What's the rejection rate? If
Air Canada or Dunkin' Donuts ask for a clearance for
this person, in a normal year what percentage of those
Mr. Jean LeCours: So far, since the 1990s, we've had
over 200 denials.
Mr. Alex Shepherd: The word was “percentage”.
What percentage of the population base are rejected?
Mr. Jean LeCours: We don't have a percentage per
se. The quantities have increased substantially over
the years. We mentioned in our presentation—
Mr. Alex Shepherd: We want to know if
99% of people get passes, or only 50%.
Mr. Jean LeCours: I would say the majority get
passes. I don't know if it's 99% precisely, but it's
close to that.
Mr. Alex Shepherd: Is that consistent with other
kinds of security organizations? Do 99% of people pass
Mr. Jean LeCours: Kind of a natural selection
takes place. People know they have to undergo security
screening in order to work at the airport, so a lot of
people who have criminal records simply don't apply for
The Chair: Do you have a quick one, Alex? You're
running out of time.
Mr. Alex Shepherd: No.
The Chair: A lot of people want to intervene, so I
will go to five-minute rounds, starting with Monsieur
Mr. Ghislain Lebel: Mr. LeCours, you said earlier that there
are currently 50 cases where passes had been revoked. I have the
impression that things are getting a bit out of hand here. I want
to fully understand you. The 50 cases are not cases of terrorists
that have been caught with bombs hidden in their coats. The
revocation may be due to the fact that the person was drinking on
the job or stole a suitcase from a cart, or something like that. Is
that not the case?
Mr. Jean LeCours: First of all, we are not talking about
revocation but a suspension.
Mr. Ghislain Lebel: Suspension or—
Mr. Jean LeCours: In other words, the pass is temporarily
revoked until the case is resolved.
Mr. Ghislain Lebel: So 50 out of approximately 42,000 passes
issued this year have been revoked.
Mr. Jean LeCours: That is correct.
Mr. Ghislain Lebel: So these 50 people are not necessarily
dangerous and bin Laden's friends.
Mr. Jean LeCours: No they are not necessarily that. But that
does not include any offences like, for example, drinking and
driving. But we are talking about rather serious matters.
Mr. Ghislain Lebel: Am I getting this wrong then? Are these
cases of potential terrorism or improper behaviour?
Mr. Jean LeCours: Normally, we are not talking about improper
behaviour. What I mean is that yes, the behaviour is improper. It
may perhaps be a case of theft, break and entry, very often it is
a case involving narcotics, or drug trafficking.
Mr. Ghislain Lebel: Okay, but this does not necessarily
jeopardize passenger safety. I fully understand that a guy who
steals or takes drugs through the Mirabel Airport, for example, is
no more dangerous than the guy who does the same thing in downtown
Montreal. We must agree on that.
You have been asked to come here this morning to deal with the
security of passengers in airports. To do yourself justice, you
have told us that there are some airports that are managed by
organizations like ADM, for example. I assume that there are other
airports in Canada, smaller airports nevertheless, that are not
managed by organizations like ADM, but that are still under federal
control. Am I mistaken?
Mr. Jean LeCours: That may be the case.
Mr. Ghislain Lebel: So, we have to make a distinction between
security provided by Transport Canada and security provided by
organizations created to manage airports, like ADM and the local
airport authorities in Toronto and Vancouver. Is that correct?
Mr. Jean LeCours: Yes, that is correct. Twenty-nine airports
in Canada are managed by the ARAACP, or the Airport Restricted Area
Access Clearance Program.
Mr. Ghislain Lebel: Yes, but they are both airports managed by
independent organizations and airports managed by Transport Canada.
Mr. Jean LeCours: No. The 29 airports participating in the
program are managed by private bodies, not by Transport Canada.
Mr. Ghislain Lebel: Are there any airports remaining in Canada
that are managed by Transport Canada?
Mr. Jean LeCours: Yes, there are some, but only a very small
number and they are not major airports.
Mr. Ghislain Lebel: So, if the airports managed by the private
sector are responsible for their own security, you give them
authorization to issue the pass and they issue it.
Mr. Jean LeCours: That is right.
Mr. Ghislain Lebel: It is like what happens here. If we lay
off our office staff, it is the House of Commons that withdraws
their pass. At least, I believe that is how it works. And I assume
that, at the airports, if a person does not work for Air Canada,
that person's pass will be withdrawn.
Mr. Jean LeCours: That is right.
Mr. Ghislain Lebel: Therefore, the people who would really be
able to tell us whether security is truly working well at our
airports are, in fact, the managers of the major airports. It is
not you. They are the ones who would be able to tell us, for
example, whether they have issued enough passes for a specific
corridor, whether there is always an employee on duty at the entry
of this corridor. That is what is important. I am not surprised
that you do not agree with me, Mr. Szabo.
Mr. Paul Szabo: Airlines have screening.
Mr. Ghislain Lebel: What I mean, is that it is not Transport
Canada that is responsible for issuing passes, for conducting
investigations, for saying that Mr. John Smith is an upright
citizen for whom a pass can be issued. However, once this
recommendation is made and the airport manager, or the manager of
the building, decides that, for example, only one man instead of
four will be posted at a certain gate in order to save money, that
is where security can be found lacking, in my view. Therefore, I
think that we will eventually need to invite those people to appear
before the committee, so that we can ask them whether they believe
they are adequately meeting the security requirements at their
The Chair: Mr. Turpen is coming right after, so
you can speak to him about it.
Mr. William Elliott: Mr. Chairman, I would like to clarify
something. The situation is not exactly as the member described it.
It is true that the airport authorities have a
very significant role to play with respect to airport
security. But we don't just issue a clearance and then
wash our hands of the matter. We have security
inspectors on site at all major airports in Canada.
We set standards and we verify that those standards are
met, for example, with respect to the verification of
passes, as people enter into the restricted area.
Certainly a number of issues and questions can
helpfully be answered by witnesses who come before you
from airport authorities. But I want to make it clear
that Transport Canada has an ongoing rule with respect
to the oversight of security at airports.
The Chair: Mr. Comuzzi.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: In the restricted area, does this
include all of the air-side facilities?
Mr. William Elliott: Yes.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: Let's go through this one more
time. Sorry, I'm a slow learner.
You are responsible for clearance. Anyone who goes
into the restricted area or the air-side facility must
have whatever document you issue for clearance,
eventually, from Transport Canada.
Mr. William Elliott: No. They must have a
restricted area pass issued by the airport authority.
Prior to the airport authority issuing them a pass, we
must tell the airport authority that a clearance has
been granted for the named individual. But the
individual won't have a piece of paper saying they
have clearance. The individual will have an airport
restricted area pass issued by the airport authority.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: Before that pass is issued, you
must give a clearance.
Mr. William Elliott: Yes.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: So you have inspected everyone
or given a clearance for everyone who is operating on
the air side.
Mr. William Elliott: Everyone who has a restricted
area pass has been inspected. It is possible for
people without permanent passes to be granted temporary
passes without clearance, but they must be accompanied
by someone who has a permanent restricted area pass.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: Can you give me an example of
Mr. William Elliott: Someone comes in to fix a
coke machine in a restaurant at Pearson and they do not
have a restricted area pass. They have not been
granted clearance, but they need access to the
restricted area for a couple of hours to fix a coke
machine. They'll be granted a temporary pass, which
requires them to be escorted.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: Okay, that makes sense. Everyone
else has to go through Transport Canada, in order to
work on an aircraft or be exposed to it?
Mr. William Elliott: Well, there are two ways into
restricted areas at airports. You can either go in
through an access door with a restricted area pass or
you can go through screening. So a person has either
gone through screening and has been screened or they
have gone through another access point, based on their
restricted area pass.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: That includes caterers and
anyone who comes close to an aircraft.
Mr. William Elliott: Yes.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: They have to go through Transport
Canada before they're allowed clearance or a pass to
get into the restricted area?
Mr. William Elliott: A permanent pass, yes.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: Last question, Mr. Chairman.
Would it not be simpler, since Transport Canada is
involved with the local airport authority, to have all
the security issues administered by the local
airport authorities? When we divested the airports,
part of the undertaking was the security of those
particular airports. That's a question, not a
statement. I'm asking for your input.
Mr. William Elliott: With respect to the access to
restricted areas, that's exactly what we do. It's up
to the airport authorities, but the airport authorities
are not in a position to do the kinds of security
checks that agencies like CSIS and the RCMP can do. I
think the approach is consistent with the one
They issue the passes. They're
responsible for control of their areas subject to our
standards and oversight, but the Government of Canada
is in a better position to make a determination about
whether or not someone is a suitable candidate for a
restricted area pass.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: Thank you.
