Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence

Issue 18 - Evidence (12:30 p.m. session) (in camera)


TORONTO, Monday, June 24, 2002

The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence met this day at 12:30 p.m. in camera to examine and report on the need for a national security policy for Canada.

Senator Colin Kenny (Chairman) in the Chair.

[English]

The Chairman: I should briefly introduce the members of the committee: Senator LaPierre, Senator Atkins of Ontario, Senator Wiebe of Saskatchewan, Senator Banks of Alberta, Deputy Chair Senator Forrestall, Senator Cordy from Nova Scotia, and Senator Day, and Senator Meighen had to be excused.

This is an official meeting of the Senate. This means you are appearing here in privilege. No one can take action against you for what you say here. The other side of the coin is that it is a criminal offence to mislead a Senate committee, so you have an obligation to tell us the truth. No one can come back at you after the fact and take any legal action against you of any sort. You have the same protection of — [inaudible].

We have received some information from you in advance, having been sent down to our clerk here. It gave us some sense of the issues that you want to talk about here. Our understanding is that you are appearing before us on the basis that you believe you are in a position to give us answers that would be in the public interest.

Who would like to start off? First, I need to know if you would introduce yourselves, tell me which union are you with, tell the committee that, and who you represent. Who would like to start with the introductions?

Witness 2: The first thing is I would like to apologize. I was not exactly sure what — I could have brought documents. The original seven bullets, I believe that I sent, were done at the last minute. Once we had gotten together, we have many more points to add to our list. If we go beyond what are you expecting today, I guess that is why we are here.

The first thing I would like to do is get everyone — I am sure you are all familiar with the politics and especially conditions that we face as employees working for the government, the role we play as first line of defence. We have first-hand experience and knowledge. We think it is pertinent to fully understand or appreciate where we are coming from.

I would like to cite a Treasury Board policy. In doing so, I think you will appreciate that whether or not we question the true intent of our government to not only have shortfalls made public but for the reason that they can be remedied, and the one Treasury Board policy on disclosure of wrongdoing in the workplace. In that policy is another section that makes reference to if there is an incident pertaining to public safety or security, Treasury Board employees have the right to make disclosure.

Not speaking for Employment and Immigration, but that employment does not apply to the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency. I sent a letter to Minister Caplan asking why, if you have such a standard in place to secure public safety and security, why would we not have the same conditions apply to us as agency employees if we are aware of a shortfall in our national security. The employer basically responded saying there are internal mechanisms in place which do address such shortfalls. We disagree.

We understand, and we can appreciate there is, in my opinion, a political agenda to cover one's back end rather than admit there are shortfalls in the service we provide.

This all focuses on intent of government to take care of the nation. A similarity or comparison is with the risk facing customs officers. This is not getting away from why we are here today but it helps you understand where the intent and the will is to take care of business. After comments were made in Parliament and to the media about risk at the border, which ties in directly with national risk or security, 147 officers started to compile a repository on incidents of assault, et cetera, that we face on the front line. The employer basically told us to cease this activity and to destroy any copy made or printed of that. We were compiling data, information, for the internal use basically so we could implement preventative measures to secure a first line of defence.

We were basically threatened, and we do not have this to work with now.

The Chairman: If I could just stop you there, when you say you were stopped, can you tell us who stopped you?

Witness 2: The direction came from a Rob Tate. We also have a further direction or threats, I personally from my director, Barbara Hébert.

The Chairman: Who is Rob Tate, please?

Witness 2: He is a director of business management window or something. I am not 100 per cent on his title. Which was followed through by my director of customs border services, Barbara Hébert. I exhausted the internal chain of command and went up to the members of the national occupational safety and health committee — that is a joint economy — as well as the commissioner of our agency. I say this because if the sole purpose of sharing this information which we have access to as peace officers in the line of duty — there should be no problem in sharing or consulting on this information to implement preventative measures. The same should apply, as I stated previously, with Treasury Board policy on wrongdoing in the workplace if there is any known security threat to our nation. If the internal mechanisms are not adequate, then why should we be stifled or not able to tell Parliament so they can act on it?

The Chairman: You were asked to destroy the records of attacks or assaults on customs officers, is what you are saying?

Witness 2: That is correct. It was a spreadsheet or a repository, and we were told to destroy that printed material.

The Chairman: Did you?

Witness 2: My counsel or my lawyers have that copy right now, so it exists.

The Chairman: It exists. It this something that you are grieving as well?

Witness 2: Right now, it is in the hands of legal services in Ottawa, where we have a couple of related complaints being submitted under the Staff Relations Act, but we are looking for the most effective legal case to pursue it, as with application to Part 2 of the Canada Labour Code.

Senator Banks: Rob Tate and Barbara Hébert, are they CCRA people?

Witness 2: Strictly Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.

The Chairman: Did you ask them why they did not want this information to better protect your fellow officers?

Witness 2: They cited section 107 of the Customs Act, saying that dissemination of such information would contravene the act.

The Chairman: What section?

Witness 2: Section 107. We have a position from one of the managers actually, because a similar document was brought up at a local meeting, who agrees that he could not see anything that would contravene section 107 of the act.

Senator Banks: Which act?

Witness 2: The Customs Act. We also have lawyers from a law firm that also failed to see the link. The employer basically stated they have a legal opinion from the Department of Justice, but they would not share that legal opinion with us. If they had a position to clarify any contravention, then obviously, you know, we should have been made aware of that and we would have complied totally.

The Chairman: What were the consequences if you kept the document?

Witness 2: I would be guessing. I would say insubordination at the least, and I could not put a limit on what they may do to someone like myself.

Again, trying to focus on the position we are in, that is why we are here today —

Senator Banks: Before we leave that subject, and I am sorry to keep bugging you about this, did they tell you this verbally or in writing?

Witness 2: I have it in writing.

Senator Banks: Would you send us a copy of that, please?

Witness 2: I can send you the file, yes.

One other point: I attended the national policy forum last November. John Manley spoke at that, and many dignitaries from the U.S. and the RCMP, a whole gamut of high-profile people. One of the questions I asked Mr. Manley is how does our government assess risk at the border. He is not in a position or was not in a position to, I guess, respond at that time. I did ask the same question to a Mr. Denis Lefebvre, the Assistant Commissioner for Customs and Trade, and again he did not have an answer when we met last September 25, I believe.

Now, my concern, again, and as I said to the policy forum, if you are going to tailor your questions around a certain area, you have to know the environment, and at that time, if we do not know — if they are basing national security on the actual number of occurrences rather than the probability, then that, we believe, is the wrong thing to do.

We had one September 11 on American soil. That does not mean it is not going to happen again. That is what we tried to convey at this meeting, that the possibility exists and we have to deal with that.

