Playing Loose and Easy with Canadian Sovereignty

I notice the somewhat Bizarre dance ritual  around what legislation to support and what to give a pass to continues in the House of Commons.

The Liberals and the Bloc got together to support a bill put forward by Conservative House Leader John Baird which would force airlines to provide passenger information to the United States when a Canadian aircraft passes over American airspace, even if there is no intention to land. The NDP voted  against the bill.

So, when it passes through the senate, where there is no chance of it being defeated, and becomes law, passenger manifests will have to be provided to the US 72 hours before departure.

Canadians will be subject to American law on their own national airline even if they never set foot on American soil. On a majority of flights leaving Vancouver for Toronto, for example, that private info will have to be handed over so American Homeland Security authorities can cross check it against their notorious no-fly list. Most of those flights travel through US airspace on the way east.

When the bill was introduced the Liberals whose turn it must have been to keep the government in power said what the bill was first introduced, "Canadian Sovereignty has gone right out the window." I wonder what happened to that principled position.


  1. The way I read it, flights that originate in Canada and cross into U.S. airspace on the way to another Canadian city are exempt.

    However, the US can change the law without requiring any Canadian consultation. We are at their mercy

  2. I don't see how this is an infringement on Canadian sovereignty. US airspace is, by definition, not part of Canada. So when our aircraft intrude into US airspace (for purely commercial reasons I might add -- to save travel time and fuel), I don't find it objectionable that we're required to provide passenger manifests. It actually makes me feel safer knowing passenger manifests will soon be screened by US Homeland Security, rather than by the incompetents at, say, CSIS or the RCMP. If someone on my plane is on the US no-fly list, I want that person identified and questioned.

  3. Dawood Hepplewhite, a Brit whose wife lives in Toronto was stranded there for several days when Air Transat refused to let him board because his name is on the US no fly list.
    He showed up at Toronto's Pearson Airport on Sunday with his family only to be told by an Airline official he couldn't board the aircraft. Hepplewhite says Air Canada and British Airways also refused to fly him to England on Monday.

    Civil liberties advocates said Wednesday the marooned Briton's plight highlights the dangers posed by continuing use of the U.S. no-fly list by airlines in Canada.

    Airlines that operate from Canada reject passengers whose names are on the U.S. blacklist. That's because many flights pass through American airspace or might be forced to land at a U.S. airport in the event of an emergency.

  4. I am no fan of the RCMP or CSIS but I am hardly ready to entertain the thought that US Homeland Security will do a better job.
    If you recall those are the guys who refused to let the late Senator Ted Kennedy fly for several days because an Edward Kennedy turned up on their lists.
    Just sayin...


Agree or disagree, I would love to hear from anyone who visits the site