The Chair: Thanks, Joe.
I'll go to Val, and then Marcel has the last word.
Ms. Val Meredith: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I apologize for missing what Mr. Comuzzi was after, so
you may have answered this.
Your clearances are good for five years. Do you go
through the whole process when that clearance is up? At
the end of five years, do you go on the premise that
you haven't cleared this person before and you do the
Mr. Jean LeCours: That's correct. From scratch.
All over again.
Ms. Val Meredith: If somebody leaves—and let's
take the example of Canada 3000 employees. They've
received the clearance, and they no longer have the job
that would require the passes, so they've given their
passes up. Hopefully, they'll find employment within
the industry again. If within a short period of time they
find employment, do they go through that process as if
they've never had it before? Is that five years still
Mr. Jean LeCours: Once we've received notification
from the airport authority that a pass is no longer
required, at that time we flag the file, the
documentation that has the clearance on it, for
destruction two years from that date in accordance with
the records disposal schedule of the National Archives
of Canada Act. So if a person shows up at another
airport or with a different employer within those two
years, we will not redo the clearance. But if it's
past the two years, then the documentation is destroyed
and the person must go through the entire process again.
Ms. Val Meredith: But let's say they find
employment within that period of time. They pick up
their clearance where they left off, basically, so that
five-year term will still expire, and it may be six
months after they start with the new employer.
Mr. Jean LeCours: That's correct.
Ms. Val Meredith: Then they'd go through the
whole process again.
Mr. Jean LeCours: That's correct.
Ms. Val Meredith: What happens in the interim? At
what point do you say this one's expiring and we have
to do another clearance? They're still hired. Their
clearance is still good until you finish the process.
Mr. Jean LeCours: Diane
Brunet runs a computer system that issues notification
to the airports I believe 90 days before the
expiration of a clearance, telling the airport authority
that this individual's clearance will expire in 90
days. Then the computer comes back in 60 days and
30 days, and I think at the 30th day, the final notice,
if we haven't received anything in the meantime, is
given and the airport is notified that the clearance is
cancelled or expired.
Ms. Val Meredith: So you can't renew that
clearance unless the airport authority or whomever, the
airline, asks you to do the clearance.
Mr. Jean LeCours: They must resubmit the
Ms. Val Meredith: So Joe Blow's a pilot for Air
Canada. Air Canada is responsible for letting you
people know that this guy's still going to be employed
and needs his review to be done. How quickly can you
do these reviews? What's the average time it
Mr. Jean LeCours: If there is no trace in the
research we do, it can be done in about three days. If
there is a trace, a criminal record, for example, right
now it's a process that can take 45 to 60 days.
This is why we are very much encouraged by the TCAFIS
project, because that will take that 45 to 60 days
down to 45 to 60 seconds.
Ms. Val Meredith: I understood from your testimony
that CSIS is part of this process. How quick is their
turnaround? If they have reason to be concerned, is it
quick enough or is it quite a time-consuming matter?
Mr. Jean LeCours: Again, every case is different.
If there is no trace in the CSIS computers, then we get
an answer back overnight. If there is a trace, then
CSIS first begins by confirming whether or not it is
the same individual. From there on, every case is
different. If it's a case of a Canadian citizen who's
had some contact with, let's say, a terrorist
organization but all in Canada, then CSIS has all the
information. Sometimes the information is held by a
third party in the Middle East, or the United States,
or somewhere else, and they then have to go to that
third party and get more information. So that
sometimes can take a lot of time.
Ms. Val Meredith: So sometimes the 90 days may not
be an adequate period of time to process the
Mr. Jean LeCours: Not at all for those cases.
Ms. Val Meredith: You may not want to answer this,
but if we're only using known information, how do we
pick up the person who has been an exemplary citizen
for deliberate reason? Is there anything in the
processes that looks at something other than just this
person's behaviour? There really isn't, is there?
Mr. Jean LeCours: The closest thing to it is the
match we do with the credit bureau report, where we're
able to document the person's presence in Canada and
compare the information provided on the application
with the information contained in the credit bureau.
Other than that, clearance is not a guarantee of future
performance. A clearance is an assessment made based
on past performance.
Ms. Val Meredith: But it's made on a performance
that could be controlled. In other words, if you had a
phoney ID, you could create a persona around that
information that may be squeaky clean, but that persona
may not be the real person. Is there anything in the
system that allows us to look beyond the paper trails?
Mr. Jean LeCours: We go back five years, so we
have to find what the British call “positive
vetting”. In other words, you have to have
information upon which to make a determination. We
have to find this person throughout the system for the
past five years. So if you are planning to be a
sleeper, you'd have to come in and be good for five
years before you.... The odds of that are, again,
Ms. Val Meredith: So something in the credit
history, something in the employment history,
would be inconsistent and that would cause a—
Mr. Jean LeCours: There would be a gap, and that's
the gap I think you raised earlier that the Americans
look for as well. But we simply look at more things to
find those gaps.
The Chair: I have to go to Marcel to get that last
five minutes in.
Mr. Marcel Proulx (Hull—Aylmer, Lib.): Thank you,
I want to make sure I communicate directly with
Mr. Elliott, so I'll do this in English. With all the
respect I have for the translators, I will do it in
Mr. Elliott, you're ADM, safety and security group.
Mr. William Elliott: That's correct.
Mr. Marcel Proulx: What does that include? Is
there anything else in the department that concerns safety,
or safe operations of airports, or anything related to
safety, that's not under you? Is there another division
in the department, or is everything in terms of safety and
prevention under you?
Mr. William Elliott: Everything in regard to
safety and security that Transport Canada does is under
the safety and security group. That includes civil
aviation safety, security and emergency preparedness,
rail safety, marine safety, motor vehicle
certification, and road safety. We also have a group
dealing with the transportation of dangerous goods. I
have another directorate that runs Transport Canada's
fleet of aircraft called aircraft services.
Mr. Marcel Proulx: Is that all under you?
Mr. William Elliott: It is.
Mr. Marcel Proulx: So you're the safety expert, in
other words. I'm not trapping you; I'm saying under
Mr. William Elliott: I am the assistant deputy
minister responsible for safety and security for the
Department of Transport, yes.
Mr. Marcel Proulx: I have a couple of pet peeves,
and I'll come back to that. I want to understand and
make sure when we're talking of a clearance, as you
explained to my colleague for what he was calling the
air side, that whether it be for a Dunkin' Donut
employee or whether it be for a jet engine mechanic,
it's all the same for your end of the bargain.
Mr. William Elliott: That's correct.
Mr. Marcel Proulx: Don't you find that either the
guy from Dunkin' Donut is being assessed much
too seriously or the mechanic is not being assessed
seriously enough? Surely the risk is not the same when
you have a restaurant operator or employee as when you
have somebody who has direct access to aircraft.
Mr. Jean LeCours: There's an economic reality to
this, sir. People begin working in the airport
environment for Dunkin' Donut and the next thing you
know would end up working for some other
company—sometimes a carrier as well. The clearance
simply moves with the individual.
Mr. Marcel Proulx: Therefore, the Dunkin' Donut
employee goes through the wringer as seriously, as
severely, as the mechanic. The standard is the same.
Mr. William Elliott: With respect to our clearance
program, yes, but there are others involved with
respect to access to aircraft.
Mr. Marcel Proulx: But I'm talking of Air
Canada so it's the same thing.
In the process you've
talked to us about credit checks. I believe in
credit checks. Contrary to my other colleague, who feels
you're trying to see if people are rich enough to
be working, I don't look at it that way. I know
I used to be in the investigation
Who does your credit checks? Are they done by
Transport Canada or by private companies?
Mr. Jean LeCours: We have an electronic link with
a company called Equifax that represents the credit
bureaus of Canada. We see the information they
have, and we make an evaluation based on that.
Mr. Marcel Proulx: That's my point. You're
assessing only what one particular company has. You don't
do a credit check, or you don't get a credit check done
the same way that CSIS would do it for a security
clearance, where CSIS takes over completely. It's
Mr. Jean LeCours: I would like to think we do
exactly the same check as CSIS does. To my
knowledge—I could be wrong—there are only two major
companies in Canada, TransUnion and Equifax, and
they tend to basically parallel the same information.
Mr. Marcel Proulx: They're basically large credit
bureaus from coast to coast.