I guess I will move along to the Pearson and my involvement at Pearson.

We share with Immigration the first line of defence. We have their primary automated lookout system. I think a common concern is that it is a stand-alone. It does not have the information readily available so that officers can use it. That goes in addition to the fact that we have so many temporary, inadequately trained staff. We have been lobbying for a long time against the use of students, and the reason being, quite simply, that they have a crash course. I have tried to compare it to who is in the best position to identify a counterfeit bill. In this case we are doing passports or landed immigrant papers, whatever. But obviously someone in the banking industry who has experience would be able to pick out the false documents. Students come in. They have — it varies across Canada — two-and-a-half to three weeks training. There is no pass-fail mechanism. They are basically put on the front line of defence, the first line of defence, and it is used as a training ground.

A lot of these students in the past could not distinguish between a Canadian resident and a landed immigrant, so people, if they were living overseas, came with a Canadian passport, were being sent to Immigration, for a further check, whereas landed immigrants or people using these documents, ``Okay, you live here. You can go right through.'' So a lot of the referrals — and again, no matter what the legislation or the amendments are to the Immigration Act, it is only as good as the referrals that are sent to them.

Again, it is like trying to find impaired drivers on the highway. If you take all the RIDE checks off the highway, you will not know truly how many impaired driver there are and how many people are contravening the act. It is the same with the immigration legislation, et cetera. If the people are not getting referred for the further examination, then how do we know the extent of how many people are walking out the door?

Another pertinent fact is our agency conducts blitzes. What it is, it is for enforcement.

The Chairman: Before you go on to that, I think we understand the point you are making, and we have heard it elsewhere, about the question of students and the fact that they do not have the same level of training that is appropriate for other people who are working on the primary inspection line.

What was of interest was the point you were making earlier that you said that there is information available that you are not getting at the primary inspection line.

Witness 2: Yes.

The Chairman: My assumption was that you could put a passport through a reader, and that would give you some information. Is that not true?

Witness 2: No. First, we have various Access to Information banks. The primary lookout system is not linked up to our CPIC database. It will give us information to the extent that if the name comes up, it will show probability of whether or not this person contravened the Immigration or Customs Act in the past. It will not say that Mr. Kiss, who came across in Fort Erie, whether this person has a criminal record, et cetera. It will not give us that information.

The Chairman: But that information is available somewhere, and you could have it?

Witness 2: That is correct.

The Chairman: Where is it available? In other words, what would help the committee is if you told what you are getting now and what is out there that you are not getting and what it would take to put the two together so you had a better picture of who is coming across. Can you describe that to us?

Witness 2: I will try. What we need is one system, I guess more like the Americans', where all the information is on- line, so you do not have to rely on a secondary referral in order to do a second examination. So when you put the document through and it read —

The Chairman: What do you get now? Start with that. What information do you have at this point when someone is getting off a plane from Egypt?

Witness 3: The client would come up to primary, which is Customs. The passport would be checked, and if there is any doubts in the 30 seconds or 60 seconds that Customs has, they will make a secondary referral to Immigration.

The Chairman: How do you determine whether you have doubts or not?

Witness 2: That goes back to the ability of the officer to profile or pick up on the indicators. That is what we are saying. Normally, it takes an officer a year on the line to become experienced, to know what they are looking for, to put the pieces of the puzzle together. It is like a game of hide and seek.

The Chairman: What I am hearing you say is, you are judging by the person's behaviour, whether they seem nervous, whether they are answering a question in a reasonable way, but you are not judging by specific information that you have as a result of the document they have handed you?

Witness 2: That is right.

Witness 5: Maybe we should explain that in the first instance, when the Customs officer is dealing with someone, it is only an inspection. It is not an examination per se. They do not normally ask that many questions. They quickly look through the passport. They may not be as experienced at reading the passport or whatever, but basically they are trying to determine whether or not — they are trying to facilitate the entry of people to Canada, but at the same time they are trying to make qualified referrals for a more in-depth examination by referring them to Immigration.

The Chairman: What is your data, is my question. What data are you making this judgment on?

Witness 2: If there was an actual contravention in the past, it should be keyed into the system and show up. If there was —

The Chairman: Say the traveller from Egypt had a drug conviction in Canada. Would you know that just upon him presenting his passport to you?

Witness 2: It should come up on the system.

Witness 3: In the customs portion.

Witness 2: We have two screens, though.

The Chairman: So that should come up on the system. What other things would come up on your system automatically?

Witness 4: Custom violations, immigration violations. Canada Customs would only have rudimentary information.

The Chairman: Basically, if they had been in the system before, you know about it just by passing the passport through a reader?

Witness 5: That is dependent on what has been put into our database. Only in the past few months, for instance, have they added 1,000 Interpol warrants that were never in the system before.

The Chairman: What do you want to have in your reader, in a perfect world?

Witness 2: One of the first shortfalls we must correct is the actual document that is being read. Right now, the system or the response is based on date of birth and the name of an individual. When people come up to the counter and present a document, if the document has been tampered with, a photo sub or whatever, and recycled —

The Chairman: You better tell us what a photo sub is.

Witness 2: Okay. I sell my passport. You are an illegal. You want to come into Canada. You basically substitute it. It is a genuine document, but now you have become me, basically.

The Chairman: They take out the picture.

Witness 2: They take out the picture, and we will not tell you how, and put a new picture in, and now you are the guy that appears on the picture.

The Chairman: That is easy to do?

Witness 2: Yes. It is big business.

Senator Banks: Would it not be easy to make it so that you cannot do that?

Witness 3: We have tried. Look at our new proposal for the permanent resident card for Canada. I can remember in the early 1990s, there were plans to put it into place, with the biometrics and everything. Nothing happened. We are now back to introducing permanent resident — the maple leaf card, as it is called. But it will not have biometrics. It will just have a picture, basically looks like a citizenship card.

Senator Banks: I am sorry to do this, but I have been wondering about this for years. I need to get a passport, so I go someplace and get my picture taken. There is a very simple means of having that picture, instead of being pasted onto page 3 of my passport, to have it printed on page 3 of my passport. Now it will be harder to get rid of, will it not?

Unidentified Speaker: Some countries do this already.

Witness 5: Yes.

Witness 4: The second most common method of illegal traffic is coming up with a complete counterfeit document. At the going rate, the department estimates about U.S. $5,000 is the market value of a recycled passport.

