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Opinion

Is it time to say ‘No!’ to ‘no-fly lists’?

By Phil Gurski       

When counterterrorism is done sloppily, it undermines everything else we do in that regard. It is already hard enough to sell these efforts to Canadians. This charade makes it harder.

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, pictured on Dec. 6, 2019, in the Commons foyer speaking with reporters after Question Period. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

OTTAWA—You have to pity Adam Ahmad, the 10-year-old boy who finds himself on Canada’s “no-fly list.” This counterterrorism tool, more informally called the ‘Passenger Protect Program’ under the Secure Air Travel Act, has been around since 2007 and seeks to prevent anyone from getting on a plane who intends to: engage, or attempt to engage, in an act that would threaten transportation security; or travel by air to commit certain terrorism offences, such as participating in or contributing to terrorist activities; or funding, training and/or recruiting for a terrorist group.

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