When somebody applies for a clearance, whether it be
for Dunkin' Donuts or as a mechanic, do you obtain their
Mr. Jean LeCours: We obtain fingerprints up front
Mr. Marcel Proulx: Thank you.
I have a last question, and this is why I was asking you if you
were in charge of security. When your DM was in front
of us some weeks ago, we questioned the process of
the baggage screening system, the hand-carried baggage
Mr. Jean LeCours: Passenger screening.
Mr. Marcel Proulx: Beautiful.
I was upset when she explained to us that there's a
ratio of about 20% failure on sophisticated tests that
are run on these screeners. Then I was appalled when
she said when that happens, they pull them off the
line, retrain them, and give them a second chance.
Is it still this way, now that all of the dust has
fallen back down from September 11, now that we have in
place—I assume and I hope—different ways of doing
things? Is it still the same system, or do we have
better training? Do we have any change in the
screening processes, the training processes, or are we
still the same as we were prior to September 11 with
Mr. William Elliott: The system, with respect to
what happens when an individual fails a test, is the
same. They are taken out of the baggage screening
line, they're retrained, and they're retested.
There are a couple of things in train. As the
minister announced, the government is purchasing
advanced equipment, which includes X-ray and explosive
detection equipment, and we are working with industry
on developing new training standards. At the moment,
the training and testing standards are the same as when
the minister and the deputy minister were before you.
Mr. Marcel Proulx: What I understand is that there
will be special training for the operation of the
special equipment, but will there be changes, if there
haven't been any yet, in the training given to
these...let's call them screeners?
Mr. William Elliott: Yes.
Mr. Marcel Proulx: There will be better training.
Mr. William Elliott: Yes.
Mr. Marcel Proulx: So hopefully, the failure rate will
drastically go down.
Mr. William Elliott: Yes.
Mr. Marcel Proulx: Thank you.
The Chair: Thanks, Marcel.
When we were in Washington, one of the machines we saw
actually did put in bogus things to test them, to keep
them sharp. That's part, maybe, of what's going to come
in with the new equipment.
I have one quick question about the person who I think
was called Container Boy. He had documentation from
the Montreal airport. Did you ever find out where he
got those tags from?
Mr. Jean LeCours: Some of the documentation
he had had been forged, but I can confirm to you, based
on the information we've received from both CSIS and
the RCMP, that Container Boy did not pose a threat to
civil aviation security. He's not a terrorist or a
member of a terrorist organization. He simply was a
bad container boy.
The Chair: Thank you very much, gentlemen.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: For further clarification on that
last question—I thought I was getting it clear—we're
talking about security and whatever you do to authorize
people to get air side, and my colleague was talking
about screening, which would be the people who are
screening, I suspect, the passengers going through the
The Chair: That's what Marcel was talking about.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: What do you folks have to do with
that person, other than to pre-clear him?
The Chair: They check them all the time.
Mr. William Elliott: We set standards for
screening, as was mentioned earlier.
Screening is the responsibility of carriers. That's
been the case since screening was introduced in Canada,
I believe, in 1972. But we set standards with respect
to the training of screeners, what needs to be
screened, and performance standards.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: Okay.
Mr. Marcel Proulx: That also includes standards
for training, doesn't it?
Mr. William Elliott: That's correct.
Mr. Marcel Proulx: Thank you.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: Could the local airport
authorities, if they had a consistent pattern across
the country, take that responsibility off your
Mr. William Elliott: That certainly is a
recommendation we have received from the Canadian
Airports Council. It's one of a number of
suggestions with respect to what might be done to
reassign roles and responsibilities relating to
screening that might be part of enhancements to the
screening process, and the minister has indicated that
he and his colleagues are considering those
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: Thank you.
The Chair: Marcel.
Mr. Marcel Proulx: Along that line,
when he's saying take it off your shoulders, the
setting of standards for the screening and for all of
that safety and security would still come from
Transport Canada, would it not?
Mr. William Elliott: Absolutely. The suggestion
made by the Canadian Airports Council has to do with
who actually conducts the screening. I think it's safe
to say our minister strongly believes we should
continue and in fact enhance our role with respect to
the setting of standards and the oversight of screening
and other security operations.
The Chair: Thank you.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: That is whether the airlines
continue to screen as they do now or whether that
responsibility is turned over to the local airport
authority. Is that right?
Mr. William Elliott: That's correct.
The Chair: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.
We'll suspend for two minutes.
The Chair: I'd like to reconvene the meeting. It's
kind of a working lunch. I don't know if Louis can
chew gum and walk at the same time, but we'll find out.
Welcome, Louis and Mr. Gregg. We appreciate you
coming here. You're going to give us a dissertation
and then we have a round of questioning. It's over to
Mr. Louis Turpen (Representative, Greater Toronto
Airport Authority): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I welcome the opportunity to spend some time with the
committee today. We had, in my view, a very productive
meeting in Toronto on October 18, when the committee
visited Pearson for the purposes of taking a look at
some of the security mechanisms that were in place at
the operating airport.
I have provided my written comments for the
committee's consideration. Rather than take the
committee's valuable time by going through those
comments, I would prefer to share with you some current
thoughts I have as events have unfolded. More
importantly, I want to make myself available to the
committee for questions and to direct the discussion in
a way that they would find helpful.
I know you have been involved in a significant amount
of activity and have heard a lot of testimony. Our
time today, with the kind consent of the chairman,
might be better spent in a dialogue that would address
the concerns the committee might still have and want to
discuss with me.
I'd like to talk about three things, Mr. Chairman,
with respect to this very significant issue of aviation
security and how to handle it.
The first issue is that I have always advocated unity
of command when it comes to dealing with aviation
security issues. We presently have a fragmented
system. The airlines are responsible for a portion of
aviation security and airport proprietors are
responsible for another portion of airport security. I
think it is imperative that all of our aviation
security activities be conducted under a single
umbrella. This fractured nature cannot serve our
The analogy I use is trying to defend a fort. If each
wall of the fort is defended by a different group,
there is always the potential that a lack of effective
communication and coordination could occur. When that
happens, there are breakdowns in the systems. With a
breakdown in the system comes an increased risk.
The second point is that I think it's imperative that
in Canada we establish a national registry of security
assets. We need to know how many canine teams are
available in our country, how many bomb squads are
available, how many X-ray machines are available.
Explosive detection technology.... For rapid
redeployment as the need and intelligence may suggest,
a national registry that allows us to redeploy assets
is critical, in my view, to our ability to respond
aggressively and effectively to any potential threat.
The third point is one that has emerged in the last
several days, and that is access control. At an
airport, as this committee well knows, there is a
defined secure perimeter. It is the perimeter that
prevents unauthorized persons from going onto the
airfield, into the aircraft operating areas.
Control of access is a critical portion of the
aviation security program. One of the current ideas
that is being put forth is that we would have a
national access control program. By that I mean an
access control program for all airport employees that
is national in scope and administered on a local basis.
A pilot in Vancouver with an identification card would
have that card logged into the national system, and
whether they were in Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, or
Vancouver, that card would be active and would be able
to identify that employee.
This national system could also obligate the motor
vehicle department to advise if any person lost their
driver's licence. As you know, we must have 75,000 to
85,000 airport employees, many of whom have access and
rights to drive on the air side.
We need to tighten up and control the
perimeter access, and that can only be done under a
national set of standards, administered on a local
For example, in Toronto, we have the ability to issue
passes. We would issue and remove passes under a
national authorization. But having different passes in
different locales for different airports is simply a
confusing situation and obligates security personnel to
understand and intellectualize any number of possible
pass systems. Therefore, my third point concerns this
concept of access control.
I was recently involved with security activities in
the United States, as I know many of the committee
members have been. This is now emerging as an area of
attention and concern, and I think it's one where
Canada can take a leadership role.
Mr. Chairman, those are my three points in summary, in
addition to the materials I've shared with the
committee. Unity of command is critical, and we must
go beyond talking about simply pre-flight screening and
checked baggage. It must also include perimeter
control. Second was a national registry of assets, and
last was asset control established on a national
standard and a national basis.
With that, Mr. Chairman, I am delighted to present
myself to you and the committee for any questions you
The Chair: Thanks, Louis. I see you haven't lost
your police training.
Mr. Mario Laframboise (Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, BQ):
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
What do you mean by this unity of command? Who, or what
organization, would have this unity of command?
Mr. Louis Turpen: Thank you for your question.
