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Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence

Issue 20 - Evidence

OTTAWA, Thursday, August 15, 2002

The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence met this day at 9:10 a.m. to examine and report on the need for a national security policy for Canada.

Senator Colin Kenny (Chairman) in the Chair.


The Chairman: I will call to order today's meeting of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence to continue our study on the need for a national security policy.

As chairman of the committee, I will introduce the members. The deputy chair is Senator Forrestall from Nova Scotia. He has been involved in defence-related committees established by the Senate since he joined the chamber. Prior to that, Senator Forrestall had a distinguished career in the House of Commons from 1965 to 1988. While in the Commons, he was defence critic for the Progressive Conservative Party. Senator Forrestall was also actively involved in transportation, regional development, and science and technology portfolios. In the Senate, he was Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Transportation Safety, which published a report on air safety and security in June 2000.

Senator Jane Cordy from Sydney, Nova Scotia, has considerable experience in education and community service. During a teaching career that spanned 30 years, she taught in Sydney, Halifax and New Glasgow. In addition to her educational work, Senator Cordy has also served as vice-chair of the Halifax-Dartmouth Port Commission and as Chair of the Board of Refugees for the Halifax region of Human Resources Development Canada. Senator Cordy has also been active in the voluntary sector as a board member of Phoenix House, a shelter for homeless youth, as a member of the judging committee for the Dartmouth Book Awards; as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee of Colby Village Elementary School, and as a volunteer and lector at St. Clement's Church in Dartmouth.

Senator Norman Atkins is from Ontario and came to the Senate in 1986 with a strong background in the field of communications. He has been actively involved in a variety of organizations and groups including Diabetes Canada, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Health Partners, Markham Transit for the Disabled and Camp Trillium at Rainbow Lake, where he served as chair. I must also note that Senator Atkins has had direct military experience, having served in the United States Army. This obviously provides him with invaluable background that helps the committee in its work.

Senator Jack Wiebe is a long-time farmer from Saskatchewan with considerable experience in the cooperative movement. He was twice elected to the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly and, more recently, he has completed a term as Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan. Senator Wiebe was the first farmer appointed to that post in almost 50 years. He has a strong interest in the reserves and has served as the Saskatchewan chair of the Canadian Forces Liaison Council.

Senator Meighen is from Ontario and is a recognized expert in the fields of administrative and commercial law. He also has a strong background in business as well as extensive community interests. Senator Meighen was appointed to the Senate in 1990 and was a member of the joint parliamentary committee that previewed the 1994 defence White Paper. He is also Chancellor of King's College in Halifax.

Senator Laurier LaPierre is from Ontario. Throughout his career, he has been a constant presence in the Canadian media working as a journalist, author, editor and commentator. Many Canadians will know him from his work with programs such as This Hour has Seven Days, Inquiry and Witness. Others will know him for his many books published in both English and French. Senator LaPierre earned a doctorate from the University of Toronto and was a faculty member with several other universities across Canada. He has served as chair of Téléfilm Canada and as host of the electronic town hall meetings for the Citizen's Forum on Canada's Future.

Senator Day is from New Brunswick. He studied at the Royal Military College and obtained a master's degree in law at Osgoode Hall. Senator Day has been involved in a wide variety of legal organizations including the Canadian Bar Association and the Canadian Corporate Council Association. He has volunteered for many professional and community associations, including serving as chair of the Tattoo 200 Saint John bicentennial celebrations.

Ours is the first Senate committee with the mandate to examine subjects of security and defence. Recently, we concluded a seven-month study of major issues facing Canada. We produced a report entitled ``Canadian Security and Military Preparedness.'' The Senate has now asked our committee to examine the need for a national security policy. This morning we will concentrate on the views of Canada Post as well as those of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Our first witnesses from Canada Post are Mr. Peter McInenly, Mr. Fred Johns and Mr. Bob Stiff.

Gentlemen, before we begin, I would ask the clerk to come forward and swear you in.

(Bob Stiff, sworn)

(Peter McInenly, sworn)

(Fred Johns, sworn)

The Chairman: Mr. McInenly, perhaps you could tell us briefly about the careers and backgrounds of you and your colleagues.

Mr. Peter McInenly, Vice-President, Business Alignment, Canada Post: We have provided to members of the committee some opening remarks, copies of which have been distributed by the clerk, that provide some background on each of us, on Canada Post and on the nature of our involvement within the larger community. If you like, I will start with that, and if you wish to pursue that further, we can go from there.

I am the Vice-President of Business Alignment at Canada Post, where I have been fortunate to work for the last 25 years or so in 13 or 14 different portfolios that include legal, since I am a lawyer by profession, retail, international and commercial sales. Currently, I am responsible for developing the longer-term strategic vision that will guide the Canada Post group of companies. That includes working with various government and private sector stakeholders to address how the postal system will operate in a changing environment.

With me today are Bob Stiff, General Manager, Corporate Security, and Fred Johns, General Manager, Logistics and Processing Strategies.

Mr. Stiff has been with Canada Post for 20 years. Prior to joining the corporation, Mr. Stiff spent 15 years in law enforcement with the Canadian military and with a municipal police force. With Canada Post, he has served as National Director of Corporate Security and as General Manager of Mail Operations in the Atlantic Region before assuming his current responsibilities.

Mr. Stiff will be pleased to answer your questions and to provide some insight into the corporation's historical concerns with security and, as the corporations lead representative on security issues, he can also identify some of the agencies with whom we have traditionally worked and who have primary responsibility for setting and enforcing administrative security standards for their areas of jurisdiction, but which have some bearing on what we do.

Mr. Johns has been with Canada Post since 1970 in progressively responsible positions involving project planning, research and development, parcel operations, network and logistics. I believe the committee has received material from Mr. Johns' office that provides an overview of how our international and domestic mail moves through Pearson airport, for example, and he will be pleased to answer any questions you may have.

Honourable senators, thank you for inviting us to appear before you today. The committee's examination of the need for a national security policy is of interest to Canada Post for many reasons, and we are grateful for the opportunity to take part in your discussions.

For over 150 years now, Canadians have trusted Canada Post to deliver their mail from coast to coast to coast. In a country the size of Canada, efficient mail delivery has played a vital role in its social and economic well-being.

From the beginning, the service had to ensure that the contents of the mail posed no risk to its employees and to the general public. To achieve this, the corporation has established health and safety procedures that are regularly reviewed and updated in light of current realities.

Among other things, the corporation's health and safety procedures are designed to assist employees to identify suspicious items. Employees at all levels of postal operations have been trained to look for suspicious items from the time the mail is received at a postal counter or collected from a street letterbox until it is delivered to the addressee. The procedures also include directives for handling suspicious items as well as escalation and evacuation procedures.

Canada Post also complies with Transport Canada's Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations that prohibit the transportation of various items that present safety concerns.

Today, Canada Post has over 57,000 employees who collect and deliver some 10 billion pieces of mail every year to 31 million Canadians and over one million businesses and public institutions. Canadians can deposit their mail at approximately 900,000 locations and, if you think that is a very large number, it is, but, if you look at the large number of pieces of street furniture we maintain throughout the country, you can understand how it can be arrived at.

The corporation's success is dependent upon its ability to effectively manage a national operation of this size. The tragic events of September 11 confirmed Canada Post's capability to respond effectively under critical circumstances.

When passenger air flights carrying mail were abruptly grounded, Canada Post had to find alternatives to continue the flow of mail. The corporation was more affected by the grounding of passenger aircraft than its competitors who use their own freighter aircraft.

Canada Post's relationship with air carriers dates back to the late 1920s when airplanes first began carrying mail. Under the guidance of Canada Post's National Control Centre, which monitors the mail 24 hours a day, the corporation was able to initiate contingency plans and transfer air links to surface transportation by trucks. I should point out that approximately 15 per cent of our total volume of mail actually moves by air, the rest is by surface and other means of transport.

Despite the magnitude of this operation, I am pleased to report that we have met most of our service standards.

Since September 11, much has changed, including Transport Canada's introduction of new security measures. Having read the transcripts of the committee's recent proceedings, I believe it would be useful to clear up any misapprehensions that may exist regarding Canada Post's responsibilities.

Under the procedures established by Transport Canada, all mail destined for passenger aircraft is now kept in a secure area and certified by Canada Post to be in compliance with those regulations prior to being transferred to the air carrier. One of the consequences of these new safety measures is that the corporation has been forced to reduce its service offerings on some of its premier and courier products. That is a small price to pay if the result enhances the safety and security not only of our employees and our customers, but also those who deal with the mail on a daily basis.

Following closely on the heels of September 11, the contamination of the U.S. mail with anthrax raised similar fears for Canadian mail. As soon as the first case of anthrax contamination was reported in the U.S., Canada Post worked closely with its unions to remind all employees of the procedures for identifying suspicious items, the escalation process to follow and the general evacuation procedures.

Over the course of the next few weeks, more than 300 incidents of suspicious items were reported in Canada and, choosing to err on the size of caution, precautionary measures were taken in each and every case to ensure the safety of all employees and Canadians. In every instance, the corporation worked closely with police and health authorities to assess the danger. Only when the mail was considered safe was it returned to the mail stream for delivery. Fortunately, there were no letters or parcels identified at any time as being infected with anthrax in Canada. No other incident has ever invoked greater collaboration among Canada Post, its employees, its unions and various government agencies. The corporation produced extensive materials to brief its employees on the health concerns pertaining to anthrax, provided them with personal protective equipment, and included useful information to Canadians on its Web site to allay fears about suspicious mail. Many organizations linked this information to their own Web sites.

Throughout this critical period, Canada Post officials were in close contact with their American counterparts, to learn from their experience and to react quickly to new developments. As a practical matter, we do business with more than 200 postal administrations around the world on a daily basis. We do that individually, and we also do it under the auspices of the Universal Postal Union, which is an adjunct to the United Nations. Therefore, issues of this sort, not necessarily on this scale, are matters that get discussed frequently.

The corporation is very proud of the responsible actions of its employees during this time, and our efforts to ensure the safety of employees and our customers were publicly endorsed by the president of one of our largest unions, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. Canada Post continues to work closely with the USPS, other postal administrations and Canadian agencies to contain any potential threat arising from the use of mail by terrorists. The events of last fall also reinforce the long-standing collaboration that Canada Post had established with government agencies in order to carry out its mandate.