Witness 1: With regard to the data formed images that would go on to — whether it is the plastic type cards or anything we would do in print form, one of the problems that you have with a passport is it is not plastic laminate. You will still have to imprint something or adhere the photo in some way, shape or form onto the paper document. The problem that you end up with, similar to — if you will notice, right now we are having problems with our $50 and $100 bills because people are counterfeiting them. We cannot even protect our own currency from forgery. That is one of the problems with the passport documents, is to create a document that is so complex that it cannot be forged and then to take a photograph and to imprint that photograph onto a paper document, and that is the problem. It is still paper.

If we were to substitute and have an actual card — I will use this one as an example. We have these for our ID cards at Pearson International Airport. We have these, the same type of things, for Pearson International Airport. One of the concerns that was raised as a result of September 11 was Pearson International Airport, the GTAA, identified that they had a number of these types of cards missing. They were using a spreadsheet of missing cards to determine who was not eligible to come into the airport.

The problem is, you need both. You cannot say here is what we have lost, because you can make these. For $2.50, you can get someone to make these. It is only a plastic card with colouring imprinting done over top with a digital image photograph. These are a dime a dozen. If this is all that is being used to determine who is eligible to enter into a restricted area, it is absurd.

Witness 5: There were something like 150, I believe, on that list.

Witness 1: That is correct. That only said how many were missing. If mine does not show up and it is not missing, of course I just made it and you do not have it on your list. I just made the card. Do not tell me it is missing. It cannot be. It does not exist on your database. The security people were just looking and saying, ``Oh, yeah, you have a card. Come on in.'' That is how absurd it is.

The same thing would work with the passport. If you have a digital image, you still need some sort of permanent, unalterable type background, and that is a complex process to do.

Witness 2: It is like the concern with the old medical or OHIP card. All there was was a number. In reality, you could have a cousin living state-side who wanted to come up and get some surgery or whatever or go see a doctor for a physical. ``Here is my OHIP card.'' Now, you do not know who that belongs to. It is a legitimate card, but there is no way of tracing it to a specific individual.

Again, with the landed immigrant documents, there is no expiry date on the old ones. We get them recycled. Some of them have gone through the wash. They are hard to read at best. The thing is, you can keep recycling those, putting on new names under aliases, under a whole gamut of ways. That document is very valuable if you can smuggle 20 people into the country.

Witness 3: And under the new act, there is an expiry date, five years, but again, to produce them, we will put them out, and I will make you a bet that within three months there will be counterfeit copies out there. In our office, we produced our own cards.

Senator Forrestall: Is that an Immigration card?

Witness 3: That is an Immigration card for the enforcement office where I work. We got our pictures taken in the office, and someone there created the card. I mean, it is very easy. The technology is out there, and we are well aware of that when we do our thing.

For the landed immigrant permanent resident card, there will be no biometrics, as I have indicated. We figure the office will be here in Mississauga, and there will be a five-year expiry date, except for the brand new people who get them. If there is anything such as criminality or suspicions, they will only get a one or two year. This will be a trial and error thing.

The Chairman: Your point is that anything short of having a biometric identifier makes you uncomfortable with the card. Is that what I am hearing?

Witness 3: That is one thing, but on the other hand, biometrics and the department and the Privacy Commissioner are in some major discussions, from what I am gathering. The Privacy Commissioner has interfered — not interfered. He has made his two cents worth known on what he thinks of biometric cards. He has also talked about iris scanners that they are planning on using at the ports of entry. He is concerned that it is a breach of privacy, so on one side we have the privacy issue, and on the other side we have security.

If we could create a card that is secure, it would probably resolve a lot of issues. Do we talk about putting a fingerprint on there, or do we talk DNA? I do not know.

The Chairman: Just so I understand the privacy issue, are they not cards designed to get you through the system faster? You do not have any requirement to use it. You can go through the system, be checked in a thorough way, or you can show the card and take the fast track. Is it not a voluntary thing for people to have?

Witness 3: No, the card will be compulsory. This one will be just as easy to forge. We know the new Canadian passport, within three months or so, there were counterfeit copies out there. There are extremely good forgers out there who make very good money at this.

Witness 4: If we do develop a fail-safe document, the illegal traffic will just adopt documents from other countries.

Witness 1: That is right. We are talking about our own documents. The fact of the matter is that we still have a myriad of passports and other types of documents that allow people access to Canada.

The Chairman: Do you know what an Egyptian passport really looks like?

Witness 1: Not necessarily, no, and we cannot do anything to enhance the protective measures they have from forging, et cetera. Some of the documents that we receive from other developing countries are so poorly made that you look — what you would normally think is a forgery because of the washed-out ink in the passport is actually a true document. This is their valid passport with errors in spelling, et cetera.

Senator LaPierre: When a person from a country other than Canada — Poland, for example — arrives here, you look at his or her passport on the reader. Does Interpol have information on the reader, or do the police of Poland have that, so that you will know whether the person is cause for concern? Should we have such a system? I thought they had that in place.

Witness 4: Our department, a few years ago, were considering a quick overview. CPIC is Canada's national database on criminal records. There is no interface between the databases of either of our agencies. There is no interface. The information is isolated on CPIC alone. We would have to get up and run a separate check — a time exhaustive check.

Senator LaPierre: It does not appear on your screen.

Witness 4: No.

The Chairman: These are the people that do your preliminary check. They see 98 per cent of the people and they send you the two per cent or whatever it is.

Senator LaPierre: Of the 98 per cent of the people that they see and allow through, some of them could have a criminal record and the information on CPIC does not come to you because there is no interface between agencies. We have been talking about this for years: your computers should talk to their computers. Why has that not happened?

Witness 5: Treasury Board.

Witness 3: CPIC is an RCMP database. To access CPIC, one in immigration has to undergo a course and basically, they access CPIC on their computer. In the meantime, anyone who does not have access to CPIC should not be in that cubical. There is extreme security. The CPIC is a problem in respect of access. I do not think they have it on the primary line. There is also the American system, NCIC. There are no links to that. If we speak to Pearson CPIC, it is cumbersome and antiquated, and we will talk about technology tools later.

Witness 5: There is only one CPIC terminal at each of the three terminals. The RCMP jealously guards this information, and that is not a criticism, it is a fact.

Senator LaPierre: Should we, because you own the pastures, so to speak, and place the RCMP officers —

Witness 5: CPIC only tells you who has a criminal record in Canada. It does not tell you criminal records —

Senator LaPierre: It does not tell you the criminal record of my friend from Poland.

Witness 5: No. If you want to look at a good passport, citizens of Japan have passports where the picture is part of the laminate.

Senator Banks: Earlier you said that when you swipe a Canadian passport for a Canadian coming in, it does say whether there was a previous criminal record. I heard you say just now that it does not.

Witness 4: It shows if there is an enforcement with immigration or with Canada Customs, neither of which is a criminal record.