Under no circumstances can the airlines continue to
carry out a security mandate or responsibility. The
airlines, by nature of their obligation to shareholder
value and the bottom line, have an inherent conflict of
interest when it comes to this subject.
I think there are several options and forums the
committee could consider. I personally am not invested
in any single one. One might be a national body
created on the model of an airport authority: not for
profit, non-share, operated by a board of directors
that would set national standards and ensure that
security and the government's mandates on security are
carried forth at each individual installation.
It could be given to airport authorities to manage on
a geographic and local basis. I prefer this option
less, as it starts to defeat my argument for unity of
command. I believe it is imperative that in Canada we
have an umbrella organization that discharges the
responsibility of security as its sole function. That
discharge would include pre-flight screening, checked
baggage, and perimeter security.
I do not imply in my comments that they should
necessarily hire all the people and employ all the
people. What I'm saying is that they should have the
responsibility for ensuring that the standards set by
the federal government are in place, and how that is
accomplished is really a function of which airport is
involved. For example, you may approach smaller
airports one way and larger ones in another way.
Mr. Mario Laframboise: Your preference would be for a not-for-
profit organization, within which a number of organizations would
likely be represented. Why not propose a department of the RCMP, or
an authority that focuses more on policing than on civilian matters
since, in the end, it is police organizations that keep up with new
techniques aimed at fighting terrorism internationally? Why not
give more responsibility to an organization that focuses more on
Mr. Louis Turpen: The answer is that you could.
However, I believe the law enforcement activity is a
resource for and a part of the security envelope.
I personally do not believe that law
enforcement talent, the highly trained men and women we
have in our law enforcement organizations, are best
utilized on a continuing basis at pre-flight screening,
checking bags, or checking perimeter. This actually is
an application of a significant amount of talent to
something that doesn't require it.
My view is that it is imperative that the law
enforcement function be married to the security
function as a resource and that we can adjust that
resource as necessary, based on the government's
understanding of threat, based on risk, based on need.
In some locations we might have a significant police
presence by virtue of our understanding, and in others
not so much.
Mr. Mario Laframboise: I am not saying that we should
substitute police officers for the people doing the work now or for
airport authorities, and that you should change your management
methods. We are talking about a not-for-profit organization that
would supervise activities. When the RCMP and CSIS appeared before
this committee, the problem that came to light was that they do not
feel they have responsibility in the current structure. It is up to
Transport Canada to issue directives. From time to time, they share
information, but they are not the ones who have ultimate
responsibility for security matters. This lies more with Transport
Canada and you also have a share. If we were to create a
supervisory agency that would be charged with issuing guidelines
and monitoring to ensure you do your work properly and that other
agencies do theirs properly, I am quite convinced that such an
agency should be more of a law enforcement agency, so that it will
be responsible. In the end, we are all working toward the same
goal: the safety and security of users and citizens. Why should we
hand over this heavy responsibility to a not-for-profit
organization that would end up being a civilian agency?
Organizations like airport authorities are civilian in nature.
Transport Canada is a civilian organization. Why not have an
organization that is a little more like a police agency do the
supervision, not the work on the ground? It would act as what I
would call a tactical brain, able to keep abreast of all the newest
techniques used by terrorists. Why lean more toward a civil, not-
for-profit agency, rather than toward a more police-type agency?
Mr. Louis Turpen: Thank you.
Let me go back to two things. First, I think I said
at the beginning of my remarks that I was offering an
opinion that in great measure one could pursue it, if
that is the government's policy and wish, in the manner
you have suggested. Having said that, I offered my own
views on why I think the integration of the policing
function is another way to do it.
One of the problems that has occurred in the United
States is this breakdown of communication within the
government between the FBI, the CIA, and other law
enforcement agencies. I'm not in a position to speak
to that portion. In my view, that interaction should
always be taking place. In that way, I think anyone
who would suggest that there is a compartmentalization
within the government between CSIS, the RCMP, and
Transport is suggesting that they're not effecting the
proper communication, and that's an entirely different
The Chair: Okay, Mario, one more question.
Mr. Mario Laframboise: You say that the airline companies, by
their very nature, should not take care of some security services.
What organization would be asked to do what they currently do, in
Mr. Louis Turpen: In the United States I witnessed
a significant debate on who should do security, and I
believe that debate was inappropriate. In the U.S.
they became so focused on who should do it that they
lost sight in some ways of what should be done.
It is my view that we need to set the policies in
place and the mandates on what needs to be done, and in
great measure I can see a number of vehicles that could
deliver that product—with the exception of one.
I don't intend my moments to be negative to the
airlines; it is simply a fact of life that commercial
interests have historically overridden security
interests, and the airlines have demonstrated over a
number of years that when these two issues come into
conflict there is a problem.
I therefore do not believe you can ask the airlines
to, in effect, pay for and continue to provide a
security system and at the same time recognize
shareholder value and a bottom line. I think that
needs to be withdrawn into a more objective platform.
As I said, I can see a number of vehicles that could
deliver the result the government would want.
The Chair: I'll move to Mr. Comuzzi now; I think
you're out of time. I'll come back to you later on.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I
apologize, because I'm going to have to leave after
this—no reflection, Mr. Chair, but I really try to
make travel arrangements so I don't have to go through
the Toronto airport. Hopefully it'll better itself in
the foreseeable future, and it's not your fault.
Mr. Louis Turpen: Thank you very much.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: I agree with you; I completely
agree that the security issue has to be taken away from
the airlines. I don't even know if it's worth talking
about; it's a given.
We divested ourselves of airports some years ago, and
I think basically they've been running very well—much
better than the way they used to be run. But you also
have an umbrella organization where all of the airport
managers in the country get together on a regular
basis. I don't know what you call it, but I would
assume you have that organization. Is it the
Mr. Louis Turpen: That is correct.
It's Airports Council
International North America, which comprises all North
American airports. Within that umbrella is the
Canadian Airports Council, which focuses on primarily
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: I don't know what the mandate of
the Canadian Air...and that's the organization I want
to talk about in a question to
you. If you could maintain a consistent standard of
security across this country, wouldn't that be the role
and the function of the Canadian Airports Council, in
conjunction with each one of its members who operate
local authorities? Isn't that the vehicle to use?
Mr. Louis Turpen: No, in my opinion.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: No? Tell my why.
Mr. Louis Turpen: The Canadian Airports Council is
a loose association of airports, which might get
together on a subject if they generally agreed. It
quite frankly parallels—although it is more
embryonic—ATAC, or the Air Transport Association in
the United States. It is effectively a trade
organization. It exchanges information and, quite
frankly, takes positions on matters that are important
to the group as a body.
There are significant—as I've come to
appreciate—regional differences within our country,
and I think each of us as airports have our own
regional concerns. So I don't see the Canadian
Airports Council as being the vehicle. As a matter of
fact, the more I've followed the committee's
activities, the more I'm becoming enamoured with this
concept of an objective third party that would ensure
security—and that includes the airports.
The airports have a significant piece of security that
has not come under scrutiny, simply because the
activities of September 11 were directed at pre-flight
screening. Perimeter security is a huge, huge
responsibility. I am advocating that it should also
be folded under this larger umbrella and that there
should be an objective third party that ensures the
standards are met, that along with the federal
government audits those operations.
response to your question, sir, I'd—
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: Would that be the common opinion
of most airport authorities in the country—what you
Mr. Louis Turpen: I'm aware of the testimony of
other airport proprietors, and I guess there are as
many views as there are proprietors. There is some
sympathy for an airport assumption of this
responsibility, and clearly, if something needed to be
done quickly, it could be done on a geographic basis,
because the infrastructure is there.
But I don't believe expanding the role of what is a
trade organization into an operational role with a
primary security responsibility on a national basis
within the country is necessarily the appropriate
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: Okay, let's take your model. Are
you satisfied there is something that could be
developed through that organization insofar as
consistency of security measures across the country is
Mr. Louis Turpen: Absolutely.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: And those other questions that
you're asking—about central access requirements,
perimeter safety, an asset list of all of our security
devices, and so on.... It's something like what they
use when they have forest fires: they have that; they
assemble where they have a problem—that principle.
Mr. Louis Turpen: Yes.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: Are you satisfied that would be
workable, as long as you brought in whatever security
was going to be involved—in conjunction with
discussions with CSIS and the RCMP, who would be
obviously very important to the process?
Mr. Louis Turpen: No, my view is they could be ex
officio members of the board. As a matter of fact,
they could sit on the board.
