Fingerprinting at Airports in Canadagreenspun.com : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread
Our neighbors to the north are going to implenment the bio tech first. It's for your safety;)....guess I won't be going to Toronto next spring!
Thursday, October 11, 2001
MONTREAL (CP) - Travellers at Canadian airports and border points will soon be running a $91-million gauntlet of high-tech security gadgetry that can scan fingerprints and pinpoint a bomb in a piece of luggage. Ottawa is spending the money to bolster security at ports, border crossings and airports in the wake of last month's devastating terror attacks against the United States, said Transport Minister David Collenette.
Collenette made the announcement twice Thursday during visits to airports in Montreal and Toronto with Solicitor General Lawrence MacAulay and Revenue Minister Martin Cauchon.
On both occasions, he urged Canadians to get back on planes in order to deny triumph to terrorists.
"We want people to fly to show the terrorists we will not give in to the terrorists; we will not be cowed," Collenette said in Toronto.
"Air travel in Canada is safe, and we're committed to keeping it that way."
The $91-million package includes $8 million for some 65 fingerprint scanners to be set up at high-risk border crossings and airports in an effort to better detect criminals and terrorists, MacAulay said.
The scanners would work in tandem with forthcoming federal legislation that would allow customs officials to examine a list of incoming passengers in an effort to identify potential risks.
Suspect passengers would then be fingerprinted and the data cross-checked with fingerprints on file with the RCMP's databank in Ottawa and others operated by international agencies, including the FBI.
MacAulay reacted angrily when asked about the potential for such a system to violate a traveller's civil liberties or constitutional rights.
"What I want to be able to do, what your government wants to see happen . . . is to make sure we provide the safest climate possible," he said.
"What this does is make sure that any individual whose fingerprint is on file with the RCMP and the FBI is able to be arrested on the spot, and they should be."
In Montreal, Collenette said the government would balance its desire to protect passengers with their right to move freely.
"The bottom line for us is that we live in a free, civil society," he said. "We want to keep it that way, but there will be obviously some more intrusions to ensure that security is enhanced and I think the public will support that."
Passengers without a criminal record likely wouldn't show up in any law-enforcement database, MacAulay acknowledged. "We don't have the fingerprint of everybody in the world."
Another $55.7 million is being spent on advanced bomb-detection systems designed to locate explosives in carry-on bags and in checked baggage, which is inspected less often by customs officials.
Collenette acknowledged that policies vary on how closely checked baggage is inspected by various airlines, and said the new equipment will ensure "more comprehensive examination" of all baggage.
The measures will come from the $250 million that Ottawa said earlier this week it will spend to improve security at borders, ports and airports.
Collenette went to great pains to point out that the improvements will enhance rather than repair a border security system that's already considered one of the best in the world.
"Canada has always had an enviable record for transportation safety and security," he said. "We're among the very best worldwide, and we're committed to improving on that record."
Airport security has come under close scrutiny in the weeks since hijackers commandeered four U.S. airliners Sept. 11 in one of the most devastating terrorist attacks in modern history.
Three of the planes found their mark, destroying the 110-storey twin towers of New York's World Trade Center and carving a massive hole in the Pentagon outside Washington. More than 5,000 people perished in the carnage.
As the politicians spoke Thursday, several armed guards - a routine consequence of the Sept. 11 attacks - patrolled Dorval airport and police and tactical squad officers roamed Pearson International Airport's sprawling corridors. A handful of passengers and flight crew members gathered to listen.
None of the hijackers would have been identified in a fingerprint scan, nor did any of them have explosives aboard the jets. But the government's new safety measures are still vital, Collenette said.
"The people who perpetrated the crime in the United States all appear to have been legally in the U.S., and went through U.S. airport security systems," he said. "They did not go through Canadian systems."
Ottawa will also allocate $12 million to Canada Customs and Transport Canada to meet staffing requirements. About 30 customs inspectors and 27 security inspectors will be hired as part of a plan to beef up personnel levels by 300 additional employees.