Senator Banks: A criminal record does not show up.

Witness 5: No. Some enforcement agencies have taken the extraordinary step of inputting that information to our system so that you would have that information, but normally we do not have it.

Senator Forrestall: I am curious about this. Is this because, if you go beyond the information you generate, you would then be profiling? Are you saying that? Is there a danger that you would deem suspect anyone with a criminal record? In other words, this business of profiling was frowned upon because it raises the issue of ethnic —

Witness 5: We do not usually run criminal checks on Canadian citizens because we do not take enforcement action against them.

Witness 1: I wanted to indicate about profiling that, with respect to customs infractions, once are you in the system, you are in the system. As a general rule, if you had an infraction in the past, you should be referred to additional examination, regardless. That is standard procedure. It does not allow for profiling. You had an enforcement action against you in the past and therefore, you are subject to more intense scrutiny each time you enter Canada from that time on.

People throw around the concept of profiling. It is the same thing when we have a source country for narcotics. Generally, if you have a source country, the nationals of that country are prime suspects. From Colombia, for example, you could expect that. If it were a Colombian flight, you would not be targeting individuals, but rather the flight that is arriving from a source area. Anyone on that flight could be —

Senator Forrestall: There could be an American on the flight.

Witness 1: That is right. It is not a case of targeting the nationals per se; the issue is that they came from a source country. If the flight came from a terrorist location, it would not a matter of profiling, it would be a case of using logical sense in saying this is where it is.

The Chairman: We have taken you off your agenda. If you could just finish up by telling us what information you think you should be getting —

Senator Forrestall: Is there a point at which, in the doing of your work, you would feel happy and confident that you are not missing too much? Do you need to make that possible access to Interpol?

Witness 3: Let me speak to immigration. Pearson has an AFIS, Automated Fingerprint Identification system, machine that has been sitting there for months. It has not been installed because they have to bring in someone to set it up so they don't void the warranty, and then they have to train staff. I know that there is at least one port of entry that is using one on a regular basis. Pearson has had it for how many years? Is it two or three months?

Witness 5: They have been sitting there.

Witness 3: If there are any doubts about the person, you could run his fingerprints on the machine. That machine would be useful after this Friday because, as we take refugee claimants in the 72-hour turnaround — working days only, we would be able to put the fingerprints on it and receive at least some basic data such as whether this person has a criminal record, or whatever.

Senator Forrestall: Beyond the fingerprinting, what other kind of information and from what sources is needed? Apparently, we send information to the United States but they do not send it back. There is no quid pro quo there.

Witness 2: Access to any information database would be helpful. There is another important point that everyone has to focus on. The government or the agency says that we rely on technology. We will not necessarily rely on increasing the number of officers that are screening.

All of technology is based on past contraventions. So, if you are a first-time offender, you will not show on the system because you have not committed a crime. If you have been 100 per cent convicted, that is different. Sometimes other information gets on the system, but if you are a first-time offender trying to smuggle in a narcotic or if you are not on the lookout list of terrorists.

It is a handicap, in a way. Our first line is comprised of 100 per cent students at Canada's largest port of entry who have to deal with the ever-evolving passports from every country around the world and with the fact of experts counterfeiting documents. When there is a landed immigrant paper, the date of birth and the name are keyed in, but officers do not key in the serial number to see whom that information is supposed to belong to. Therefore, John Doe could have Mary Brown's landing paper but, guess what, John Doe has not come up on the system and so he could walk in free — he could play the part and convince the officer that he is legit.

If there were a link so that they could check the document number to make sure that it is in fact Mary Brown, then they would question John Doe's possession of that document. That is a basic fundamental that they have to correct.

Again, in respect of profiling, there have been some problems associated with it. If there is not an experienced officer, it is difficult. They can really be blinded because there are 70 acts of parliament to understand, even whether hot dogs from the U.S. are admissible. They will get caught up in the long line-ups, et cetera, and be worrying about whether they are looking for a terrorist, or whatever. Call it intuition or what you will but, all of a sudden, something will snap in a seasoned officer and he or she will pick up an indicator of some sort that will prompt him or her to send that person for a secondary referral.

The Chairman: We had the issue of students brought before us at earlier meetings and the committee has heard a great deal of testimony on it. We are not cutting you short on the matter, but we have heard the argument.

Senator Cordy: When you look at a passport that has a picture, but the information does not relate to that picture because that picture is transposed. Is there a way to verify that, in fact, the picture matches the person showing it to you, where the other information on the passport does not correspond?

Witness 4: Right now, Canadian immigration does not have a liaison with the passport office. There is no such liaison with our own passport office. We cannot corroborate the information in a timely manner.

Witness 3: Several years back, we had a Canadian citizen returning to Canada on a Canadian citizen passport that she obtained in Hong Kong. She was referred by customs to immigration, immigration reviewed her and then, in The Globe and Mail, Jan Wong wrote her article.

This is an extreme example, but it does happen. Customs receives a passport. If a customs officer asks for your name or your date of birth and the information does not match, there would be a referral to immigration. Let us keep in mind that we have many people come up the line and say, ``refugee.'' Customs will then automatically refer them to immigration, and some of them do not have documents.

Under the new act, we will be able to detain people for documents, but the issue is the cost of detention. I do not know if you have ever heard about this, but the famous Celebrity Inn down the street has a memo that comes around every so often that says, ``the inn is full, don't detain.'' This is a problem.

Witness 5: Many decisions are predicated on cost and that is a questionable way of looking at things.

Notwithstanding what has been said already, and I do not want to chide my customs brothers because it is a joint concern, you cannot inspect or examine someone that you do not see. The international channel at the airport is not well patrolled — not to my knowledge, but I have only been there for 30 years — but the thing is that we —

The Chairman: What is the international channel?

Witness 2: I guess it depends whether it is a newer or older facility. Take Terminal One, for example. The only barrier in place for people disembarking an aircraft is a plastic chain. There are corridors where passengers are to voluntarily comply so that they go straight to the Canada Customs and Immigration area to be admitted into Canada legally. Just a couple weeks ago, there was a medical reported on an aircraft. There was reason to believe that the individual had ingested some narcotics. I guess one of the concealment containers broke and he fell ill. We had to respond to the aircraft but by the time we arrived, the passenger had basically run out and was as far as the street. The point is that there is no one in place to restrict the flow of people. There is some control but there is no preventing people from walking directly out onto the street. On many occasions there is only a plastic chain. An airline employee may take someone's bag out that was forgotten on board. They want to get it to the passenger ASAP, so they walk into the sterile area where people are waiting to board the aircraft and then through another door that is guarded on the outside by a security person. There is nothing to stop people from walking out, technically or realistically.