The concept is this, in a simple way. Assume there's
a national security company—not for profit,
non-share—and let's assume it had participation on the
board, which I know this committee has discussed, with
airports, airlines, government. This committee
would be charged, for example, with ensuring that the
best technology was in place at our airports; ensuring
that the standards of training for the people operating
that technology were in place; ensuring that there was
an internal mechanism of audit to complement the
federal government's responsibilities for audit—to
make recommendations to the federal government on
legislative improvements to enhance security, to
specify standards for a national airport employee ID
card, to require that those persons receiving the card
receive the appropriate background checks through their
colleagues in the appropriate arms of the government.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: Make sure that everyone who
goes near an airplane is scrutinized. Is that it?
Mr. Louis Turpen: That is correct.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: It's fundamental.
Mr. Louis Turpen: We talk about pre-flight
screening and say, “Gee, we need to
worry about passengers.” But you need to worry about
employees; you need to worry about cargo; you need to
worry about service deliveries; you need to worry about
companies changing tires on airplanes. There is a
whole gamut of activity that occurs, and right now a
not uncommon situation is that it has been fractured,
and it needs to be restored and integrated. The synergies
that accompany that, I think, are obvious.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: Thank you. I appreciate your
candour on that.
I have just one other question. You're the largest
airport in the country and you're into a huge
expansion, which I'm sure is worrisome to you folks
because you don't know what kind of facility you should
have to meet the needs of the airline industry, number
one—whatever the airline industry is going to be in
the future. I don't know what it's going to be in
Canada; I don't think anybody does.
But secondly, you're sitting there with a proposed
tenant that I'm not sure is going to pay the rent, to
be quite truthful with you. I'm sure you're in a
certain amount of dilemma. But that's a subject for
Mr. Louis Turpen: It's a very good question. I'd
be delighted to respond in some measure, if you wish.
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: Sure. But how do we know what
kind of security system we should be putting in place
for whatever the airline business is going to be in the
future? If we had done this a month ago, we would have
been looking at Canada 3000. Who knows what the hell's
next down the line? What are we doing?
Mr. Louis Turpen: I understand the question and I
appreciate the opportunity to comment on it.
Airline security is unrelated to the colour of the
airplane that serves the airport. We're talking about
preventing unauthorized access into the secure area of
the airport. Whether it be XYZ airline or ABC airline,
the fact that there are airplanes on the ground—and
this interchange of activity—is what we need to monitor
and set standards for.
In the design of the new terminal in Toronto we went
to extreme lengths, three and four years ago, to
anticipate what might be issues for the future—in any
number of ways: customer service, environmental, and
security. I'm delighted to say that some of the new
requirements were anticipated.
With regard to the future of the industry, Toronto is
one of a handful of unique airports in North America in
that it is a terminus airport. By that I mean that 75%
of our passengers are either arriving in or departing
from the greater Toronto area. That market is there.
There will always be a requirement to satisfy that
market. And where there's a market, there is always an
The situation in Denver is much more critical, because
60% to 70% of the persons who use the Denver airport aren't
really going to Denver. They are simply there to
facilitate an airline hubbing strategy. So in a place
such as Denver, a loss of United Airlines, for example,
could have a catastrophic effect on the number of
passengers who would use the airport.
San Francisco, Los Angeles, JFK, Miami, and Toronto
are the major terminus airports in North America. In
Toronto, because we are a terminus airport, we have a
degree of insulation against that variability. It has
been demonstrated historically that as long as there's
a demand for air travel, someone will respond to that
Mr. Joe Comuzzi: That's very
reassuring. Thank you very much for that information.
Excuse me, Mr. Chairman. I have to bypass Toronto's
Some hon. members: Oh, oh!
The Chair: Mr. Szabo.
Mr. Paul Szabo: Thank you, Mr. Turpen, for your
input. I appreciated the hospitality in showing us the
very impressive security infrastructure and the personnel
at Pearson. It's a big responsibility. It was helpful
for us to get an idea of the dimension of the work you
do. It's not just operating a business for shops and
dealing with airline gate applications and a whole
bunch of other multifaceted responsibilities.
I understand you're basically saying that we have to
have an umbrella organization whose responsibility,
business, and raison d'être is security, with no conflicts
or distractions and with full authority to do the job to the
standards necessary in order to satisfy all of the
criteria that are set.
Looking forward, it appears that checking 100% of the
baggage and 100% of the people and treating everybody
as equal will be uneconomical and will probably not be
achievable realistically in the short term, maybe not
even in the medium term.
On top of that the people in Washington left us with
the impression that two things are really important:
screening and intelligence. We think the intelligence
part is pretty important, because we need to assess
risk and focus on our target. The best way to ensure
that there is cooperation not only domestically with
government agencies such as CSIS, the RCMP, Transport
Canada, and Defence is to break down the silo mentality
and say it's important that we have a common database,
that we identify risks and we target, and that we
allocate resources and say we can smart-card, etc.,
creating a vision of what real security looks like down
the road. If that's where we want to be, is it
something we should shoot for now or do you think we
should have an interim plan for the short term while we
work out the details? Or should we say, what we really
have to do is set up the structure and the vision that
this is the plan and the way we want to go so that
we're going to be a model down the road and others may
very well emulate us?
If you're going to do that, how much of the airport
authority's responsibilities in security and safety
could be shifted to permit that agency
to be able to utilize that information? It's
very unlikely that anybody is going to want to pass
national security information to
a public body.
Mr. Louis Turpen: I find no need to have access to
that information. What I need is a clear set of
guidelines that are developed on a rational basis and
predicated upon threat assessment. And if, to use an
example, the Government of Canada determines that we
should do 200% bag screening, then clearly, in my
vision, this national security corporation would
implement that and airports would work to do so. I
personally have no need to have anyone explain to me
why this is important from a national perspective. So
if we look at this, I think your point is extremely
From an airport proprietor perspective, we have the
infrastructure in place to support such an effort. For
example, we can issue the badges I talked about. We
can certainly advise the registry of what we have in
place. And lastly, we can transfer perimeter
responsibility to the new organization, or the new
organization could contract with the airport authority
to provide that on their behalf according to the
standards they set. I think that's the key. The
key is this has to flow from a central, top-down
approach and be implemented on a consistent basis
across the country.
I know this committee probably has experienced this as
well. I don't know how many letters I get from people
every day saying, I was in Vancouver and they did
this, and, I was in Toronto and they did this, and,
I was in Winnipeg and they did this. Frankly,
that certainly undermines public confidence in what
we're doing when there's that variability.
So to respond to your point, there's nothing to stop
us from making a transfer. There's nothing to stop us
from acting in a support role; that is clearly our
obligation. And lastly, from the standpoint of a
private body, such as the Greater Toronto Airport
Authority, having access to information that might
be developed in terms of threat assessment, there's
absolutely no need for us to have it. What we need is
the conclusions of that manifested in actions that have
to be taken in a geographic arena.
Mr. Paul Szabo: I'd like to have your input on two
The first has to do with screening, the current
employee base for screening, and the contracting of
employees through various agencies. This is a very
important part of the whole security effort.
It appears that the United States has elevated that
responsibility, and positioning, and training, etc., to a
level whereby the compensation may virtually be double
what it is today. They also require that these new
screeners be citizens, etc. Do you believe the
current employee base in screening can be utilized or
brought up to grade to fulfill the future requirements
Mr. Louis Turpen: I believe the Canadian
pre-flight screening system was superior to that which
was in place in the United States pre-September 11. I
believe the answer to your question is, yes, and
for the following reason. When—and I'll use a
specific example—the Greater Toronto Airport Authority
assumed responsibility for the largest airport in
Canada, it also assumed responsibility for all of the
employees who were at that airport. There certainly
was a lot of discussion surrounding the ability of
“government employees” to make the transition to a
“private sector environment”. Virtually all of them
did, but some didn't.
To respond to your earlier question, which I apologize
for not having answered more directly, I think the time
to do it is now. We should not back into it. We
should not sidestep it, because my experience has been
that with time, resolve evaporates, and all of a sudden
we start to lose focus because other issues clearly
command the attention of all of us.
Therefore, it is
my view that the contracts could be absorbed and the
standards set, and those employees who were capable of
meeting new standards should be retained and those
employees, quite frankly, who could not meet the
standards should not be retained. But that's no
different from any other aspect of what we're doing.