The measures also include additional airport security inspectors, better technology links between front-line inspectors and law enforcement and additional customs officers at seaports and airports.
In Montreal, Collenette said the purchases should eliminate the need for armed air marshals aboard Canadian planes.
"The focus for us has been to make airports more secure so you won't need the introduction of firearms on to planes," he said at Dorval airport. Ottawa is in discussions with U.S. transport authorities about marshals, which have been in use in the U.S. for several weeks.
On Friday, the government is expected to reveal changes to immigrant identification cards, which are currently easily forged. MacAulay said an announcement on the RCMP will also come Friday in Regina.
© Copyright 2001 The Canadian Press
-- Doreen (email@example.com), October 12, 2001
Even though I am not a terrorist, I don't think I'll be traveling up to Canada anytime soon.
They really need to get themselves a Constitution (here, we have a copy you can use as a model), and come to the realization that a government CANNOT PROTECT YOU FROM ANYBODY; every person is responsible for protecting themselves from others wishing to do them harm. Thanks for the opportunity to rant, and thank you Doreen for posting these articles.
-- j.r. guerra (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 12, 2001.
I like the idea of fingerprinting all foreigners who are given a visa to enter the USA. Since the INS cannot seem to control its' own department, with an estimate of 30 million illegal aliens here on the mainland, if a visa were expired, then the person could be found if they traveled by air and deported. I do not understand why foreign nationals are entitled to protection under our constitution. They are not citizens. Here's a tidbit for you: Last Winter when I worked at the local county jail here in AL, I was rather stunned to learn that out of 400 beds there were 225 for INS inmates. These are folks who are not citizens of America, have been found guilty of a felony and incarcerated INDEFINETLY. There was one fellow from Guiana who had sold drugs eight years ago and was given a three year sentence..he is still there and is told by the INS that they can hold him ad infinitum. I heard on the news this Spring that congress has overturned that ability and now the INS cannot hold alien felons indefinetly because it "violates the constitution". Hello? Since when does our constitution protect foreign felons/terrorists/illegal aliens, etc.? I hold that the constitutional rights given to our citizens should not apply to those groups. So what's wrong with jumping on THEM with fingerprinting, wiretapping, etc.? Can't wait to see where all of those nice felons will go since their own countries will not take them back.
-- lesley (email@example.com), October 12, 2001.
J. R. Guerra -- Speaking as a Canadian: we do have a constitution. Look up "The Canadian Constition Act 1867" in any web browser and you can find it. We also have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982).
What we don't have is the right to bear Ouzi's, the right to kill anything that walks across our path, or the right to tell someone they don't belong here because of race, color, creed, religion, or sex. The gun issue is especially annoying, as some American folks seem to think we aren't allowed to own a gun up here -- wrong. We can own guns, we just don't have the RIGHT to -- it's considered a privilege -- like having a driver's licence.
It's a personal pet peeve of mine that there seems to be an attitude about Canadians by some American people that think we're a bunch of uncultured, rightless hicks living in squalor in the forest (or worse, in igloos!). Or worse, that we're socialist commies who have given away our rights for free health care. You couldn't be more wrong.
Personally, I don't mind being fingerprinted at the airport if it means I'm not going to be forced to crash to make a point for a group of psychotics half a world away. If my children were getting on a plane, it would be nice to know that there wasn't a known terrorist getting on with us. I'm sure a couple of mothers who lost their children on 9/11 would agree with me.
If you're going to say something about Canada -- especially something like how we ought to be more like the U.S. -- at least be sure of what you're talking about. I, for one, would not hesitate to fly to Toronto this year or any other. I might think twice about flying to New York, though.
-- Tracy (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 12, 2001.
Wow Tracy. I wasn't slamming Canada, but I disagree with you and Lesley both. I don't think people ought to be treated like criminals and fingerprinted and put into international databases, and tracked like rats just to make someone FEEL safer. No way can any amount of big brotherness change the FACT that life is a fatal condition and it is not safe by any means.