For example, the corporation has always collaborated closely with the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency to occupy space in some of our facilities to ensure the smooth and secure flow of mail travelling across the Canadian border by air, sea or land. The corporation has also always collaborated closely with all levels of police authorities. Together, they investigate incidents of mail fraud or theft and any situation compromising the safety of its employees or its customers. The recent example is the removal of street letterboxes in Calgary during the G8 summit held in Kananaskis, Alberta. Under new legislation regarding the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act and regulations, Canada Post is one of many financial entities required to record and provide transactional information to the government's Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, or FINTRAC. Since June, Canada Post has been recording customer identification information for all money order transactions valued at $3,000 or more. The reports collected by FINTRAC will be analyzed for
unusual patterns of transactions that resemble money laundering or terrorist financing activity.

Honourable senators, I hope I have been able to convey with my remarks and with the information that was provided to the committee clerk that the security of the mail has always been, and continues to be, a major priority for Canada Post. Along with my colleagues, I would be happy to answer any questions that you have.

The Chairman: Mr. McInenly, we have specifically and repeatedly requested that Canada Post provide us with people familiar with operations in Toronto as they related to Pearson airport, including how the mail gets from downtown Toronto to Pearson and the steps involved in that process. Who on your panel is prepared to handle those questions?

Mr. McInenly: Actually, I think all three of us can shed some light in that area, but the resident expert, the one most knowledgeable about our operations in Toronto and elsewhere, is Mr. Johns and, of course, from a security perspective, Mr. Stiff.

The Chairman: Do any of you live or work in Toronto?

Mr. McInenly: I just returned from Toronto. My place of work now is out of Ottawa, but I do work across the country on a continuous basis.

The Chairman: I understand that, but what we wanted are people who work in Toronto on a regular basis. Do you have anything to do with the handling of mail in Toronto?

Mr. McInenly: Mr. Johns does, as part of his overall responsibilities, as does Mr. Stiff, as part of his security responsibilities. Mr. Stiff is based here in Ottawa, as head of security.

The Chairman: Who takes care of your security in Toronto? You have no one working for you in Toronto?

Mr. Bob Stiff, General Manager, Corporate Security, Canada Post: Yes, we do. I have a team of people who work in Toronto.

The Chairman: That is whom we asked to hear from; we were very clear with your people about it, repeatedly. In fact, when we asked the first time, some weeks ago, we were told that there was no one available in Toronto who could answer these questions. That seems strange to this committee. Can you explain why we got that answer?

Mr. McInenly: I am not familiar with that specific answer, senator.

The Chairman: That is why no one appeared from Canada Post when we were in Toronto.

Mr. McInenly: I regret to hear that. I am sure if there is any shortfall in the questions that are put to us today we will be able to offset that with whatever information is required from whatever sources. However, we do believe we have the requisite experience and expertise here to answer all of your questions.

The Chairman: I am sure you do, and we have found your presentation thus far very interesting. However, specifically, we wanted to know from the people who actually do the job how the job works. What we appear to have are some corporate executives who want to give us a corporate position. Is that correct?

Mr. McInenly: Let me address that, if I may. I would like to clarify that. Each of us has in our own right, over an extended period of time, handled all of the functions to which you make reference. Security was part of my mandate in years gone by. It was part of the larger group of functions for which I was responsible. Mr. Stiff has been responsible for security for some period of time across the entire company, has worked in our operations and has worked in and with our people throughout Toronto, many of whom form part of his team. Hopefully, they will be able to provide you with the specifics of what you would like to know.

The Chairman: We have an issue that we will have to address as we go forward, but I will call on the first questioner, Senator Forrestall.

Senator Forrestall: You will appreciate that we have a bit of a dilemma. Someone has seen fit not to bother to tell us the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Tell me, have any of you ever worked on the line? Have you ever worked at a table, sorted mail, hauled mail, or delivered it?

Mr. McInenly: Yes, I have, senator. In my years with Canada Post, in a variety of different responsibilities, it has been necessary for me to understand the particularities of some of the things that go on. I have delivered the mail personally in the country; I have worked on our courier facilities, and in our plants.

Senator Forrestall: You worked your way from the bottom up.

What about you, Mr. Stiff, have you ever carried the mail?

Mr. Stiff: As a matter of fact, sir, yes, I have. From the beginning of the process back in 1982 when I first joined the corporation, up to and including when I had the opportunity to serve as the Operations General Manager, Atlantic Canada. I was actively involved in the entire process with the corporation and the employees, and I think I have a very good understanding of the issues that face them.

Senator Forrestall: And you, Mr. Johns?

Mr. Fred Johns, General Manager, Logistics and Processing Strategies, Canada Post: I have on occasion had the opportunity to do that, yes.

Senator Forrestall: Were all three of you members of the union?

Mr. McInenly: Not in my case, definitely.

Mr. Johns: No, sir.

Mr. Stiff: No.

Senator Forrestall: You worked in the post office, but you were not members of the union. That is interesting.

What we are trying to get at is who can tell us from the time a letter is dropped off at one of Canada Post's mail repositories, who sees it, who handles it, and how much machinery is involved? What is the technology for compliance, for example, with rules and regulations imposed by Transport Canada? What are those rules? Would any of you care to walk us through our dilemma? That dilemma is a denial by both Canada Post and Air Canada of any responsibility for safe mail. You say that 15 per cent of this mail travels by air. You can do the calculations; you will understand our concern.

Our concern is safety. We want to know how it is safe, and we want to know from the people who make it safe. What do you have to say to that?

Mr. McInenly: The sanctity of the mail has been a pivotal point for Canada Post forever. It continues to be an ongoing source of concern for us because there are people from within our community and elsewhere who would like to have access. In the past, that has been a source of challenge for us, and it continues to be. If there is any misleading or other information that you have received about security and are concerned about it, I should certainly like to know about it and would be pleased to respond to that — if not today, certainly subsequently.

Senator Forrestall: You are not aware of this committee being advised of this dilemma?

Mr. McInenly: I am aware of the issues before you.

The Chairman: To clarify this, when we first asked Canada Post for a witness and told the corporation the purpose of the hearing, they told us that they could not understand why we wanted someone from Canada Post because it nothing to do with security of the mail or with respect to checking its safety. We thought that was an interesting remark to come from Canada Post.

Mr. McInenly: I share your expression of interest, senator. It is not only an inherent part of what we do on a day-to- day basis, but also it is built into our legislation and our operating regulations. I am surprised at that response. I certainly cannot speak to that because it is totally inconsistent with our own experience and practice.

Senator Forrestall: Let us deal for a moment or two with this area.

Does Canada Post accept any responsibility for ensuring that the mail and parcels it ships by air do not pose a threat to the airplane that must transport it?

Mr. McInenly: The answer is, yes, we do. In our approach, under our legislation and with respect to our day-to-day operations, drawing upon the experience of our people, which exists quite independent of the events of September 11 in terms of their daily dealing with the mail, familiarity with objects and training with respect to dangerous goods, which can affect the movement of mail on the aircraft as much as an explosive or anything else might, we have that type of experience within our facilities. Mr. Johns will elaborate on that, if you wish, but we do accept responsibility for handling things safely and ensuring that items are moved from one point to the next.

However, there are certain areas where we have no jurisdiction. For example, in some of our major facilities, Canada Customs and Revenue Agency is present and operating. They screen items that come into our hands before we see them. They do primary and secondary screening, and then it is passed on to us.

Senator Forrestall: Please explain that. What is the process? At what point would they intervene to examine mail?

Mr. McInenly: As items comes to us from air carriers, handed to our facilities by air carriers, they would be put into the hands customs officers at the appropriate location for their screening in line with their legislative controls.

Senator Forrestall: What about mail going out?

Mr. McInenly: Again, Mr. Johns could add more specific details, but generally speaking, the controls are multiple. In our case, they are the operating controls that exist from the time an item is picked up, deposited in a piece of street furniture or at some retail point, right through to the airport — and Mr. Johns can elaborate on that — to include the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency, which also has certain authorities with respect to their ability to inspect certain items for certain reasons that are outgoing.

Senator Forrestall: If someone empties a mailbox at the corner of Yonge and Bloor, what happens to the mail? Who sees it, and who handles it? Presumably, an employee picks it up, puts it in the van, and eventually the mail arrives at some sort of sorting centre in Toronto.

What happens when the truck backs up to the loading platform? Who picks it up? Where does it go? Who handles it?

Before you answer those questions, do we have the technology to check for explosives, substances other than anthrax? Do we have the technology to identity any dangerous threat from a letter?

Mr. McInenly: With respect to your first question, I will defer to Mr. Johns.

Senator Forrestall: Do we have the technology?

Mr. Johns: I thought you were asking a question about how we collect mail?

Senator Forrestall: I am, but I want to know whether we have the technology. Before you tell us whether this stuff is checked — I have a funny feeling that either you or Air Canada is leading people like myself down the garden path. I do not particularly like it to be honest, frank and blunt with you. I want to be honest, blunt and frank with you and give you an opportunity to tell not only us but also the people of Canada how this all works, so that when they get on a plane they feel safe.

That is why I ask the question: Do we have the technology? If so, then pick up the telling of what happens when the mail is dropped off. What happens?

Mr. Stiff: The technology is not in use to scan all mail.

Senator Forrestall: Wait a minute. Is not in use?

Mr. Stiff: No, because I do not believe the technology exists to be able to process the volume of product that passes through our company. The same situation exists in other postal administrations.

Senator Forrestall: You are suggesting that it is a matter of economics?

Mr. Stiff: No, I am suggesting it is a matter of time, with economics involved, of course, senator. With the types of detection equipment, to my knowledge, that exist today, they are specific. There is not a device that can detect a multiple of potential hazardous materials.

Senator Forrestall: Could you tell us what they might be?

Mr. Stiff: You might have a chemical, explosive or a biological hazard. There is no single device on the market that I am aware of through my international contacts that would allow us to go there — to selectively even scan mail as it is going through the system.

The sheer volume of product that is in the system on a daily basis would preclude the use of any existing technology to identity dangerous or hazardous goods in the mail.

Senator Forrestall: Tell us now what happens to that bag of mail.