Witness 5: It does not fit the definition of a ``sterile lounge.'' The example I wanted to give is about an embarrassing situation that occurs at times, whereby a flight from outside of Canada can arrive and the airline does not completely fulfil its responsibilities of having an agent in place to guide people down to the primary inspection line. People end up finding their own way to the domestic area to look for customs and immigration so they can check their things. They reach that point without being inspected at all by any federal government agency. Is that correct?

Witness 2: Many times, the only way we know they did not report is that they are coming back looking for the baggage. It is still in the locked up area and they have to ask for their baggage. We find out that the security was breached because they were never inspected — a whole flight of passengers.

The Chairman: How often would a whole flight get through in that way? Would it be once a year?

Witness 5: I do not know whether the international channel is patrolled in any way by your service or by anyone. We do not have patrols other than our disembarkation team. Basically, they are free to wander. As I said, the airlines do not always fully meet their obligations to address an inbound aircraft and escort all passengers down for federal government inspection.

Senator LaPierre: The difficulty is that the airports are badly constructed. Passengers disembark and someone points them in the right direction, which can go on for as much as seven miles, 18 kilometres, without another soul in sight.

Witness 5: We call it ``Cardiac Alley.''

Senator LaPierre: Passengers reach the hall and sometimes someone is there. I take for granted that these doors to the corridors are locked.

The point I want to make is that these issues you are raising are about common sense and, therefore, easily solvable. It shocked me when you said that you to not have enough information to assess foreigners or Canadians arriving her.

I do not expect refugees to have papers. If I ever take refuge from my country, I would not walk around with my bank account information, et cetera. I am reminded of the story about a flight that was about to land and many of the Chinese sitting in first class threw their passports and all their papers down the toilets. That story is well documented. It seems to me that everyone else should have papers.

The lack of information that you need to have, particularly on foreign people, is dangerous. Now, that brings me to the issue of profiling. The issue of profiling is not that the plane coming from Colombia will have dope on it, but rather that every Colombian is a dope addict and is, therefore, a dope merchant. In that same mentality vein, it can be said that every black man looks alike, and that every teenager will hit you over the head if given the chance. There are all kinds of mentalities that exist and we have seen that in customs and immigration people. Does this mentality still exist?

Witness 4: I would say that is more or less just perception. I cannot really defend it but, basically, as far as information getting back to you, do you want to talk about criminal databases?

Senator LaPierre: I am told that some people, either leaving or coming to Canada, may pose a security risk. I want to know whether you have the information to identify those people.

Witness 5: We have a diverse ethnic mix of officers. If any anti-ethnic sentiments came out, they would be quickly detected.

Witness 4: If I were a terrorist I would destroy my documents and claim to be a refugee.

The Chairman: Please walk us through this. Say a passenger arrived with no documents because they went down the toilets on the plane. What do you do with that person?

Witness 4: Depending on the time of day and our operational requirements, we would strive to search the person forthwith, in case there is a shred of documentation. There would not be a strip search. There would be a pat down and a luggage search. Strip search would involve chartering the client and giving them access to counsel. We can frisk the person, which is usually sufficient.

Judging the cooperation we receive will dictate whether these people are released for examination. Post-September 11, we do upfront security screening, which is basically a run on CPIC, the Canadian database.

The Chairman: How do you do a run on CPIC without documents?

Witness 4: The person assumes an identity and we run with that.

The Chairman: So, I could say any name and any date and you would key that into the database for your search. You type in whatever is told to you.

Witness 4: That will tell us if they have a criminal record in Canada.

Witness 2: Based on the name they give us, without being able to confirm that that is their identity, they will walk out to the streets.

Witness 4: After the search, photographs and fingerprints are taken.

The Chairman: What do you do with those?

Witness 4: The same as with those of someone with a criminal record.

The Chairman: Who then receives the material?

Witness 4: The RCMP eventually enters the information in their database where it remains permanently. They are dispatched to the RCMP on the same day of the person's arrival. That is when the RCMP receives the information on their database.

The Chairman: The person is photographed and fingerprinted, and then what happens?

Witness 4: Questioning to determine the person's credibility. We take details on the nature of their claims and their background. The interrogation takes about three hours.

Witness 5: This does not apply to the same type of people who might have arrived on a flight late at night and whom we just cannot process. That is the decision made in most of those cases.

The Chairman: Do you not have the staff to do that at night?

Witness 5: That is about it. Staff may have already worked about twelve hours.

The Chairman: Therefore, the optimum time to arrive is at the end of your shift. Is that what you are telling me?

Witness 5: The best time would be late on a Friday night.

Witness 4: Typically.

Senator Fairbairn: Did you say that they arrive en masse?

The Chairman: Twelve people could come in at midnight, or more.

Witness 4: Three hundred new immigrants could arrive that we would have to photograph.

Witness 3: This Friday, the system will change with the new act. When I was before the Senate and House committees on citizenship and immigration, we put forward our concerns that we were not ready and we are still not ready. Last Friday I checked and the manuals that will be the guides for enforcement are coming soon. We have one week. Then, we have the three-day turn around, which means that during that time, and it is a working day so Saturdays, Sundays and stat holidays do not count. During that time there will be an expectation people will be photographed and fingerprinted. If eight us were working, that information could be sent out immediately.

Post-September 11, there have been CSIS agents in some of the ports of entry working on-site: Fort Erie was one and I believe PIA had some. There needs to be better liaison and working together on that aspect. One way into Canada is to throw out the passport and claim refugee status. The other way is to arrive looking like a businessman because the chances are you will not be referred. Hell's Angels do that on a regular basis; they arrive wearing three- piece suits and walk right through.

The Chairman: How do you know that?

Witness 3: The example we had on September 11. On the one flight, by sheer accident there were four referrals to immigration. We found one Hell's Angel and one terrorist.

The Chairman: How did you know he was a Hell's Angel?

Witness 3: He was interviewed and the process started. It has been very hush-hush. Through the grapevine, you find out these things out. We were on strike, there were further referrals from customs and there was September 11.

Witness 5: The reality of September 11 hit home. Ironically, we were not on the job initially because we were out on strike. We were called back in by both the employer and by the union, obviously. Mr. O'Farrell can tell you what did not happen on September 11.

Witness 3: On September 11 we were picketing the parking lot and we delayed an Air Canada flight. I remember the stewardesses swearing and cursing us, and then what ended up happening —

Witness 4: We have no proof of this, other than headlines, piecing things together and sixth sense. It would appear that our picket line disrupted one of the flights that would have flown south. There were two Canadian carriers that were supposed to have joined in on September 11. Box cutters were found on Air Canada flights on that day.