Also I think that fingerprinting folks from other countries here is just a false sense of security. Plus, what if they desire to become citizens? They are permanently entered into a database that NO MATTER what anyone says has no choice but to become part and parcel of a global dictatorship.
On that happy note, Good night all!
-- Doreen (email@example.com), October 13, 2001.
Doreen -- Sorry -- I understand that. I appreciate the ARTICLE -- it's very enlighting. I've never been one to ignore the fact that any opinion has another side.
It was the comment about Canada needing a constitution that got me riled.
-- Tracy (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 13, 2001.
So, if you do not agree with the idea of fingerprinting foreigners who enter the USA on a temporary visa, what are your suggestions for keeping track of these folks? The INS admitted that there are MILLIONS of folks here whose visas have expired and they have no clue where they are. Considering that there are thousands of folks who hate the USA, how should the government respond to this problem? I was very concerned to hear on the news that a man from Eygpt had entered this country on a visa in the 1980s, disappeared into thin air, and then was noted to be driving a taxi in Boston. He finally exited and was killed while taking part in a terrorist action on Lebanon. Lets hear reasonable suggestions to resolve this issue of illegal aliens. I have a major problem with our government apparently allowing so many folks in on visas that they cannot keep a handle on where they all are.
-- lesley (email@example.com), October 13, 2001.
Q:So, if you do not agree with the idea of fingerprinting foreigners who enter the USA on a temporary visa, what are your suggestions for keeping track of these folks?
A: First of all, our immigration policies have created this problem. I would say that it gets drastically cut back as to who may stay in the country for "x" amount of time and if you came to work, where are you working??? You should be treated like a person on parole, where you must check in at specified times and if you don't you are likely to be placed under arrest and deported immediately.
Q: The INS admitted that there are MILLIONS of folks here whose visas have expired and they have no clue where they are. Considering that there are thousands of folks who hate the USA, how should the government respond to this problem?
A: I already addressed what I thought of this in that other thread where I said everyone just needs to go to their home now. Bye Bye...come on back in 3 or 6 months and we will see if you can stay. However, Diane pointed out that we are more in love with our economy than our freedom and she was very correct. if we cared abbout our freedom, that's what we would do. Actually, if we cared about our freedom we wouldn't even be having this discussion!!;}.
As to the man that disappeared here, well, if we were more careful as to whom was GRANTED a visa these incidents would be exceedingly rare.
Anyway, I believe all of our freedoms are over. You can sure see it rolling down the road. If we don't want to do the biometrics, and let the FBI monitor everything on the web with even more invasive technology than they have already, we are going to be outcasts. So that's what I am focusing on...what to do afterwards in a complete police state.
Have any of you considered that this anthrax in the mails stuff can easily destroy the economy??? People developing a new syndrome which causes them to be incapable of opening an envelope as they are frozen with fear...lol. This would make it really easy to try to get folks to do all their bill paying on line, ergo, helping to eliminate cash. Making it tough for those of us who try to keep some privacy and don't have bank accounts. Also it would eliminate the one form of communication that isn't easily surveilled. Just a paranoid thought.:grin:
-- Doreen (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 13, 2001.
Doreen......you are bad, really bad!!!! ;>)
-- diane (email@example.com), October 13, 2001.
Nah-I'm just written that way!.>;}-
-- Doreen (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 14, 2001.
I am a travel agent. If Canada is going to be finger printing and not allowing convicted felons, then should not we in the travel field inform the travelling public that if they have a criminal record, don't go to Canada? The airlines should also? All the times I flew into Canada, nobody ever asked me if I was convicted of a crime. Why?
-- Cindy Arbogast Royer (email@example.com), February 13, 2003.
That may be the answer to a lot of U.S.citzens problems who want to move to Canada but don't meet the requirements. Fly there ,than commit a felony while there. Than they won't let the person fly back.
Just one of those loop holes in the law.
-- Steve (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 14, 2003.
Had any of you folks lived in totalitarian state ...?
-- asad (email@example.com), May 31, 2003.