Mr. Stiff: Mr. Johns can jump in here. One of our corporate employees, an MSC as we refer to them, drives the trucks and clears street letterboxes. That mail is put into a vehicle. As the employee completes the route, he or she brings that mail in raw form back to a postal facility. In the case of Toronto, it would be the south central complex. The mail is unloaded — an open dump system — and is prepared to go to machinery.

The Chairman: Please go slowly, because some of us are not familiar with some of the terms. As well, the translators are trying hard to keep up with you. You said something about an open dump?

Mr. Stiff: Yes.

The Chairman: When you bring up a new term like that, could you describe it to us because we are not familiar with some of these terms?

Mr. Stiff: The mail is brought into the facility, where it is prepared for the machines, where possible. Mr. Johns can take over the processing strategies in place today as that mail is inducted into the corporate system and prepared for transmission to the ultimate delivery point.

The Chairman: I still do not know what an open dump is.

Mr. Johns: I will clarify that. Collection mail from street letterboxes is brought in by our collection trucks — our drivers. It has to be segregated when it arrives as to the different types of pieces — for instance, small letters, larger letters, and so on.

We have an operation at the front of our process to do that segregation. It is a machine-assisted process, and we have machines called culler facer cancellers, which can do that at high speed, for instance, to put all the letters in the right orientation so they can be fed into our sorting machines in a high-speed, productive manner. That was the reference. We call that front-end operation ``open, dump and cull'' of that product.

The Chairman: Open, dump and cull, C-U-L-L?

Mr. Johns: Yes, meaning cull the different physical aspects. For instance, the vast majority of what is deposited is letters, largely small letters, but they could be what we call flats or larger envelopes. In the culling process, they are separated to go into the remainder of the physical operations to basically do the sorting, so that they can go to the next destination or operation.

As you may know, we have high-speed sorting machines that can physically read the front of a small envelope and the postal code and do the sorting at very high speed. The vast majority of what we collect is of that nature. That process is what happens largely in places like our large complex in Toronto south.

Senator Forrestall: At this stage, how long has the mail been inside this facility — 10 minutes?

Mr. Johns: No, it can vary because the collection cycle is largely in the evening. We do collect during the day from heavy drops, but we largely collect in the early evening. The process, as we cull it ``outward'' is done in the evening up until midnight, depending on the size, the volume and the capacitiy.

Senator Forrestall: You have me wondering about the next collection if it is scheduled at 10 a.m. I do not have to rush to the post office. I can mail my letter by 6 p.m. I know you do not mean that. I am being facetious.

The mail sits around, then, for varying periods of time. Presumably, there would be an opportunity, for example, to do random testing. Do you do any of that?

Mr. Johns: Sorry, senator I do not understand what you mean by ``testing.'' Could you elaborate?

Senator Forrestall: The object of my trying to get to some conclusion here is safety: Testing for foreign substances, explosive matters, chemical matters, other forms of material that might be or could very well pose a threat to an airplane and its passengers. Do you do any testing at all in that regard?

Mr. Johns: In the operation that I just described, there is no separate procedure to do that.

Senator Forrestall: I wish to take you back to an incident that happened at the post office in Ottawa about 20 or 25 years ago. Procedures were put in place, so we were told, to ensure that things with a level of seriousness would be dealt with. You would probably recall it; you have been around long enough.

Is there a system for random testing of mail?

Mr. Stiff: There is no technical system, senator, for random testing of mail. We rely heavily on security awareness and the knowledge base of our employees as they are handling the product in the system.

Senator Forrestall: Is the process all done by humans?

Mr. Stiff: That is quite correct. The awareness takes the employees to a level of understanding of what they should be looking for, what might be suspicious, how to identity it, and the handling procedures, if they do. I would suggest that they are acutely aware of the issues today.

Going back to Mr. McInenly's comments, we had in excess of 300 incidents of suspicious items following the issues that happened in the United States. That level of awareness was heightened more so because of that. I think it has maintained itself within the system, but there is no technology that is put to use to scan systems. If there are suspicious items, we take the necessary steps to bring in the technology that would support us in making a determination as to what the contents might be.

Senator Forrestall: You have to bring in that technology, import it.

Senator Wiebe: I have a supplementary question. What process found those 300 incidents?

Mr. Stiff: They were found by visual detection, through the employees' awareness.

Senator Wiebe: At what stage did that occur?

Mr. Stiff: Through all stages of the process. We discovered white powders in street letter boxes, suspicious envelopes that were in machineries within the plants, within postal stations at the delivery end. In every instance, we quarantined the area, shut it down and brought in HAZMAT teams, specialists in handling the product. We ensured the environments were safe for the employees before they were brought back into the facilities or the working areas.

Mr. McInenly: Senator, perhaps I might be able to explain a couple of steps in the process and you may see more clearly how some of this works.

Once an item is deposited by anyone in a street letter box, whatever it happens to be, in any community, in any city or village, wherever it happens to be, there is a person who goes by at the appointed hour and so on to clear that box. That person is trained in terms of what to be looking for when they open that red box — what could be in there. Things of sources of concern to us are very innocent things, where someone has put money in as opposed to what they intended to deliver, and so on. There is an issue there, but it is not necessarily a security threat. There are things relating to drugs and syringes, narcotics, things of that sort, that people sometimes will throw in there that we have to be concerned about. There are concerns about things that might spill in small packages, where somebody unknowingly or inappropriately has packaged something and it leaks and so on.

When these things are there, the person who goes who opens that street letterbox — and, as I say, I have done this myself — is looking for these things and they are trained to deal with that. If it is not something that is immediately familiar to them, then they know who to contact, when to contact and what to do. They are provided with equipment and so on, which can be gloves or whatever, for the removal of those items. As these items are being swept out of that individual street furniture, that is essentially the first step in the process. They go into a large bag and go onto that person's vehicle and then they — meaning that bag or those bags — are, in fact, removed to another facility where they are treated again. It is something that starts right through the whole process.

Senator Wiebe: That is the answer for which we were looking. That is the first point of physical inspection of that mail is when it is picked up at that box.

Mr. McInenly: Mr Johns can elaborate on what happens as that item moves through the system.

Senator Cordy: You have spoken about training. What training do your employees receive?

Mr. Johns: We have, obviously, job training specifically related to the production tasks. In addition to that — and this was heightened by the events of last fall — there is further training and familiarization with these hazardous situations, suspicious items. That can be anything from video-assisted sessions to classroom training to in-the- workplace training, supplemented by posters, visuals and so on, and procedures, of course, so that people know what these things look like, what is suspicious, and what to be on the alert for. It is a combination of various means so that all of the employees who are touching the mail feel safe and have this familiarity.

Senator Cordy: Would this training be for all employees who would be in contact with the mail, whether it is picking it up at the street level or working in the main post office?

Mr. Johns: That is correct.

Mr. McInenly: Senator, I have one point of elaboration that might be helpful. We talked about one way in which the mail comes into the system, which is through street furniture. Mail comes in across our retail counters, where people go to a local post office and deposit it, and we have commercial and other customers who use their own vehicles and so on to bring it to our docks. It is at that point, and every one of those stages, as things come in, that our employees see it and get that first screen, if you will.

Senator Cordy: If I go to my grocery store I can drop my mail off and it is an employee of the grocery store who is handling the mail; is that not correct?

Mr. McInenly: In certain areas, where we do have franchises, whether they are drug stores or convenience stores or what have you, and so on, those are the employees of the proprietor, if you will, or of that particular business person. They receive background information as well with respect to things about which they need to be concerned. They are not employees of the Canada Post Corporation but, on the other hand, they are part of our larger picture with respect to how we receive and handle things.

The Chairman: If we called one of those people to appear before us, do you feel confident that they would tell us that they are well trained to detect hazardous substances in the packages that they are given?

Mr. McInenly: I believe, senator, that if you were to call on one of our major franchisees and so on, they would be able to answer your questions to your satisfaction.

The Chairman: I am thinking of a little pharmacy down the street here. Perhaps we could call them up and see what they have to say. Would you feel comfortable if we did that?

Mr. McInenly: I certainly would.

Senator Forrestall: I must assume now that you do not do any checking, other than that which comes from a lifetime experience of handling mail. I would be interested to know about the details. How often does a postal employee, for example, get to touch an individual letter so that he might examine it? The high-speed movement of mail does not lend itself to much visual inspection.

You are handling a raw material that you are passing on to a carrier in the form in which you receive it. Am I right that you do nothing with it or to it other than ensure that it gets into the right bin for transport? My assumption is that it goes that way to the airport.

Mr. McInenly: In general terms, that is going in the right direction, but the reality is that, through this inspection process, we remove all kinds of things from the mail that do not belong there. We have an office that is referred to as the ``undeliverable mail office.'' It is a large facility in Toronto where items that do not belong in the system, either because they violate some regulation or they are unsafe, are removed. That facility deals with thousands of items on an annual basis and endeavours to get them back to the appropriate persons or to destroy the items in question.

Senator Forrestall: Are these items that might pose a threat to an aircraft?

Mr. McInenly: Usually items of the type that you describe, or the transportation of dangerous goods, are generally dealt with at the site, at the time, where they are discovered, and are removed appropriately by trained people. If you have a spillage, for example, of a toxic or noxious substance, the precise identity of which is not understood but which represents a threat, it is dealt with in that facility at that time.

Senator Forrestall: You do take precautionary measures with regard to the goods that you pass on to Air Canada or whatever carrier for transport?

Mr. McInenly: Yes, that is right. We would not knowingly, under any circumstances —

Senator Forrestall: I am sure you would not and I am not implying that at all.

Mr. McInenly: To be very clear, we would not knowingly, under any circumstance, let anything out of our hands that could pose a threat. That certainly is not what our service is about and it is certainly one of the things that is among our priorities to be on the lookout for.

Senator Forrestall: That is a service that you provide universally for the mail, period. That is to say, you do not do this for safe air passage; you do it because it is a contamination of the system.

Mr. McInenly: It is a contamination of the system, and I would also point out that in situations where the airlines are themselves exposed to this, they have made it known to us, over an extended period of time, that they do not want those things coming through our facilities because they represent a hazard to their operations if not the safety of their people. We are aware of that.

Senator Meighen: I want to ask a couple of questions that hinge on the first sentence of the second paragraph on page 8 of your presentation. It states:

Under the procedures established by Transport Canada, all mail destined for passenger aircraft is now kept in a secure area and certified by Canada Post to be in compliance with the regulations, prior to being transferred to the air carrier.