Mr. Paul Szabo: The last issue I want to discuss
is that the FAA appears, from what we've heard, to have
been significantly discredited in the assessment
post-September 11. In fact, new legislation cuts
them out of the loop. Has Transport Canada, being the
body that was, or still is, providing standards and
guidelines, been tainted at all by the performance
levels that have been identified through security
audit, etc.? And given whatever your answer would be,
can the role of this umbrella agency meet its optimal
potential under Transport Canada, either as a branch or
somehow under that umbrella of Transport Canada, or is
there some impairment there that would suggest that we
can enhance our potential for being successful by
creating this as a stand-alone, whether it be a Nav
some other stand-alone model?
Mr. Louis Turpen: First of all, I don't believe
it should be within Transport Canada, for one
simple reason. I believe Transport Canada should be
the regulator. In terms of them being both the regulator and the
doer, I've typically not been an advocate of that type
I believe Transport Canada should be the auditor.
Transport Canada should set the rules. Transport Canada
should interpret and collate the information the
federal government has in a meaningful way.
No, I don't believe Transport Canada has been tainted
at all by what's happened to the Federal Aviation
Administration. As a matter of fact, I think their
conduct on a personal basis throughout this has been
However, to say a word about the Federal Aviation
Administration, with which I have some fleeting
association, their failure was a collective failure of
government. There are an awful lot of things the FAA
attempted to do and were precluded from doing because
we either lacked the political will to do it or it
became politically unacceptable.
In the United States the problem pre-September 11 was
that the Air Transport Association and not the FAA
was the advisory body to the Congress of the United
States in great measure, and it was the dictates of the
Air Transport Association that carried the day.
That diluted in great measure what the FAA wanted to
do. I think the FAA has clearly and predictably taken
the fall for what was a collective failure on the part
of government to follow through after Pan Am 103 and
after TWA 800, and the Gore commission, and all of
Mr. Paul Szabo: I said there were only two, but I
really should ask you about one other. I know you have
a background in security. Other aspects of transport
are important—our ports, our trains, our trucks,
etc.—other modality issues. Do you have any opinion
as to whether or not what we're talking about
now, this agency, this umbrella, should have the
opportunity down the road to assume security
responsibilities with regard to other modes of
transport, or should we in fact keep our focus
on airlines and deal with that exclusively?
Mr. Louis Turpen: Certainly for starters, because
I think clearly that's where the vulnerability
exists.... Clearly that's a question for government, and I
could construct a model that would envision a broader
responsibility over time, and one that might, from a
national perspective, make sense particularly with
respect to setting standards and maintaining levels.
In a similar vein, we don't want to start to distract
this effort by deflecting the attention away from
security, and so this would have to be carefully
considered I think by this committee and by the
government as to exactly what elements of a larger
scope might be incorporated under this umbrella.
Mr. Paul Szabo: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
The Chair: Mario.
Mr. Mario Laframboise: I trust in your opinion. You said that
before the events of September 11, Canada perhaps had better
security than the United States. That is what you said. If US
security were at some point to become better than Canada's, could
that cause major problems in terms of future terrorist acts?
Mr. Louis Turpen: A number of our beliefs about
terrorist activity were challenged as a result of
September 11. One belief, which I think continues to
be sustained, is that weak targets are invitations.
Less security is an invitation. Having said that, I
personally cannot conceive of a situation where
Canadian and American aviation security would be
different. Obviously, because we're different
countries, there would be slight nuances, but I believe
the standards, the foundations, and the baseline would
be the same. I think that is a very remote
possibility, but having said that, I must say that it
has been proven again and again that weak targets
Mr. Mario Laframboise: In your experience, in the light of
what you see currently, if we were ahead of the Americans with
regard to security on September 11, how would you compare us right
now, before we adopt new measures?
Mr. Louis Turpen: My experience has been that they
are very similar. The issue has been and will always
be the political will to carry through to a conclusion.
In terms of what I'll call operational security, my
personal experience has been that they are both at very
high and very good levels today.
Mr. Mario Laframboise: But presently, the American will to
carry through to a conclusion is felt more strongly than the
Mr. Louis Turpen: I firmly believe that this
committee's deliberations and the deliberations of
government are extremely sound with respect to putting
this on a foundation for the future. I also believe
that this effort can actually leapfrog ahead of the
American effort. There are a number of factors that
are affecting the Americans' ability to move forward.
One is simply the matter of mass, the volume of
activity that has to be included and encompassed. As
we move forward, Canada enjoys an opportunity by virtue
of its structure and its institutions to more
aggressively complete this review and put into place a
permanent mechanism. I think that probably could be
done, if the government wishes, in advance of the
United States coming to a similar point, and it's
simply a function of size and activity.
Mr. Mario Laframboise: You should be in politics, you know.
The Liberal Party is not the only party in Canada. The Liberals
will not always be there.
The Chair: Mr. Harvey.
Mr. André Harvey (Chicoutimi—Le Fjord, Lib.): Thank you very
much, Mr. Chairman.
I too, like Paul five minutes ago, am very impressed by your
evidence, Mr. Turpen, because we spent some time thinking about all
of these problems last night. According to the comments that we
heard, the irrationality that the United States is showing in
dealing with this huge crisis should not prevent us from bringing
forward balanced solutions.
We need a balanced solution for it.
One of the American senior officials told us that, in the end,
we are dealing with a technical problem; he was talking about
screening. I believe that here, in Canada, we are beginning to have
the means to reach one hundred per cent in that regard.
He made another important point, which was that it is
essential to exchange and convey information, to set up networks
for this. As you know, the government is getting ready to be
able... In any event, with regard to information, Bill C-42 was
split so that we could try to quickly adopt the provisions that
would allow information to be transmitted to all agencies: the
RCMP, CIA, FBI, as well as European security agencies.
Are you favourable to this possibility, to this right provided
under legislation, that would allow information on airline
passengers to be transmitted more easily, without personal details
being given. In the United States, this is a technical problem, but
they are dealing with a very, very serious situation. There are
also political overtones in the United States. In Canada, we are
doing it partly to reassure our citizens, but there is the whole
I would like to know whether you are favourable to this
government initiative regarding transmission of information.
Mr. Louis Turpen: To clarify, this is with respect
to the passenger lists?
Mr. André Harvey: Yes.
Mr. Louis Turpen: And the technical problem is
with respect to the passenger lists as well?
Mr. André Harvey: There is a legislative problem because,
before the law was passed, it was impossible to transmit the
passenger list with details on the passport number, the seat
assigned, and so on. The airlines did not have the right to do
this. Now, the Americans are asking that we do this, and I am
convinced that all other countries will follow suit. Do you agree
with this measure?
Mr. Louis Turpen: I believe there are a number of
measures. As a matter of fact, I was told the other
day that within a week or two weeks of September 11,
the FAA had received 23,000 documents with
suggestions on how to move forward.
Mr. Paul Szabo: It was 30,000.
Mr. Louis Turpen: Right, 30,000.
I don't believe this is a technical problem. In the
early 1980s, in order to facilitate movement through
congested customs facilities in San Francisco, we were
receiving advance lists from airlines. That was done
in order to speed the customs process because the
facilities were inadequate. The technology has been
there and continues to be there. I think you have
correctly stated that this is more of a political
issue, an intergovernmental issue, and I think that's
ultimately where it will be resolved.
It does not surprise me that the Government of the
United States wants this information. If we are to
attack terrorism on a global basis, then clearly the
ability to identify the movement of persons who would
want to do harm to our society is critical. As always,
there is a delicate balance between sharing this
information and not sharing it, but in the current
circumstance, I would support the sharing of this
information because I believe the intent is a valid
Mr. André Harvey: Could you give us an idea, in percentages,
of the level of international standardization in security matters,
for example, at airports like Charles de Gaulle, Ben Gurion or
other major airports? Are you in contact with others, with a view
to standardizing security measures? Is this done under the
authority of the International Civil Aviation Organization?
Mr. Louis Turpen: Yes, there are ICAO
recommendations in this regard. Yes, we do talk to
other airports and look at other security mechanisms.
I will confine my comments at this point to my American
As an industry, collectively we have known what was
required since Pan Am 103. What we have not done
is had the political will to implement what was
required. So although in Hong Kong there was 100%
checked baggage screening for years, we opted to go to
a voluntary, computer-assisted passenger processing
system, the CAPPS system, which I know you are
Within our collective database, I think we have all
the tools we need to do our job. We simply need to
start to use those tools. Those tools have been drawn
from the Israelis, from Charles de Gaulle, from Hong
and airports that
clearly have approached this issue in a much more
serious way, in many cases because they were much
closer to the problem.