Witness 5: They were grounded flights that would have flown south. It is our understanding, from the media, that the RCMP were interviewing all the passengers who had flown on that day, but on that day we did get a couple of terrorists. It was very disturbing to find, when we came in from the picket line, that we had indirectly stopped this Air Canada flight. The next day it was headed to Calgary and that is when passengers discovered all the box cutters on board.

The Chairman: How do you stop outgoing flights?

Witness 3: We were on the picket line and we held up the people going through to board.

Witness 5: They could not park their cars.

Witness 3: GTAA would not let us do that.

Witness 1: If I can, I will take us back to some of the earlier questions, specifically what types of tools we say that we need with respect to computerized databases and or what have you. We have to keep cognizant of the fact that computers are wonderful tools while they work. The system is only as good as the quality of the information that is entered. Currently, we have databases that are stocked with notices to watch out for particular people and those notices should have expired years ago and they are never cleaned out.

They could be minor things where the person is long gone. The notice should have expired but they have never been cleaned off the system. We have other information that is inconsistent. For example, the notice to watch out is there but it does not tell us why we should watch out for that person.

Another one will give you every single bit of information you have ever thought of about this individual: blond hair, blue eyes, tattoos, really nasty and speaks with a lisp — a million and one different things — but you would never know. We do not have the quality, consistency and timeliness of information between the organizations. We do not have it with immigration. Immigration does not have it with us, and we do not have it with the RCMP or anyone else. I am not opposed to the concept of having good quality electronically available information, but we cannot rely on that because people would become lazy and complacent, whereby ``if it is not on the system it cannot happen and it does not mean anything.'' If we constantly rely upon electronic information to provide us with the risks, we lose that sixth sense that officers gain over the years. Nothing will replace the officer in his or her individual ability based on the training experience.

With respect to September 11, an American flight that was redirected to Canada not only came into Pearson but apparently the passengers disembarked and disappeared, literally. They just went. They disembarked, never reported anywhere — did not report to customs. This was on September 11. Apparently, the passenger list was turned over to the RCMP and CSIS to do the follow-up. One of the problems was that these people were looking at the events of September 11 and because they were Americans, they just wanted to go home. They are worried about their own families, et cetera. That does not mean an undesirable may not have disembarked. We do not know. Apparently, the entire flight of passengers was gone.

Witness 5: That was the incident that I was referring to, particularly with respect to one particular airline.

The Chairman: Which particular airline?

Witness 5: I was afraid you would ask me that. At Terminal 2, where Air Canada still comes in, that has been a problem.

The Chairman: The problem airline is Air Canada and that is at Terminal 2.

Witness 5: I do not want to label one airline as negligent, but I just did.

The Chairman: Why is Air Canada a problem where other airlines are not a problem?

Witness 5: They are a domestic carrier.

The Chairman: Are you saying that Air Canada, more often than other airlines, does not direct people with the appropriate ground staff to shepherd people down to go through your system? That is your second best choice. The first best choice is to have barriers so that you do not need anyone to shepherd the arrivals.

Witness 1: It is all economics. The airlines and the airport authorities are all looking at the bottom line; at how quickly they can get people through the system and how cheaply they can do it. That is their bottom line. Although I understand that, it does not help the issue of national security. It just does not work.

Senator LaPierre: Instead of putting this responsibility on the airlines, can it not be put on the aegis of this new agency that is being created on safety or under the authority of the airport?

Witness 5: Traditionally, under immigration legislation, the airlines have always had certain obligations as transportation companies. To deliver their passengers to a point of inspection is an obligation under the Immigration Act.

Senator LaPierre: Therefore, if Air Canada, or any other airline, does not do that, immigration can take them to court. Is that right?

Witness 5: Often, customs has been known to seize an aircraft on that basis.

The Chairman: We have a checklist and I wonder if I could quickly run through it to have your comments and add to the list.

The second question was on security checks for vehicles at the VIP area and passenger arrivals without being checked.

Witness 2: I just confirm that to ensure that the procedure remains the same. At the privilege of the CANPASS area, the limousines have access to taxi up to the aircraft. There is no security check. We do meet the people disembarking, but we do not —

The Chairman: You have a car parked there with a couple of agents in it.

Witness 2: We see people coming into Canada, but it is a Transport Canada security issue more than it is an immigration or customs issue. People can drive from the outside right up on to the tarmac.

The Chairman: We have experienced that.

Witness 1: That is only if we know they are coming. If we do not know that the flight is landing, and we get called from the tower, we have to rush in. Often, the people have already disembarked and are in the limo. Their baggage may also have already been loaded into the limo. We have no idea.

The Chairman: If a private plane is coming in, how do you know?

Witness 1: They are supposed to report in.

The Chairman: Do they telephone you from the air or do they tell the tower to advise customs that they are coming in?

Witness 2: In days gone by, we were notified at Pearson and Toronto Island that there was an incoming. The RCMP would be waiting on the tarmac and we would meet the passengers. Right now, the CANPASS system is a voluntary compliance. They will phone and let us know they are coming — the ones that are law-abiding citizens — and we will meet them if we have the resources.

However, there is no way to monitor how many people are not reporting because the tower does not contact us to let us know that a flight that just landed and that we should send someone out.

Senator Banks: Private planes land here and never go through customs.

Witness 2: We may never know about it.

The Chairman: Someone could re-file a flight plan to say they are coming from London, Ontario rather than from London, England.

Witness 1: Again, we would find out after the fact and they would already be long gone. Although we may be able to identify the pilot, we would not know if there were passengers. It is the same thing with CANPASS in the remote areas. The vehicle comes through and the driver reports or the vehicle's licence plate is identified, but there is nothing is to say that the hitchhiker passenger that crossed the border and got off two miles inside our border may not have reported.

Another thing to consider with CANPASS is our marine system.

The Chairman: We were down to the Thousand Islands. Tell us about the baggage situation at Pearson. What is the deal with going from domestic baggage into your area where it is secured?

Witness 2: The one point is that there is no security on the domestic access doors, unlike the international baggage area, where there is a security guard on the outside. Even we were checked back post-September 11; we could not get into our own sterile area. Now, everyone goes through domestic. You could walk into Pearson and pick up a bag if you just want to steal someone's luggage and then walk back out. Once you get behind that area, if the corridors are not secure, if the doors are sliding, depending on the terminal, or if there is just a chain, then you have wide access in a sterile area.

The Chairman: When you go into a sterile area, does someone always look at your pass and the number on your pass?

Witness 5: I would like to say yes.

The Chairman: We want to know the truth.

Witness 5: Some people with passes go through even though the passes are not valid for that area.