For clarification, presumably ``all mail'' includes courier mail, Xpresspost and everything?

Mr. McInenly: Yes.

Senator Meighen: Where is this secure area? Is it at the airport or at a Canada Post facility?

Mr. Johns: At a Canada Post facility.

Senator Meighen: Did this secure area exist prior to September 11, is it one that has been established subsequently, or is it one that has been established pursuant to the procedures established by Transport Canada to which you referred?

Mr. Stiff: I believe it is within the existing facilities based on the level of security that has been provided to the mail historically. That is, by definition, a secure environment.

Senator Meighen: The phrase ``Under the procedures established by Transport Canada'' refers to procedures that have been in existence for quite some time; is that right?

Mr. Stiff: No, they were new procedures as a result of Transport Canada's edicts. We were able to comply with those specific requirements based on the infrastructure that we have in place.

Senator Meighen: Can you outline for us what the new procedures comprise?

Mr. McInenly: On a point of clarification, which might assist, we operate in a particular way. The movement of mail has certain characteristics with regard to what it is, what it consists of, and the steps it goes through in moving from point A, to point B, to point C. In our historical relationship with Transport Canada, Transport Canada is aware of how we operate and they understand the intricacies associated with that. To the extent that they have involved themselves with us, which they have on a consistent and continuous basis since the events of last year, they have sought to take advantage of our normal operating procedures as much as possible in order to facilitate their objectives. That gives, perhaps, a clearer understanding of what is involved.

Senator Meighen: Perhaps, but with regard to this phrase, ``Under the procedures established by Transport Canada...'' I am trying to find out what those are, particularly if they are subsequent to September 11.

Mr. McInenly: Let me provide some assistance there. The relationship that we have had with Transport Canada, apart from the day-to-day operation requirements, has in fact been governed by pieces of legislation that fall within the purview of the minister. One of those pieces of legislation is the Aeronautics Act. Pursuant to the provisions of the Aeronautics Act, as we understand it, and as it has been explained to us from time to time by people at Transport Canada, the minister has the authority to issue orders in any given set of circumstances with respect to what security measures the minister considers to be appropriate at that time, having regard for the risk as he or his officials may perceive it. Once those orders are issued, then we are given those orders and we carry them out.

The information that we have is that the minister and the minister alone has been authorized to speak to those items or to disclose the specifics of that. We have operated in line with that directive from the very first day that we dealt with them at the time when this was drawn to our attention. In that regard, that is the framework within which we have operated.

Senator Meighen: I know you are trying hard to make me understand, but I am having trouble.

Because the word ``now'' is in here — ``...all mail destined for passenger aircraft is now kept in a safe area...'' — do I assume that prior to ``now'' it was not — whenever ``now'' is?

Mr. Stiff: No, that was always the case, but there were addendums attached, requirements, as a result of September 11.

Senator Meighen: Let us hear about that. That is what I am trying to find out. What additional security measures with regard to mail destined for passenger aircraft are now in place? If you are telling me that such mail was always kept in a secure area, is it a more secure area under the regulations?

Mr. Stiff: As Mr. McInenly pointed out, the minister set certain guidelines and we respected those guidelines. I am not sure that I have the ability to talk to those guidelines that were set by the minister as it relates to national security. All I can tell you is that we are in compliance with the minister's directions.

Senator Meighen: Are those guidelines gazetted; are they published?

Mr. McInenly: Our understanding is that they are not, and that understanding has been brought to my attention as being in line with the statutory instruments legislation. Items that go to certain security measures as transport —

Senator Forrestall: You are not invoking the aeronautics thing, are you?

Mr. McInenly: Senator, I am conveying to you the framework within which we operate on a daily basis, and that is it.

Our understanding is also, with respect to this, that there is a notification provision that is available to the minister with respect to any disclosure that may be required under law or otherwise. To our understanding as we sit here today, we are unaware of any such notification being given to the minister or indeed any authorization having been provided by the minister with respect to the specifics of these procedures.

I want to be very, very clear on this. This area of activity is very straightforward. It is not a complicated matter. The corporation stands ready to work with the members of this committee and with the Minister of Transport to perfect the level of communication that is required or necessary in order to achieve the appropriate objectives. We do not want to be cast in the position as not being forthcoming. We are working within the framework as it has been given to us and as it has been explained to us, and we understand that. We are required and do confirm to Transport Canada our compliance with it on an ongoing basis.

The Chairman: You are appearing here before a parliamentary committee, and you have immunity appearing before us. Are you aware of the immunities that apply to you as a witness here? No action can be taken against you as a result of what you say before this committee.

Mr. McInenly: Thank you, senator. I am aware of that and I appreciate that reinforcement. I wish to assure you that that is not the source of my concerns. I understand the proceedings.

My concern is that if, as a matter of anything that we might say today, the effect would be to draw unnecessary attention to our operations so as to prove to be a source of attraction for those very people we are trying to keep outside, then of course, I am concerned about any nature of a public disclosure. However, apart from that, I am not particularly concerned about my personal situation.

The Chairman: We share that concern, too. Having said that, we have heard the same story from numerous people, as well as police officers, but not in relation to Canada Post, in fairness. However, the RCMP told us that numerous organized crime groups are functioning within Pearson airport. People there do not want to describe how they secure baggage, as an example, how they check baggage, as an example, and yet the RCMP tell us there are criminals operating inside the airport. We think if you have a system that works, you should be able to describe it so that people would then have confidence that it works, and we could move forward from there.

You are testifying here and you have parliamentary immunity. I would encourage you to take advantage of that immunity, and I would return the floor to Senator Meighen.

Mr. McInenly: Senator, to facilitate the points that your colleague has put forward, we have provided to the committee a schematic that essentially shows where the mail originates and how it gets to a particular facility — in this case, Pearson. If you have copies of that, we can take you through and show you where the dividing lines are — that is, where we operate and where others operate.

The Chairman: Could we pause for just a moment until everyone has the page you are referring to. I would ask the clerk — in order to ensure that those members of the public who do not have copies — to copy it this page, to make sure the public can see what we are all looking at.

Senator LaPierre: I have some questions about page 1 of this document we are looking at — Operation at the Toronto Airmail Facility, AMF.

The Chairman: You are on the list, Senator LaPierre.

Senator LaPierre: I thought perhaps I should let you know that.

The Chairman: I will keep that in mind.

Senator Meighen: I do not have any of the information that I had hoped to have, but I will wrap up.

The Chairman: Just before you do, does everyone have the schematic? Is everyone on the same page of the same chapter?

Mr. McInenly: I will pass this over to my colleague, Mr. Johns. However, the idea behind the schematic as you have it was basically to provide a framework within which you could see how mail moves to and from our airports and where the lines of demarcation are, if you will, relative to our part in the operation.

I think we can speak to that, hopefully, exhaustively and to your satisfaction.

Senator Meighen: Let me ask the question then, if I could. Let us take Toronto South, for example. I understand from your testimony that the mail destined for an Air Canada, let us say, passenger aircraft is kept in a secure area in Toronto South prior to travelling by truck to the Air Canada Cargo facility that is indicated here. Is that correct?

Mr. McInenly: That is correct.

Senator Meighen: You are not prepared to discuss this morning the type of security practiced in that area, as I understand.

Mr. McInenly: Do you mean as it relates to security?

Senator Meighen: Yes.

Mr. McInenly: What we do to manage secure items generally in the facility, absolutely, senator, we would be more than willing to elaborate on this process, if you will, of how we deal with things. As it relates to the specifics of what Transport Canada has communicated to us in their order, we defer to the Minister of Transport in line with the legislation as we understand it.

Senator Meighen: We have heard that before, so we will have to attack that on a different level. I would be interested in what you do in the secure area, or how you ensure that it is secure.

Mr. Johns: Should I describe the flow here and our interaction?

Senator Meighen: I am interested in the fact that you have a secure area in Toronto South. I should like to know what a secure area consists of. I should like to know who has access to it. I should like to know what measures are taken to ensure the security of a secure area.

Senator LaPierre: We are talking about Toronto South.

Senator Meighen: Anyone. Pick Toronto West, if you like. However, let's take Toronto South as an example, because the schematic shows a two-way arrow to AC Cargo, which I assume to be the Air Canada Cargo facility.

Mr. Johns: The three pages that you see describe the general outline. The second page describes the flows, where the facilities are and the carriers that we are interfacing with. The third page about the Toronto AMF explains an operation we have at the Vista Building at the airport that has employees of ours in it. That is the nature of the document.

Specifically, with respect to Toronto South, there is dispatching to AC Cargo that is international and U.S. letter mail that will be carried by Air Canada; from Toronto South, going to international destinations other than that, as well as the U.S. going to other carriers; and finally, from Toronto South going domestically. Those are the three flows.

This mail is taken there on vehicles driven by our shuttle drivers, as we call them. They have defined tours, point to point, to take this mail to the airport. When the mail gets to the airport, they are depositing that mail at facilities outside the secure area, at the docks of these facilities. In other words, the drivers are not going on the airside or the rampside of these facilities; the drivers simply take the mail there for deposit.

Senator LaPierre: For Toronto South, the trucks arrive at the Vista site, which is on my document.

Mr. Johns: Yes, that is one of the sites.

Senator LaPierre: The drivers take the mail to the Vista site, which is outside of the little pointed line on this schematic.

Mr. Johns: Correct.

Senator LaPierre: The mail is deposited there by your employees, and it stays there until your employees take it to the aircraft — or is it the airline people who take it to the aircraft?

Mr. Johns: The airline employees take the mail to the aircraft. Our people arrange the mail, for instance, in airline containers at the Vista facility, for some flights, and the airline employees then take it from that facility to the aircraft.

Senator Meighen: Is the recipient, let us say Air Canada, entitled to rely on your formal or implied guarantee or assurance that the mail delivered to the unloading dock at the Air Canada cargo facility has been treated in compliance with Transport Canada regulations prior thereto?

Mr. Johns: Yes, and we certify to that effect.

The Chairman: Do you sign a document for every bag of mail? How often do you sign a document certifying?

Mr. Johns: With respect to Air Canada, we have a standing document to that effect, that we are meeting the procedure.

The Chairman: Once a year do you say that everything has been okay for the past year? How often do you do that — just once, period?