One of the tenets, one of the guiding principles that
was destroyed on September 11, was that resolve varied
with distance. This was viewed in America as a
primarily European and Middle Eastern problem, and I
think there was a view that the ocean could protect
American interests. That simply hasn't been sustained.
We know what to do; as an industry we know what's out
there. We now simply need to reach into the toolbox
and take those things that are appropriate and use
Mr. André Harvey: Thank you very much.
The Chair: Thank you very much. Good questions,
Mr. Marcel Proulx: Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you, Mr. Turpen, for taking the time to come to
Ottawa. Don't be insulted by comments from my
opposition colleague. He's insisting on something
being run by police, but I guess that's because he
wants to correct his bad judgment of yesterday for
voting against the anti-terrorism law because they
thought we were giving too much power to police
officers. But that happens.
Mr. Turpen, when we're talking of screening, I would
enjoy hearing you be a little bit more precise. This
has been bugging me since the start. Probably the
widest entrance door to terrorism is through this
screening process. We've been told by Transport Canada
that they have standards, and when they test the
employees, they find that there's an approximate 20%
rate of failure in what they tell us are sophisticated
tests. How do you think we could fix that?
You answered Mr. Szabo a little while ago on his
question. Can we keep the present employees, sort of
recycle them? How can we do this? What do we need to
do? Is it training? Is it better testing prior to
employment? What's your opinion on that, Mr. Turpen?
I find that it's a very important point, and probably
in all of our system, this is the weakest link.
Mr. Louis Turpen: Pre-flight screening is part of
the perimeter that I spoke of earlier. Historically,
we have had a single line of defence. That obligates
us to guarantee a high level of confidence that we can
detect any attempted breach, whether it be weapons or
personnel or whatever. In my view, the technology does
not exist today that will allow us the luxury of a
single line of defence. There certainly is a wish that
we have some magic solution and can have a machine that
would read your thoughts and do everything else.
Sadly, that's not here.
The levels you have quoted, if those levels are
achieved, are very good. The way to enhance,
the function, enhance
performance, is through redundancy, until such time as
technology can substitute for multiple checks. There
have been a lot of references to the Israeli system and
the El Al system. It is predicated upon
redundancy. The opportunity for multiple looks is one
that cannot be minimized.
As an example, here in Canada and in the United States
now, that process of multiple looks is in place. So we
increase our probability that at the end of the
journey, from the curb to the seat on the airplane, we have
raised the confidence level to one that allows us to
let the aircraft depart safely.
In answer to your question, at pre-flight I think
training is important. We continue to emphasize it, we
continue to test it, and we peak it at whatever level
it is. But that has to be supplemented with redundant
checks, which start at the ticket counter, at
pre-flight, at plane side, and if necessary, depending
on threat situations, can start at the front door of
the terminal building.
Interstitial checks can also be included. For
example, in the new terminal building in Toronto,
provision has been made to put screening devices in all
of the doors before you even get into the building,
which would allow the first check to occur as you enter
the building, the second check at the ticket counter,
the third check at pre-flight screening, the fourth
check at plane-side.
Hopefully, with the collective effort of technology
experts we can reduce it to a single point of contact,
but at this point—in response to your question—we
have to peak the pre-flight screening as we have
traditionally known it and supplement it with the
redundancy that will give us the confidence we want.
Mr. Marcel Proulx: How can we peak it, if I may
ask you? Are you saying it's strictly training, or is
it better screening—screening's not the right word—a
better choice of employees in their abilities or their
Mr. Louis Turpen: We once put police officers on
pre-flight screening points, and they didn't do very
well. If you leave somebody on long enough—over
hours, days, weeks, months. It's imperative to test, to
audit, to categorize the deficiencies, to train against
those deficiencies. If a deficiency, for example, is
due to too much time on the machine, you need to ensure
the rotations occur.
We talked earlier about police officers. One of the
things I advocate is having the police officer outside
the process, but an observer and a monitor and a kind
of on-site auditor of the process, as an independent
and available resource in the event of a problem at the
screening point, to make sure whatever processes and
procedures we put in place are implemented. To answer
your question, it isn't just training; it starts with
auditing. Let's find out why the system is breaking
down and then let's deal with it.
You could have the best people in the world, but if
they're on for 24 hours, I promise you they're going to
miss things. They can't be; I think that's one of the
keys. I don't buy the low-cost argument. I'm not
saying people shouldn't be paid more. What I'm saying
is it wasn't just low cost; it was low cost, long
hours. There was a view that it can't happen here that
permeated all of our thinking. I think that's what led
us to where we are.
Mr. Marcel Proulx: Thank you.
The Chair: Alex.
Mr. Alex Shepherd: I recall when we were down at
your airport. Your views have changed significantly,
I'd say, since then.
Mr. Louis Turpen: I'm sorry; did you say they
have or have not?
Mr. Alex Shepherd: I think your views about this
have changed significantly since then.
Mr. Louis Turpen: If that's a question, I'd have
to say no.
Mr. Alex Shepherd: No? I just didn't understand
you correctly at the time, is that it?
Mr. Louis Turpen: As I said, I've had the
opportunity to follow the testimony before the
committee and I think I've probably refined my views a
little bit. My initial reaction post-September 11 was
that it had to be taken away from the airlines, and the most
convenient place to put it the next day would have been
at an airport. I will also say—and I think I said on
that day and I am prepared to be corrected—that I
don't want the responsibility, but given a choice of
giving it to the airlines or giving it to the airport,
I'd take it.
Mr. Alex Shepherd: Okay. I heard you say that.
I'm trying to build up some kind of management chart,
mainly from your views and others, and I'm still
having a little difficulty where we get this...the National
Security Corp., or whatever it is, interfaces
with the Great Toronto Airport Authority.
I'm assuming you see within that connection that we're
delegating, or the authority, the security corporation,
is delegating to you, the power to hire and fire; the
overall concept of the security requirements detailed,
saying you must do X, Y, Z, and so forth. What other
relationships do you see there? If somebody's just
entered into a management contract—I guess I'm getting
right down to that—what do you see as the
responsibilities you would be empowered with?
Mr. Louis Turpen: I think the implementation can
take several forms. As you have correctly stated, one
might be a contract with the Greater Toronto Airport
Authority to provide the service on behalf of the
corporation, to a standard set by the corporation and
audited by the corporation and the federal government.
The corporation might very well contract directly with
“XYZ Security Firm”, for example, to provide these
services, as the airlines do today—another option.
A third option is the corporation may have its own
operational arm, which might operate at certain smaller
airports where it's not possible, maybe, to build the
mass to have a private company do it. Going back to my
toolbox analogy, I think there would be several
mechanisms available to the corporation.
In the case of Toronto, because of our size—the mass
of Pearson—a contract with the airport authority might
be a wholly appropriate way to do it. That doesn't
violate my unity-of-command principle, because then the
airport authority would have the entire perimeter. It
would have checked baggage; it would have pre-flight;
and it would have all of the access points. But I
don't believe the airport authority should have one of
those three and not all three. I don't believe anybody
should have one of the three and not all three. I
believe whatever vehicle is selected must take
responsibility for all of it.
Mr. Alex Shepherd: Moving up this chain of
command, one of the problems—and the reason why the
police have been thought of for being directly
involved—is your unity-of-command problem and some of
the things you've enunciated.
You mentioned CIA and FBI. Well, the RCMP and CSIS
also, we have discovered, don't really talk all that
well together. I don't know if you've thought your way
out as to how you could solve that problem. How does
National Security Corp. ensure that CSIS and the
RCMP are plugged in on that end of the equation and
that information is flowing through the system?
Mr. Louis Turpen: In response to an earlier
question, I emphasized auditing. I see several levels.
I see Security Corp. doing auditing; I see the
federal government doing auditing. Back to my point
about police officers and why I want to keep them
independent, I see them as another audit arm.
The key to this is eternal vigilance and audit on all
of the applicable points and then reaction and
response to it—whether it's an employee failure, a
training failure, an equipment failure, a philosophical
failure, a policy failure, or an intelligence failure.
But I think the intelligence activity has to take
place at the highest levels of the corporation. I am
not a fan of the need-to-know concept. I used to tell
them, “I don't want to know anything; don't tell me.”