Witness 2: Pearson revamped their security. They used to be on the outside of the customs information door to see our ID.

The Chairman: I am asking you whether they compare the number on your ID with lists they have of invalid ID numbers? Has that ever happened to you?

Witness 2: Yes, it has happened.

The Chairman: Does it always happen? Does it usually happen?

Witness 4: They terminated that process. Basically, our respective departments are responsible for their own areas. That is official.

The Chairman: You enforce your own passes.

Witness 2: The important point brought up earlier is that they were not comparing our access cards to an active list. Therefore, if a card had not been reported stolen, or if it were fraudulent, it would not be reported lost. You could basically still access.

The Chairman: Employees with passes can wander about the airport off-duty and not be challenged. Is that the case?

Witness 4: They actually leave electronic trails because there are scanners where you have to punch in four-digit codes, thereby leaving a trail. If you needed to know who was in that area after the fact, you could find it out.

The Chairman: Does everyone have a unique number?

Witness 5: Yes.

Witness 1: With respect to general employers of the terminal of all employees, people in the law enforcement or inspection service show our badges and we are allowed entrance, because we are supposed to be trustworthy. As far as I can see, we are pretty good.

As far as the other employees are concerned, they are examined more closely. They have to pass through an electronically guarded door — the key code access doors — or they have to go through the inspection lines. There they are subject to search in the same way as anyone else going into the sterile area.

The Chairman: Before we get to that, I have a report here of a stolen uniform and pass. Have you ever heard about your uniforms being stolen?

Witness 1: I hate to say this. Uniforms, once they are issued out, there is never a guarantee it will get back, period. I was looking at eBay where I saw customs shoulder flashes and baggage, et cetera, for sale. They were not the official badges but various IDs are available on the Internet. They are not hard to get because people sell these items. I think it is U.S. $3.50 for a shoulder badge. It is the same thing as buying a military uniform at an army surplus store. You can go almost anywhere and doctor a uniform to resemble almost any force: RCMP, Toronto Police Service, et cetera.

The Chairman: You are saying that the combination of that with a forged pass can get you through any place you want and you may not even get a second check.

Witness 4: You would have to have specialized knowledge to pull that off, to be honest.

Senator Banks: If you went through a door and you wanted to take a bag through with you, you could do it.

Witness 1: Sure.

Witness 2: We are still in the transition of getting new navy uniforms for customs. There is no guarantee, as far as the transition period, so we still have the peacock blue shirts being used, which may go on for several years. As some shirts are phased out in certain ports, obviously they will be sent to surplus or sold on the streets. Someone could even take that surplus, put on the flashes and access another area.

Witness 1: I hate to say it but, as far as our ID badges go, people put a lot of weight on these little pieces of metal. In consideration of the fact that terrorists can devise the means to highjack an aircraft, et cetera, thinking that this little piece of metal means that someone will trust me a bit more when I come up to you for security purposes at an airport is ludicrous. It is not enough. Anyone can hold it or have it, and they are not hard to make. Just get a mould and it is easy — it is only a badge. It is really not as hard as it sounds. You have to look at the quality of the security that is doing the inspection. They do not necessarily know whether it is true.

The Chairman: What is this business about folks who do not have the same security training as you do checking you when you come in?

Witness 4: We have actually had refugee claimants that are entitled to work in Canada, for a private security company, checking us out.

Witness 3: On the issue of badges, I will speak for my own office. The enforcement officers are not happy so they went out on their own, found a supplier and had their own badges made up that are huge, because when they are with police on an investigation, they are now not identified as being from immigration. If we can do it, I am sure that there are other people out there who know how to do it.

The Chairman: The RCMP badges are not much bigger or different from this. They are the same size.

Witness 1: They have a slightly different symbol on the inside.

The Chairman: Is this one that you made up yourself?

Witness 1: I have not mastered it yet, but I am still working on it.

The Chairman: We have talked about recycled documents. Now, what about the coding system that folks go through?

Witness 2: Every port of entry across Canada has their own coding system. A referral number at Pearson is not the same as it is at Vancouver International Airport.

The Chairman: We are referring to what they write on your declaration slip and it is what they write on the upper corner that determines whether you will have the work-over from immigration.

Witness 2: We identify the residents, visitors and landed immigrants. There is a numbering system that designates either free to leave or referral, and the second number indicates why you should be seen in the other examination area.

I know at Pearson our coding system has not changed since I started there 13 years ago. The concern is that with the turnover of staff, again not just picking on the students, our coding system is well-known by the skycaps, the students, et cetera. It is no secret.

The Chairman: Does the number not change every day?

Witness 2: The referral number changes but the reason why you have does not change. I gave you one number that I want to keep it in the back of my mind to make sure I do not contravene any act.

Senator Banks: It does not make any difference because you are protected.

Witness 2: The number five (5) at Pearson was the drug referral number. If you had whatever number prior to that and got a five, which we do not use frivolously, that would probably indicate the hit number for today because there are only so many fives coming in. The skycaps got used to that and they looked at the number and if someone had a five, the skycap could tell the person why they were being sent in. That would give away our referral number for the day. People do get wise if they are frequent flyers and they know the system and the access points. Some people have had duplicate cards on their person. A primary officer would come up wondering whether John Doe made it to secondary and we would tell the officer that we never got the card. We would then check the garbage cans in the baggage area and find that the card had been thrown in the garbage. The person had pulled out another document that indicated a free-to-leave number and had walked out the door.

Senator LaPierre: Sometimes individuals change the numbers in the baggage area, so that means they must have an accomplice within your department.

Witness 1: Not necessarily.

Senator LaPierre: How else would they know the number?

Witness 4: You could ask a traveller, approach an elderly lady and ask to check her card.

Witness 5: The customs referral for immigration secondary is not a coded number. At Pearson airport, on both sides of the card, they swipe with a blight fluorescent pink marker.

Senator LaPierre: Is this an important aspect of lack of security — what I have just read in the last sentence or is this a minor infraction of security?

Witness 2: Put it this way, if you are a terrorist who wants access into Canada without being detected and you know the coding system, then, obviously, you could come in, as some do. You could have that second document to indicate that you are free to leave and just walk out.

The Chairman: This is how someone could fly from Egypt to Toronto with explosives in their bag and take it through the system. You would not know to open that bag?

Witness 2: Primary does not check it and secondary would not know to check it because the right number was not there.

Witness 5: Someone could disembark an international flight and just lag behind and then duck out to the tarmac, to the perimeter and get away.

The Chairman: What checks are there on bags coming in? Do you have any scanning on bags coming in?