Mr. Johns: We have a standing letter with them.

The Chairman: At some date in the past, a year or two ago, you signed a document certifying that everything from now until you sign something different has been okayed?

Mr. McInenly: My understanding, senator, is that the certification to which reference has been made is a certification that was called for as a result of the security measures introduced by the Minister of Transport relative to the events of last September. That document is maintained, as I understand it, on an ongoing basis as a standard or a commitment to compliance.

The Chairman: Can you provide the committee with a copy of that document, please?

Mr. McInenly: I do not have a copy of it, but I am sure that is something that is available.

Mr. Stiff: If I may, senator, you asked a specific question that we have not answered yet. South central, the facility shell itself is a secure environment. Access control is established with security guards. Vehicular access control has two points. They are manned by security guards as well. All the employees are put through a screening process and issued corporate identification cards that must be worn while at work at all times. The supervisory environment is very aware of work cells and work groups there. Anyone who would try to invade that environment, I am quite confident, would be challenged very quickly based in the processes that are in place.

Senator Meighen: Are these visual passes?

Mr. Stiff: Yes.

Senator Meighen: They do not have an electronic component to them?

Mr. Stiff: There are two types of passes, depending on the process. Employees have to swipe a card as well as show the card visually to the security guard as they are entering the plant environment, and they compare the picture ID to the individual.

Senator Meighen: What happens when an employee resigns?

Mr. Stiff: When an employee resigns, there is a process for the recovery and elimination of access to the system.

Senator Meighen: What would that process be? Do you ask them to return it?

Mr. Stiff: Yes, there is a pass-out process for employees who leave the corporation.

Senator Meighen: If I phone up one day and say: ``I am finished. I am not going to work at Canada Post any more,'' what would happen?

Mr. Stiff: We deactivate the card from the system, and we post the card as an employee no longer working with the company at the guard post.

Senator Meighen: Can you deactivate the swiping?

Mr. Stiff: Yes, especially at the plants where we have the turnstiles for access control. At the head office environment, for instance, deactivated access is not allowed.

Senator Meighen: I have taken enough time.

Senator Day: I would like to have it clear in my mind as to what has been undertaken and what you have agreed to do for us. You indicated that the certification document should be readily available. You do not have a copy here.

Mr. McInenly: I do not have a copy of it.

Senator Day: You have undertaken to provide us with a copy.

Mr. McInenly: I still have not seen the document, so I cannot speak to it. Save and except for any limits that is may appear on the document itself that create a problem, I do not see any difficulty in that.

Senator Day: You will undertake to try to do that for us, and if you cannot you will let us know why?

Mr. McInenly: Absolutely.

Senator Day: Can we expand that to include what you are certifying? Could you find out if you are permitted to tell us what you are certifying?

Mr. McInenly: Within the limits we have discussed, absolutely.

Senator Day: That would be very helpful for us. As you say, it might not be anything that startling to us, but you feel you cannot produce it now because of your limitations under the Aeronautics Act.

Mr. McInenly: Senator, on the basis of the knowledge I do have with respect to this operation, I think you would be underwhelmed by the lack of complexity. It is fairly straightforward.

Senator Day: In all likelihood then, you will be able to get permission to produce it. I am pleased to accept your undertaking in that regard.

I am looking at your notes, page 8, just after the area discussed by Senator Meighen. Could you describe to me why these new procedures that you cannot tell us about would result in you having to reduce or cut out some of the previous services that you used to offered?

Mr. McInenly: The question is an interesting one, senator. We move items within defined schedules. To the extent that there is a requirement to do anything the effect of which might alter a schedule is where we might find some potential impact, which we have worked with Transport Canada to minimize.

Senator Day: Once we see these regulations it might be obvious to us why you might be delayed in doing something; is that correct?

Mr. McInenly: I believe that is correct.

Mr. Stiff: I might add as a point clarification for you that your question caused us to move product that used to be flown to the ground transportation network, because we could not meet the requirements.

Senator Day: That is helpful.

Mr. Stiff: We would not violate it. We moved it to ground, and we changed the standards to take that into consideration.

Senator Day: That was helpful. Does 15 per cent of your mail still go by aircraft? Is it all aircraft that is passenger aircraft or transport aircraft owned by someone else? Do you have any of your aircraft with which you move mail or charter exclusively for moving the mail?

Mr. McInenly: The aircraft that we rely on, senator, fall into two categories. There are passenger aircraft, which of course as you will appreciate, provide the greatest frequency for the movement of items and, therefore, are the most consistent with the best timing or scheduling that you can put in place. Then there are cargo aircraft operated by various companies and so on that we use that do not involve passengers and therefore involve other considerations, which we also use and historically have done so.

Senator Day: The chart at which we were looking, Mr. Johns, that you so kindly provided to us earlier on, and the secure areas we have talked about are in your facilities about which Mr. Stiff has provided some detail on maintaining security. When these items are dropped off, is the driver of your shuttle inside the gate at the airport or outside?

Mr. Johns: The dotted line that we have put on the diagram was meant to convey the concept that that is the restricted area of the ramp or airside at the airport. Our drivers are not going inside that area.

Senator Day: You drop this off then, for example, at an Air Canada cargo area.

Mr. Johns: That refers to the infield complex at Pearson at Air Canada's cargo facility.

Senator Day: Outside the restricted area?

Mr. Johns: Correct.

Senator Day: Do you know if that area is secure? Do you know if that area is supervised, or do you just drop it off and then it is Air Canada's problem?

Mr. Johns: No, we are tendering, in each case, to the air carrier's staff directly.

Senator Day: Do you know if the area has the same kind of security measure that as Mr. Stiff has just described to us as you so ably provide in your facilities?

Mr. Stiff: Senator, it does. At AMF, 22 or 23 corporate employees have access control again with security. The 22 employees who work at the AMF not only have a corporate identification system and are put through a screening process, but they also have the additional process of being screened by the airport authority with the appropriate access card by the airport authority to enable them to take that product from the outside line to the inside line of the facility. Once it passes from the back door of the AMF it is now airside and in the custody of the airline.

Senator Day: AMF is not your —

Mr. Stiff: AMF is our facility, but the front portion of it is corporate employees, the backside of it is the airport authority.

Senator Day: AMF is your facility.

Mr. Stiff: Air Mail Freight, that is correct.

Senator Day: Is AC Cargo your facility?

Mr. Stiff: No.

Senator Day: You drop some mail off at AC Cargo.

Mr. Stiff: Yes, we do, at the front door.

Senator Day: At the front door. Do you know what goes on behind the front door?

Mr. Stiff: No, that is Air Canada.

Senator Day: That is Air Canada's responsibility.

Mr. Stiff: Correct.

Senator Day: So we have this mail that you have had in a nice, secure spot, and you take it to the front door of AC Cargo, drop it off in a sealed bag, and that is the end of your involvement with it until it is delivered to you at the other airport; is that correct?

Mr. Stiff: At that juncture, when it is given to the carrier, I would suggest, yes. However, there are processes behind the scenes as well in terms of ramp officers and other corporate inspectors that would ensure that the processes are being followed throughout the entire chain.

Senator Day: These are not processes you are involved with; is that correct?

Mr. Stiff: No, the processes that relate to us is in terms of the protection of the mail, whether it is in the proper place and is protected as it should be. What happens within the four walls of the Air Canada complex, I am sorry, I cannot comment on.

Senator Day: Presumably, Transport Canada has a set of regulations that nobody can tell us about that relates to that particular facility as well; is that correct?

Mr. Stiff: I would suggest, yes.

Senator Day: We would have to talk to AC Cargo about that, or Transport Canada, or both.

Mr. McInenly: Mr. Stiff and Mr. Johns, I believe, have made reference to ramp officers. These are a few people in our employ whose have responsibility in addition to the work done by our employees in the airmail facility, for example, in handing things over. These ramp officers have certain responsibilities and do have access elsewhere in the larger facility in order to ensure that, from a quality perspective, items of mail handed off to an air carrier are, in fact, being loaded in line with the appropriate flight, whatever it happens to be. It goes to quality.

Senator Day: They do not handle the mail out on the tarmac; they just see that it is loaded in a timely manner.

Mr. McInenly: They are performing a quality assurance role on our behalf.

Senator Day: I see that. It says that your AMF have airport security and that presumably the ramp officers would have security, had it been cleared.

Mr. McInenly: Absolutely.

Senator Day: Is that your security clearance or is that the airport security clearance?

Mr. Stiff: It is ours, plus the addendum of the airport security, plus the driving requirements, which is also the airport authority.

Senator Day: The ramp officers are not in the Air Canada Cargo building; they are out on the tarmac where the loading takes place, is that correct?

Mr. Johns: I believe they also have access to the Air Canada Cargo facility.

Senator Day: Would you check on that, please?

Mr. Johns: Yes, I will check and get you that information.

Senator Day: What I am looking for is whether Canada Post is following their sealed bags all the way through until they are in the hold of the aircraft, in every instance. Even if you might not handle it, if you are watching it being handled, then you can still see what is happening.

Mr. McInenly: We will undertake to provide that elaboration.

Senator Day: That is the kind of information that we are looking for, that someone is actually doing this.

Mr. Johns: I could add just a small detail. Our shipments, as I mentioned earlier, involve three levels of containerization, if you will: airline containers, plastic tubs or trays, which are then strapped with machines and plastic binding material, and bags that have a secure plastic bag seal to seal the neck of the bags.

In addition to that, they are tagged by automated systems that we have, largely, determining which flight, when it was closed, which dispatch, and so on. Hence, lest we think that this stuff is lying open, it is not. The contents are secure in that fashion with seals and tags, and so forth.

Mr. Stiff: Senator, to your point, that percentage number is letter mail. The total product we are talking about here is letter mail.

Senator Day: Is that 15 per cent?

Mr. Johns: I should just clarify. It includes mostly letter mail, some packets and some parcels. That is the composition of the stream.

Senator Forrestall: If I buy a 48-cent stamp, I have entered into a contract with you to deliver that letter. That mail is your responsibility, regardless of who is the carrier is or what events might intervene between the time I mail the letter and it gets to the addressee. It is still your responsibility to provide me the service. You do have an obligation through to the completion of this cycle.

Senator Day is asking whether you feel confident about your control over security of this trust, through the whole process. I do not think your obligation to me can be transferred to the carrier.