Philosophically, that's why I'm here. I think at the
highest levels, CSIS, the RCMP, and those institutions
applicable to direct transport have to be involved. At
the highest levels, the rules have to come down based
on the intelligence available. There is no need to
disseminate that intelligence; there is only a need to
disseminate the response to the intelligence,
regardless of what it may be. We can draw any number
So at the operating level, what I'm saying is, I have
established a back channel—and I'm back to the police
discussion we had a few moments ago. If I'm the head
of Security Corp. and I give a directive that we are
going to look at all fingernail files, I have
independent verification not only through my own
auditing arm but through the federal government's
auditing arm and through the police presence that
those things are being done. More importantly, through
the police presence they clearly have a “need to
know” on an intelligence basis. We don't need to
weave that need to know into the fabric of the people
who are doing the screening and the hand checking and
Mr. Alex Shepherd: One thing we haven't touched on
is your national registry of assets. It's not clear to
me what you're suggesting there. Is Security
Corp. the owner and custodian of these assets? How
do you visualize things? Is there some kind of
rational sharing of them through the organization—if
Vancouver doesn't need a screening machine, it's moved
to Toronto? I'm not quite sure what you're getting at
Mr. Louis Turpen: In the late 1980s we didn't know
how many bomb dogs we had in the United States. It
occurred to me that maybe we ought to know that. If we
knew it, then we would have a resource—I think you
heard Secretary Mineta the other day say the dog
is only good for an hour; it's probably only 30
minutes. If we knew it, we could re-allocate those
canine teams based on the threat assessment the
government has specified.
Let's say there is a threat against Halifax, and
maybe Halifax has one canine team. We might ship
in five canine teams to deal with the specific concern.
If we had the Olympics, we would reallocate resources.
Those resources could belong to the security
corporation because they've purchased the X-ray
machines, etc.; they could belong to the local airport
authorities; they could belong to police organizations
in various places; or they could belong to the
military. It's not an ownership issue, it's knowing
where they are and the ability to move them from point
A to point B.
It doesn't necessarily have to be Security Corp.
that moves them. It can be simply a responsibility of
Security Corp. to know where they all are, and, in
response to a government directive, arrange for their
reallocation. Certainly, Security Corp. is not going
to tell the military of Canada to do something. But
Security Corp. will have all those assets available
to it. The government will know what's on the list,
but it would be a Security Corp. responsibility to
develop that asset database for use by the government,
by the RCMP, by the military, or by whoever might need
the appropriate resources.
Mr. Alex Shepherd: Can I have another question?
The Chair: Quickly.
Mr. Alex Shepherd: The final question would be
about the oversight capacity. People here are concerned
about what the oversight would be. Who would be
responsible? Who would we point the finger at when
things get screwed up?
How would you visualize that aspect? Would Security
Corp. report directly to Parliament somehow? How
would that mechanism work? Have you thought that out?
Mr. Louis Turpen: Not really. But once again, I'm
back to the audit issue. We're a private,
not-for-profit corporation at the Greater Toronto
Airport Authority, but we are under regulatory control
of the Government of Canada in so many ways, not just
through Transport Canada as our landlord. I think
similar mechanisms could be in place.
We're subject to audit and periodic reviews. I think
that's something that can be accomplished to the
satisfaction, I think, of the government, the
committee, and Parliament, that they will have access
to the information they need and confidence that the
vehicle they created is carrying out their mandates.
Mr. Alex Shepherd: I guess the feeling is that
people would like an accountability that was actually
plugged right into the parliamentary system, that
somebody—a minister or whoever—could stand up and
say, “Why is there a screw-up in the Toronto
Airport?”, and “You're responsible”.
Mr. Louis Turpen: Well, I think there are two
things. I am sure the minister gets some of those
letters, and I get some of those letters as well.
Clearly, within government, I wouldn't see the head of
Security Corp. necessarily being a part of the
government at all. I would see this as a Transport
responsibility with respect to ensuring the standards
put forth by the government were there, and Transport
would have to answer to Parliament.
To the extent that Security Corp. functioned or
didn't function, there are some obviously very severe
responsibilities involved, and I'm sure that could
be constructed. I just haven't, as you have correctly
said, really given it a lot of thought.
The Chair: Mr. Szabo, last question.
Mr. Paul Szabo: Okay.
There's the issue of cost—how much it's going to cost
to do this. The U.S. has decided they're going to have
a ticket levy. I think it's $2.50 for one leg, up to
$5 for a round trip. Do you have any opinion on
whether or not there should be a ticket levy, given all
the other things we charge to passengers, and what it's
going to do to passenger confidence and satisfaction?
Do you think the airlines should pick up any more than
their current financial responsibilities, or should
they be less? I presume whatever isn't picked up would
be left to the federal government.
What's the responsible, the right, thing to do? What's
compatible with our overall strategy toward enhancing
safety and security?
Mr. Louis Turpen: That's a great question. I was
actually asked that question a few weeks ago, and my
answer was that at the end of the day, the people pay.
Whether it be through higher taxes, through surcharges,
or whatever, the Canadian people will somehow or other
absorb the cost of this.
However, I'm not convinced a ticket surcharge is
necessarily the right way to go. I believe this is a
more global problem. The attack was against the United
States of America. The vehicle was the airline
industry, but that doesn't mean the next vehicle can't
be something else.
There are implications to that statement with respect
to budgets and federal funding, but I think if we paint
this concept as an overriding umbrella that is really
directed toward national security issues, and if we
talk about possibly expanding the role at some point in
the future, I don't know that a user-charge system is
necessarily the best vehicle to get us there. It's
certainly possible. They're doing it in the States.
They do it elsewhere. But I think if we look at this
as a national issue and if the federal government is
setting the standards and defining what needs to be
done, then the federal government also needs to
address the cost issue.
To your point, and I think it's a valid one, I do not
believe the airlines should be able to turn over
security to the federal government and keep the money.
I'll say the same thing for the Greater Toronto Airport
Authority. We spend money on perimeter security, and
if the federal government, through whatever vehicle,
takes responsibility, I think that needs to be
recognized as well. Having said that, I think when you
wash it all through, it'll be the Canadian people at
the end of the day.
Mr. Paul Szabo: I tend to agree. We want the
passenger public to look at this objectively and feel
it's fair and reasonable and we're doing good work, but
I would have some fear of them being distracted by a
$2.50 or $5 charge, or something like that. It's
not big bucks, but it's an annoyance, a nuisance, and
it adds another thing on the table that they may have
to look at or consider. I would rather they looked at
the system and said, “Boy, they're doing a better job
for us than I remember them doing, and I feel better.”
Mr. Louis Turpen: I have a concern.
I don't know where the federal government might derive
the revenue to fund this issue. It might be from a
ticket tax. It might be from some contribution from
the airlines by virtue of the fact that they don't have
But back to the point of control—which I think was
raised a few moments ago—the best control is budget.
If the federal government is going to stipulate
standards, then the federal government needs to
understand what the cost of that mandate is. The best
way to understand that is by having the cost of that
mandate specified in a budget, which I believe—however
the federal government decides to deal with that—is
probably the best way to do it, because I think it
clearly sets forth for the government what the costs
and implications of the government policies are.
One of the problems we've had historically is there
have been a lot of unfunded mandates in the United
States. They said to go out and do 100% bag screening,
but there was no money to do it so it kind of fell by
the wayside. In order to avoid that, the government
always has the right to put on a ticket tax or
something else, but I think if we start that way, we're
implying that's the amount of money Security
Corp. has to do the job that needs to be done,
but I think the amount of money they need is what the
mandate of the federal government is.
Mr. Paul Szabo: Good.
The Chair: I have one quick question, and then I'll
let you go.
In the United States the airlines tell us they had
these people's names in the system, but the federal
government didn't ask. How will your system pick this
up? These guys were in the system and the airlines
knew, but they didn't share the information.
Mr. Louis Turpen: That one mystifies me a little
bit. I'm sorry. I'm not able to really respond to
Are you saying the airline said they knew they had
these people's names in the—
The Chair: These people were in the system, but
Mr. Louis Turpen: Oh, you mean they were in the
federal system and it wasn't shared with the airlines?
The Chair: I think it was the other way around.
The airlines had it.
Mr. Louis Turpen: With respect then, why didn't
they do something about it? You know, if they showed
up on the passenger manifest and they were concerned
about them.... I'm very sorry, Mr. Chairman, I've heard a
similar thing, but I'm afraid I'm not qualified to
The Chair: I thought I heard that when I was in
Washington, but maybe it needs to be ferreted out.
Because if they didn't know, and somehow the
information.... But these things happen when you look
through the rearview mirror, I guess.
Thank you very much. You did well
Mr. Louis Turpen: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The Chair: We're going to adjourn until 3.30 p.m.