Witness 2: We target certain flights. All the bags from a certain flight will be put through the X-ray machine. However, we do not do that with every flight. If it is a clean flight, coming from Hong Kong, let us say, where people travel from all over the world, it would not be X-rayed because it may not be a high source drug trafficking country. We may not wish to target that. Definitely, because there are people from all over on that flight, it is not a high source country for terrorists. Of course, a terrorist could connect through an airport such as Hong Kong, but unless the person is actually referred and carries their baggage, we would not see the baggage.

The Chairman: What percentage of baggage would be inspected, one way or another, either with an ion scanner, with an X-ray or a physical search?

Witness 2: Maybe 3 per cent. Actually, we do not even do 1 per cent, to tell you the truth.

The Chairman: Do you inspect more containers?

Witness 2: I can give you stats out of Vancouver. Out of 5,000 containers that were referred for examination, only 3,500 were looked at because we did not have the resources. Those were targeted containers, not the ones we find by chance.

Witness 1: Just because a person is referred does not mean it will require an inspection of the baggage. Often it is just a clarification of information that is required and the person is allowed to proceed on their way. The number of referrals is not a direct indication of baggage being checked. I hate to say it, but we miss far more than we will ever get. That is a fact. Manpower restrictions and the simple time factor to perform the work just do not allow for it.

Senator LaPierre: Sometimes we see dogs at customs. Do you train them?

Witness 1: They are drug dogs. They could also be dogs from the CFIA, Canadian Food Inspection Agency. They have their own dog for looking at —

The Chairman: Is there a point that we have missed?

Witness 5: We rely primarily, of course, on customs — on the primary inspection line — to refer persons that we would have an interest in dealing with. That is about two per cent of the traffic. If we were out on the primary inspection line like they are, we would be in contact with virtually 99 per cent to 100 per cent of the traffic. We rely heavily on them for the referrals and over the years that I have been with immigration, there has been a movement towards possibly retaking the primary inspection line back. It is something that should be considered. I am not necessarily recommending that but I think it should be looked into.

Witness 3: We talked about risk assessment for customs at ports of entry. In Ontario, the port of entry management has done a grid to assess the risk at all ports of entry. They have a number of factors: the officer's role; the officer's duties; the nature of the client coming in; the facilities, some of which are good and some of which are bad; the local environment; existing support; a source of threat; and training and communication. They have rated most of the ports of entry. Not all are done, but you may want to ask Pearson where they are on it. As far as I know, they have not done the joint evaluation with the health and safety.

The Chairman: What is the question again?

Witness 3: Has Pearson done the risk assessment of the port of entry based on the new grid?

The Chairman: Could you run through it again?

Witness 3: Ontario management has created a grid assessment for risk at port of entry. Has Pearson done the risk assessment of the port of entry based on the proposed grid? This has been sent up to NHQ Port of Entry and it is likely to become national, but it is Ontario-driven and Ontario is sometimes a four-letter word with NHQ.

The Chairman: This is an Ontario system and you think it is good.

Witness 3: They have done every port of entry. For example, Lansdowne during the day would be low to medium risk, which means if they want to wear protective vests, that is fine. However, during the evening shifts, they move to high risk because there are fewer of them on duty and so they do wear the vests. Every port of entry is supposed to be looked at. The Niagara Falls Peace Bridge entry was done and it rated a six or a seven, which is medium risk. The Fort Erie Bridge was done and it is about the same. They are looking at every port of entry. They have a list of factors and with the health and safety committee, they will evaluate the port of entry for the risk based on one-half dozen factors.

The Chairman: If they have done it, we should ask them how they compare.

Witness 5: We have a situation such that much of the equipment is in, but our customs brothers and sisters would love to have it and are being denied it.

The Chairman: Who can ask about AFIS?

Senator Day: Could I ask a follow-up on the last question? Once you determine the risk rating, does that drive the number of inspections and the number of employees you would have?

Witness 3: They would wear the jackets but it also indicates where the training needs to be on how to deal with the hostile client.

Unidentified Speaker: And who you have on the gates. It is a management tool, basically. The union did participate in helping to draw it up.

Senator Day: There would be a determination of how to handle a particular border point.

Witness 3: This is an Ontario-driven project and they have decided they want to do it.

Witness 1: As far as finalizing some points, there are some things to consider. I am not usually a big fan of American initiatives. However, the homeland security initiative that they put forward, whereby everyone is under the same umbrella to contain, direct and properly administer and share information, should be looked at seriously by our organizations. Customs, immigration, the RCMP, CSIS and the whole gamut, should do this so that we could have a pooling of information to create a good, solid database for our officers to use to enforce the borders, et cetera.

The other thing that might be a consideration, with respect to the issue of missing documents of refugee claimants, et cetera, we do not know how that happened. Why is it that the airlines cannot be responsible for collecting the documents from the travellers at the point of boarding? They could ensure that the documents are turned over to law enforcement agencies at the disembarkation point.

Senator LaPierre: If I travel from Paris to Ottawa on Air Canada, the steward would pick up my passport and when I reach immigration, I would receive my passport back.

Witness 1: Sure.

Senator Cordy: It sounds so easy. What has been the reason? Has it been a privacy issue?

Witness 1: I doubt that it is a privacy issue. The airlines are now looking at documentation for people boarding, based on enhanced security, so you have to provide it to most airlines in any case.

Quite honestly, we know it is still in existence. The airlines could easily set up little box containers, as an example, one per seat, to store passenger documents. In that way, when the passenger disembarks, he or she could pick up their documents. I know that is a bit far-fetched.

Senator Cordy: You are talking about actually scanning the documents. Even if they did not have a passport in hand upon arrival, in fact a scanned document would be there.

Witness 1: As long as you could ensure that the scanned document was assigned to that individual.

Senator Atkins: Why are green passports marked?

Witness 3: In my office, we use green passports because we do the deportations. We are on government business, and it is a special passport.

Senator Atkins: We always feel that we —

Witness 3: You feel that you are picked on. Just to let you know, some of the security money that we are allegedly getting, will go oversees to what is called an ``interdiction and control officer'' who will be training airlines on what to look for.

Senator LaPierre: Am I more liable to be arrested because I have a green passport than a blue passport?

The Chairman: I think you have a self-interest. I am ruling that question out of order.

Senator Forrestall: Do you know the name of the dog that has been responsible for sniffing out the most drugs? Do you have any idea of the dollar value? There is a Nova Scotia trawler working on the St. Lawrence Seaway in the Thousand Islands area now that is worth $350 million. I would like to know who that is.

The Chairman: On behalf of the committee, I thank you for the time that you have spent with us. I apologize for the disorganized way in which this has taken place. You have helped us to focus on the issues from your perspective, and if you would convey our respects to your membership, we would appreciate that.

The committee adjourned.