Mr. McInenly: Thank you very much, senator; that really puts a very sharp focus on it. We are responsible for getting mail from A to B. We are responsible for the movement of mail within Canada and between Canada and points abroad. That is what the postal service has been mandated by Parliament to do; that is what we do.

To carry that service out, at any given point in time, we have access to different types of resources — our own resources, which you see in terms of our uniform letter carriers and other vehicle operators, our plants and facilities, et cetera, as well as resources available to us through contractors. Air Canada is one of those contractors, but there are literally thousands across the country who are responsible for the movement of mail on a day-to-day basis. They might be highway service contractors, rural route contractors, et cetera.

In and around the airport, we rely on our contracted specialists, in this case, Air Canada or one of the other airlines, to do what they are contracted to do on our behalf in order to complete the different links in the chain, if you will, and to the extent that they may be subject to regulatory or other controls imposed by levels of government or otherwise, that they respect those. To the extent that we are involved in those discussions with them and are aware of those things, we do our utmost through our people to ensure that the mail moves smoothly.

Senator Day: I am interested in the inbound mail, coming from overseas or from another part of Canada, coming to Canada Post in Toronto, for example. We have to focus on one destination, and the same chain of control. If you can give me that information that I have asked for with respect to outbound also with respect for inbound mail, that would be helpful for me in terms of chain of control. I am not asking you to do that now, because you will be doing some investigation.

With respect to the document that you produced for me, I am wondering if you know who seals the sealed bag. Do you keep a record of the seal number, for example? Is that checked? If a bag were missing or something were found in a bag, would you be able to determine who sealed that bag?

Mr. Johns: In general, the way the process works, for instance, for international-bound mail, we have an automated system at our facility where the dispatch is closed and made up for shipment. That is after the sorting process has happened. It is the consolidation of items by destination, by shipment and going to certain carriers. That is where, for instance, the sealing and tagging process takes place. I will confirm this, but I believe in that instance our seals are numbers in sequence.

Senator Day: I would like to know if you keep a record of who or where the bag was sealed and in what city, that kind of thing.

Mr. Johns: Yes. In terms of international dispatching, we only have three sites that we use: our Toronto facility, Montreal and Vancouver, and one work centre in the facility that does that. It is quite narrow, quite isolated. Now, as to which employee, if that is what you are asking, it might not be that clear, but we would certainly know when, because the time stamp on it says exactly when it happened.

Senator Day: When you receive a parcel, a container or a bag, would you be able to determine whether that seal had been tampered with?

Mr. Johns: Are you referring there to our outbound operation, which I was describing, or are you referring to inbound?

Senator Day: With respect to outbound, when it gets to its destination, would someone there be able to check it and determine whether the seal had been tampered with?

Mr. Johns: Yes, that is fairly commonly done in the postal world. If there is anything amiss with a shipment arriving at a postal administration, a bulletin of verification is written out and returned back to the origin for further investigation.

Senator Day: Would you do a special check with respect to that bag to see if something had been put in there that was not there when it was sealed earlier?

Mr. Johns: At that point, I think, if it were a matter of security, our security people would get involved and follow the processes.

Senator Day: They would do whatever they might do.

In this list, in reference to ingoing or outgoing mail, you do not say anything about customs. However, in the presentation, you say that you cooperate with customs. I am wondering why you did not mention it here. Does that happen somewhere else? Can we talk about parcels that come from the United States, for example, and how customs gets involved with that. Is Canada Customs in your facility here, are they at the airport, do they look at the bags there? Tell me about that.

Mr. Johns: I would be happy to describe that. Canada Customs is on our site in the Toronto west plant. They have an operation there. Fundamentally, the concept is that international mail arriving into Canada is brought there directly from the carriers, and it is put through what is called a primary process, which is sort of like a conveyer belt: the mail bag is opened by our employees; there are customs inspectors standing there with them; it is done jointly; the customs inspectors will decide which items they wish to take a further look at and do a secondary process on; those items are removed from that stream and sent to their secure secondary area where they do their process. Any material that they do not wish to do that with is passed into our sorting operation.

Senator Day: Is that first process all visual or is some X-raying done?

Mr. Johns: I would not comment on the customs process, but at the level of the primary, it is a visual operation.

Senator Day: This mail is now in your facility and is now your responsibility. Customs sorts it with your people there. They pick out certain items that they want to look at in more detail and they put those into a secondary process. Are your people there during that secondary process?

Mr. Johns: No, they are not.

Senator Day: It goes into another room?

Mr. Johns: Yes.

Senator Day: Do you know what they do in that other room?

Mr. Johns: I imagine they are doing a variety of things related to, potentially, dutiable items, perhaps illegal items and various other things.

Senator Day: You have now lost control of mail that is your responsibility. Presumably there is some regulation that requires you to give up that control. Are you able to tell us under what authority? Is it a warrant; is it a regulation; is it an edict from the minister? Why do you give up control of that mail and allow customs to take it into another room where you do not know what they are doing?

Mr. Johns: I will defer to Mr. McInenly on that point.

Mr. McInenly: Senator, that is a good point. At the point that mail is surrendered to the Canada Customs authorities, it is their responsibility. They have a legislative framework within which they operate. That legislative framework is contained in a number of pieces of legislation. First, there is the Canada Post Corporation Act which basically contains a blanket prohibition against any seizure, detention or delay of mail. That is contained in section 40 of our legislation, but it also includes specific exceptions which allow for access by certain people in certain defined circumstances. One of those happens to be Canada Customs. Once it passes into their hands, it becomes their responsibility and, of course, their responsibility to us thereafter is to account for it. If they are going to hold it pending the collection of duties and so on, they will then surrender it back into our system and we pick up from there and effect delivery.

There are similar provisions that deal with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service operating under their own legislation that they, too, in given circumstances prescribed by their legislative framework, may have access. That involves procedures before the Federal Court of Canada.

The process is very specific. It is very pointed. It has a long history of experience and a long history of legislation to ensure that that integrity and the accountabilities associated with it for each and every agency, beyond what we do ourselves, is there as a matter of public record.

Senator Day: We will look at section 40, but is it your interpretation of that section that it not only allows certain other people to take custody of mail but also requires you to allow this if they ask you, without any other documentation?

Mr. McInenly: Yes. You are required, just as you would if you were crossing the border today, to present yourself and make a declaration. We are required to present the mail and make it available for them to make their determination. When they finish their process, they hand it back to us and we effect delivery thereafter.

The Chairman: CSIS does not require a warrant?

Mr. McInenly: CSIS has a set of provisions under the Canadian Security Intelligence Service legislation that does require them, if they want to get into the opening of mail, to appear before the Federal Court to secure that authorization.

The Chairman: And they must show the warrant to you before they open the mail?

Mr. Stiff: Yes.

Senator Day: You do not know whether Canada Customs is opening the mail. You are not in the room.

Mr. McInenly: Yes, we do know. They do not open every item. My colleague can elaborate on that perhaps a little more specifically. They make a determination of what they want to look at. They might be influenced by whatever the particular issues of concern to them happen to be at that point in time, as you might expect, as opposed to dealing with thousands and thousands of pieces of mail. They make a judgment call and then proceed to whatever secondary inspection they consider to be appropriate.

Within the exercise of their responsibilities, there are, again, statutory limitations in place with respect to what they can do. For example, they cannot open letter mail unless it is in excess of 30 grams. The object of the exercise has always been to preserve the integrity of the message, the information, the communication, if you will. For their purposes, they have specific statutory limitations on what they can access, too. Parcels and things of that sort, as a matter of routine, are freely available to them within their legislative authority to open and to address as appropriate.

Senator Day: Do you keep a record of everything that goes out of your custody to secondary processing by Canada Customs, CSIS, the RCMP or whatever other group has authority under section 40? Do you keep a record of what has gone into their custody?

Mr. McInenly: The answer is no. Let me put that into a context for you.

In terms of items coming into the country on a weekly basis, we are literally talking about thousands and thousands of items. In presenting those to them, the process associated with tracking each and every item that they want to look at as a primary sort is not done. They make that determination and then take away with them, generally, a small number of items. Their responsibility is to account, within the limits of their legislation, for those items. Their responsibility is to return what they can return to us for normal processing by the mail. For those items that they decide to retain, for whatever the legal or other reason happens to be, their responsibility is to account to the addressee relative to that.

Senator Day: You are out of the loop in that instance?

Mr. McInenly: At that point we are out of the picture, yes.

Senator LaPierre: Assume that a contracted driver brings to AMF or AC Cargo 10 bags fully sealed in the way you have described. Does that person have a piece of paper that is handed over to the recipient and that is signed by the recipient attesting that 10 bags have arrived and no seals have been tampered with? Is that done with each delivery? Does this useful certification take place?

Mr. Johns: There is, throughout the postal world, a standard set of shipping documentation called a CN 38 form that describes the contents of the dispatch or the consignment. That is the document that goes to the air carrier as well with the shipment.

Senator LaPierre: The truck driver has that?

Mr. Johns: Yes. He takes that with the shipment to the carrier.

Senator LaPierre: When it is transferred from Vista and loaded into air containers, another person signs and attests to the security of these bags; is that correct?

Mr. Johns: The purpose of the document is to describe the contents of the dispatch — how many bags, how many trays and that type of thing, and for which destinations. That is a shipping document. That would be handed, in the case of Vista, which is our facility, by our employees, who have put the mail into the container, along with the shipment to the airline employees who are picking it up.

Senator LaPierre: Do the airline employees who are picking it up receive that document?

Mr. Johns: Yes.

Senator LaPierre: Do they attest to the security, if I can use that word, of this cargo?

Mr. Johns: I would have to double check on this. I am not sure that there is any attestation on that form.

Senator LaPierre: Thank you, will you check on that?

Mr. Johns: Yes.

Senator LaPierre: Could we have a copy of the CN-38?

Mr. Johns: Yes.

Senator LaPierre: All Canada Post employees working at the AMF have airport security clearance. Is that correct?

Mr. Johns: Yes.

Senator LaPierre: Does that include the contracted driver?

Mr. Johns: No. The vehicle drivers who take mail to the airport, as I described earlier, are outside the secure area of the ramp. They do not go on the other side. They do not have airport clearance to do that.

Senator LaPierre: However, they are on airport grounds. In other words, they have to go through an entry point. Are they not checked there?

Mr. Johns: No. It is similar to the process for passengers going to Terminal 2 to catch a flight. You are checked when you go through the secure area but not until you get there.

Senator LaPierre: When your driver goes to AMF Vista, no one checks whether he or she is a bona fide driver of your company or a bona fide contracted driver of your company.

Mr. Johns: How can I answer this? He is one of our shuttle drivers, for instance, with his identification that Mr. Stiff described earlier, who is bringing the mail from one of our facilities. He is backing up to the unloading dock, where our employees in the facility meet him and affect the transfer of that mail and that paperwork.

Senator LaPierre: Does he have an identification card?

Mr. Johns: Yes, as an employee.

Senator LaPierre: The identification card has a picture of the driver. Is it a digital picture or one of his eyes that cannot be changed in any way shape or form?

Mr. Johns: I will refer to Mr. Stiff for that information.

Mr. Stiff: It is a photo identification card with his name and with a stripe on the back.

Senator LaPierre: Here is a photo ID card. Is that what your cards are like?

Mr. Stiff: Yes.

Senator LaPierre: Therefore, it cannot be removed or changed in any way?

Mr. Stiff: No it cannot be — it is embedded.

Senator LaPierre: However, you do not have a fingerprint on it.

Mr. Stiff: There is no fingerprint.

Senator Forrestall: Senator, would you hold up that ID card so that we can all see it on the monitor, please?

The Chairman: Briefly, the Vista area is right in the centre of the field but it is a secure area coming in and does not constitute airside; is that correct?

Mr. Johns: The Vista area straddles the two runways. At the back door or at the front door, when you arrive, you are outside the fence. To get into the facility, you have to physically pass through a checkpoint.

The Chairman: I understand, but it is in the dead centre of the airport. Is that correct?

Mr. Johns: Yes, it is just above Terminal 3.

The Chairman: Do the people who work at Vista, who are Canada Post employees, go through a scan and are their bags searched?

Mr. Stiff: No.

The Chairman: These people have access to airside; you do not search their lunch bags; and you do not know what is in their duffle bags when they are there.

Mr. Stiff: No.

The Chairman: Gentlemen, thank you for appearing before the committee. You have added to the knowledge of the committee. I expect that we will ask you or other representatives of Canada Post to return once we have digested the information that we have. We look forward to receiving the information you have undertaken to give the clerk, who will give you the coordinates for that.

Those who wish may follow the work of the committee by visiting our Web site at We post witness testimony as well as confirmed hearing schedules. Otherwise, you may contact the clerk of the committee by calling 1-800-267-7362 for further information or assistance in contacting members of the committee.

Our next panel of witnesses is from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and they are Mr. Dave McLeod, Lead Station Attendant, Mr. Rob Deemert, Cabin Security and Mr. Paul Lefebvre, President, Local Lodge 2323.

Gentlemen, I would welcome you to the committee. I will now ask the clerk to swear you in.

(David McLeod, sworn)

(Paul Lefebvre, sworn)

(Rob Deemert, sworn).

The Chairman: Before we begin, I would like to inform you that you are appearing before us with parliamentary immunity, as provided under the Parliament of Canada Act. This means that what you say and hear is privileged. You are expected to tell the truth as you see it, and no one can take any action against you for what you tell us. That immunity extends to the doors of this room, but as to what you say inside this room, no one can have any recourse against you, so I would encourage you to be as candid as you can be with us. We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Mr. Lefebvre, how would you like to organize this discussion?

Mr. Paul Lefebvre, President, Local Lodge 2323, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers: Anyway you would like to go, senator. I am not quite sure what kind of questions you are going to have.

The Chairman: Do any of your members have a statement they would like to make at the beginning and, if they do, we would welcome hearing from them; otherwise we can move directly to questions.

Mr. Dave McLeod, Lead Station Attendant, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers: I have been employed at Air Canada, Toronto Pearson Airport for seven years, six of which have been in a leadership role. This entitles overseeing the operations of various baggage operations and ramp operations and, somewhat, manpower deployment.

I am also actively involved in the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, where I am currently a shop steward. This position involves mediating the relationships between management and our general workforce.

At Air Canada, I assist in movement and transportation of all types of baggage, cargo and aircraft from the following points and baggage from the check-in point onward. Basically, baggage travels through a mechanical system that sorts the bags and distributes them to a suitable room. At this point, station and I attendants handle the baggage accordingly and deliver them to the scheduled flights.

In short, that is my job, and I hope that assists you.

Mr. Rob Deemert, Cabin Security, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers: I am an Air Canada employee. I have been an employee at the airport for 13 years. I work in cabin services, and I do the cabin internal sweeps — the security sweeps. Basically, that is it.

The Chairman: That is a good start. Do you have anything you would like to say, Mr. Lefebvre?

Mr. Lefebvre: Just as background, I have been with Air Canada 24 years. For the past six years, I have been on leave from my union activities. I am also a station attendant on the Toronto ramp and have various duties accordingly.

Senator Cordy: Thank you very much for appearing before us today. It is always interesting for us to get the word from those who are doing the real work.

Mr. McLeod, you are the person to whom, when I am sitting on the airplane and I look out the window, I say: ``Please let my luggage be on the plane.'' I have to tell that most of the time it is. All I see of you is when you are wheeling the luggage out to the plane. When you get to work in the morning, what exactly do you do? How does your day start, and what do you do during the day?

Mr. McLeod: Depending on where I am working — looking out the window, the ramp services — I will show up, depending on where I have been stationed for a certain period of time. We determine that through a bid process of where an employee will work for roughly six months. I receive my general flights that I am going to load, off-load, and work from a manager deploying flights. I just show up to carry out work on those flights, off-load and on-load the baggage and turn the aircraft around. As a lead station attendant, I am in charge of my manpower, the gentlemen or ladies who work with me. We turn that plane as fast as we can, to get it back into the air and flying.

Senator Cordy: I check my luggage in, and it goes down the ramp — in the case of Vancouver, down below where it all is sorted, depending on where you are going from Vancouver. You have staff members working in that area; correct?

Mr. McLeod: Ramp and baggage functions — we are all the same employees. One day you could be in baggage; one day you could be on the ramp. They are somewhat two different departments, where baggage will handle and sort all the bags, put them in their proper spots for destinations, and then deliver them to the ramp, to the crew that is working that aircraft to on-load the baggage.

Senator Cordy: You work on a specific aircraft?

Mr. McLeod: A specific flight.

Senator Cordy: Is there a difference in how luggage is processed? Is there a difference in the way the luggage is processed for national and international flights?

Mr. McLeod: Not now. Prior to 9/11, we did not sequence bags in domestic flights.

Senator Cordy: What do you mean, you did not sequence them?

Mr. McLeod: Right now, when you check in a bag, you are tied to that bag by a number. If you do not fly on that flight, your bag does not travel. That plane will be held until that bag is removed. Prior to 9/11, we did not do that. In domestic, we would — first available flight as they came down. Much like Toronto to Ottawa, because of the frequency of the flights, the bags were put down and off they would go to the flight, and you would travel with them. Since September 11, we sequence all baggage going to the flight and aircraft. That bag will not travel with you if you are not on that plane. If by chance you miss that flight, that bag will not travel.

Senator Cordy: If you got to the airport a little earlier and checked in for one flight, you cannot change your mind at the last minute when you get to the counter; correct?

Mr. McLeod: You could, but that bag will still go with you. That bag will not go on another flight; it will go with you. Therefore, if you did change to an earlier flight, through the communications at the airport — if I were the baggage lead, I would be informed that that bag is going on an earlier flight. I would have to find it and put it on the flight that you are travelling on.

Senator Cordy: You love to hear that, then?

Mr. McLeod: That is not great.

Senator Cordy: I have been on a plane where we were waiting to take off and the pilot has said over the loudspeaker that we cannot take off because a passenger has not gotten on the flight.

Mr. McLeod: Correct.

Senator Cordy: You would have to go on the plane and find the luggage that this passenger was supposed to have had?

Mr. McLeod: Correct.

Senator Cordy: When you actually get to work, you have a pass to get into the secure area of the airport. How does that work?

Mr. McLeod: When we all started with Air Canada, and every so often, I believe it is every 3 years, we are subject to RCMP or CSIS background checks. Either they provide us with a pass or they do not. We need to have that pass out and available and shown at all checkpoints entering into our place of work.

Senator Cordy: It is a visible pass at all times?

Mr. McLeod: Yes.

Senator Cordy: Do you just show it? How is it that you get access to the baggage area?

Mr. McLeod: The security that is responsible for it at the airport checks to make sure the pass is valid, makes sure your picture matches your face.

Senator Cordy: There is a security person at each entrance.

Mr. McLeod: Correct.

Senator Cordy: What would they check, just your pass?

Mr. McLeod: Just tie your face to the picture.

Senator Cordy: Mr. Deemert, you are the groomer on the plane; correct?

Mr. Deemert: Technically, yes. I am part of cabin services, but cabin services has taken on the job of doing the security sweeps, like checking under the seats, the overhead bins, the washrooms, wherever else.

Senator Cordy: So before any passengers get on a flight, you actually go through it.

Mr. Deemert: Given the amount of time we have, yes. If it is a quick turn, anything transborder, or anything going to the States, we have to check.

Senator Cordy: What sorts of things would you check for when you get on the airplane?

Mr. Deemert: Anything that is not supposed to be there — knives, anything sharp, even coat hangers. Heaven forbid, I do not want to find anything, but that is what we look for.

Senator Cordy: Who else has access to the cabin?

Mr. Deemert: The groomers, maintenance as well, security — ourselves — and Cara, the catering people.

Senator Cordy: You give it the security check. Would anyone enter the cabin after you have done the security check?

Mr. Deemert: Yes, sometimes — except for DCA flights, anything to Washington, we are supposed to stay in the cabin until all the work is done, until catering is off, everyone is off, and then the doors are shut. Then we can leave, and we call stock and inform them.

Senator Cordy: On a domestic flight, or on a flight other than to Washington —

Mr. Deemert: We just sweep it. Anything going to the States, we sweep, and we let it go.

Senator Cordy: Would the caterers who would be coming on after you also have a security check?

Mr. Deemert: Yes, they do — by the security people who sweep you. They sweep anyone going on to the plane.

Senator Cordy: They would have to go through a security point similar to a passenger?

Mr. Deemert: Yes, they sweep them before they get on the plane. We get swept, too.

Senator Cordy: What about anything they would be carrying, would that be checked?

Mr. Deemert: Yes, it is checked, actually, before it goes into the container and then they seal it and it gets put on the plane. I have to check behind the containers themselves; I do not open up the containers. I am not supposed to do that. I just look around it.

Senator Cordy: You would go through the security check that Mr. McLeod was speaking about earlier, where you would have your identification card visible at all times?

Mr. Deemert: Yes.

Senator Cordy: In addition to that, you would have a sweep done?

Mr. Deemert: Yes.

Senator Cordy: With a security wand?

Mr. Deemert: Yes.

Senator Atkins: Mr. Deemert, can you give me an example of something you have found in a sweep?

Mr. Deemert: Can I say that? Nothing, just little butter knives, metal, knives.

Senator Atkins: Have you ever found a weapon?

Mr. Deemert: No, not yet.

Senator Cordy: Thank goodness.

Mr. Deemert: That is what I said, thank goodness. Not yet.

Senator Atkins: This is just a general question to the panel. How secure do you really think the system is as it is working today?

Mr. Lefebvre: I might answer that question. It is as good as you pay for. What I mean by that is, travelling around the world extensively, especially in Europe, the security people themselves are paid wages, I suppose, that they can raise families on, so you attract, I guess, people like military officers or military trained people, police personnel, rather than the lowest common denominator, that is the lowest wages. If you flip, I suppose, the notion of passenger screening and security on to the air carriers that have very tight bottom lines, they will manage it down to the lowest common denominator also, within the law.

If you, again, go to some of the places in Europe where they had some terrorist attacks in the 1970s, in particular, you will find that the personnel working there are not nomadic, because of the pay rates and things like that, and I think that attracts better people and people who will stay, and you will have a stable security force. It probably needs to be something where the Government of Canada takes ownership of it, unlike the airport authorities where — God knows who is in charge of them — it is piecemealed right now. As far as I am concerned, it is fractured. If we really want the best security that we deserve for, I think it is $24 a person, then I think we need integrate a system and we need to have some military and/or police-type people involved in that.

Senator Atkins: That is very interesting. Does anyone else want to comment on that?

Mr. McLeod: I would have to agree with Paul. You get what you pay for.

Senator Meighen: Have you seen any change? I have been paying $24 on every ticket I have purchased for some time. Have you noticed any change as a result of that fee? Could you tell me what sorts of changes have happened so far?

Mr. McLeod: Prior to September 11, we all would be issued key cards — an electronic card that you would swipe and it would open a door. Those have been taken away from us since September 11. We all now have to funnel through — and speaking of my own experience only — two doors at Terminal 2, one at the end and one at the middle. You are subject to screening by the security officer at that point.

Senator Meighen: Just as I would be screened as a passenger, with a metal detector?

Mr. McLeod: No. They do a visual search on you. They check your lunch, what have you, things like that. Then they have a list of names. I do not actually know how the list is compiled. Your name could be on that list, so that they would detain you to ask you more questions. Half the time that list is not read. You will pull up, they will usually — because of the friendliness at the airport, you know the person, you have seen them 15 times that day going in and out that door: ``Hi, Joe; hi, Jeff, off you go.''

Senator Meighen: I could not say, ``Hi, I'm Dave McLeod''?

Mr. McLeod: Correct.

Senator Meighen: I could, but they would know pretty quickly that I was not; correct?

Mr. McLeod: Correct.

Senator Atkins: Mr. McLeod, are you trained in such a way that, when are you handling baggage, you might see something suspicious and, if you did, how would you deal with that?

Mr. McLeod: Trained, no. Do I look for suspicious baggage and things? Yes, I do. It is a general knowledge that you are supposed to report anything suspicious. Have I been trained in what a suspicious bag is? No.

Senator Atkins: Should you be?

Mr. McLeod: Since 9/11, I believe so. What would determine a suspicious bag, though? I guess that would be quite hard to pinpoint, but, I guess so, maybe.

Senator Atkins: In terms of the process, from the time that the bag is checked in through the conveyor belt down to where you are, is there a random check of baggage? I know there is not a complete check because we have been told that.

Mr. McLeod: No, there is not. When that bag is checked in, that is it.

Senator Atkins: What stops anyone from putting whatever they wanted into that bag and having it loaded on to an aircraft?

Mr. Lefebvre: It has always been the notion, I guess, until 9/11, that the person was not going to want to kill themselves and go on an aircraft and take that stuff with them. Again, what I am speaking about, the integrated system, if we are going to want to check every bag, it is almost an impossibility right now because of the volume and the commerce, but we would probably have to go to that. I suppose that is what the government will have to get its head around or someone is — providing the equipment for all that to be able to happen.

Terminal 2 is a lost cause in terms of a building. There are 22 kilometres, I believe, of conveyor system in there. It is kind of a mistake from its very beginning. It was not intended as a passenger terminal. It has been a struggle to modify, modify, modify, and make it work in terms of commerce.

I do not know what the answer is. I am thinking, like in the United States, the government seems to have taken a role there. I do not know exactly the specifics, but I do know that there will be technologies available to do those types of things. I do not know if our government is planning on, with the money they are collecting, looking after that. I think it is probably necessary. At least it is a deterrent. At least I would know. I would be more comfortable as a passenger, more comfortable working on the flights.

Senator Wiebe: I fly out of the Regina airport, in Saskatchewan. It is not an international airport. However, Northwest Airlines flies in and out of Regina. Earlier on, this summer, they knocked a hole in the wall beside their check-in counter. Every piece of luggage that now goes on board Northwest Airlines, in front of the person who is checking in, now must go through this huge machine that was put in. Every piece of luggage that now goes on a Northwest Airline flying out of Regina is checked electronically.

You work for Air Canada. Have you seen any of those kinds of machines with other airlines or have you heard about them at Pearson Airport?

Mr. McLeod: No, I have not. In our international departures, in Terminal 1, they do have random security checks for people waiting in line, performed by that same security group. But, in place, there is no other screening device down in the bag room unless contracted by another airline, such as European airlines. When ground services for Polish airlines used to be handled by Air Canada, every bag went through a screening device operated by a trained security official. That was a few years ago. We do not handle LOT any more. Since that time, there is nothing that we screen or check the bags with once the passengers have checked them in.

Senator Atkins: They are building a new facility at Pearson, are they not?

Mr. McLeod: Yes.

Senator Atkins: Are you telling me that there is not incorporated in that new facility a technology that will be more secure than what exists at present?

Mr. McLeod: I have no idea what they are planning to build.

Senator Atkins: Are you saying no, or you just do not know?

Mr. McLeod: That is not up to us; that is up to the airport authority, and I would imagine with them that it will come down to whether it is cost-effective to do it.

Senator Day: For clarification, is it up to the airport authority or is it up to Air Canada?

Mr. McLeod: The Greater Toronto Airports Authority is responsible for the facility. I cannot get into that too much; I am just a lead station attendant at the airport. However, Air Canada rents that building. They are responsible for the equipment, to a certain degree. In Terminal 2, I believe that although we monitor the baggage system it is owned by the GTAA. In Terminal 1, we do not work the baggage system. If there is a mechanical failure in the system, a GTAA employee will come to clear a jam if bags get jammed up. I would imagine that in the new terminal they will be responsible for facilities and taking it away from Air Canada.

The Chairman: On a point of clarification, did anyone from Air Canada or the Greater Toronto Airports Authority talk to you or counsel you before you came to see us?

Mr. McLeod: No.

Senator Meighen: Mr. Deemert, again, it is a question of cost, but what would be the consequences if the instructions from on high were that you were to stay on the aircraft for all flights, as you do for Washington-destined flights? I guess it would obviously reduce the number of flights you would be able to sweep.

Mr. Deemert: Yes, it would cause more delays. We are supposed to be on the aircraft for a certain amount of time. We do not want to have the delays, basically.

Senator Meighen: But you leave the aircraft, and there is no one on when you leave.

Mr. Deemert: It is searched and we leave.

Senator Meighen: Is there someone standing there? Could I wander on at that point, as a passenger?

Mr. Deemert: No, there is security as well outside the plane.

Senator Meighen: What access would there be? You would have to pass the people doing the check-in at the gate. Would there be access to the plane from the ground, where you are?

Mr. McLeod: Absolutely. My job requires that I sometimes go up and speak with the captain. I guess that would be part of my security pass. As a lead, I have to have access to the aircraft and its various systems from below and from within.

Senator Meighen: When Mr. Deemert leaves the plane, is the captain on board?

Mr. Deemert: Most of the time.

Senator Meighen: Is anyone else?

Mr. Deemert: No. Catering is still going on. The flight attendants are there as well.

Senator Meighen: They are on board?

Mr. Deemert: Sometimes.

Senator Meighen: If a groomer says, ``I will be out in a second; I just have to finish the back part of the cabin,'' could you conceivably say, ``Okay, but hurry up,'' and then take off and leave him?

Mr. Deemert: Yes, but any flight going to the States has a security guard outside the plane. If they leave, they get swiped again.

Senator Meighen: My point is that if the groomer happened to be a nefarious character and you left, you would not see him putting something under the seat.

Mr. Deemert: We have been instructed, on the DCA flights, to watch everything.

The Chairman: But on the other flights you leave and you are not watching everything?

Mr. Deemert: We just do the sweep. I go into the cockpit and sign the captain's log stating that it has been swept. I put the date, my signature, and I leave.

Senator Meighen: Mr. McLeod, you touched on getting hired with regard to security checks and that sort of thing. — or perhaps this question is for Mr. Lefebvre.

Which is the cart and which is the horse? Can I get hired by Air Canada without being a member of the union, or must I be a member of the union before I get hired by Air Canada?

Mr. Lefebvre: It is a closed shop, so if you accept employment with Air Canada you become a member of the union.

Senator Meighen: So I can join Air Canada, technically, without being a member of the union, but as soon as I join Air Canada I have to become a member of the union.

Mr. Lefebvre: You actually do not have to become a member of the union in technical terms. You have to pay dues and we have to represent you, but you can object to becoming a member of a union in Canada for whatever reason.

Senator Meighen: And my dues still go?

Mr. Lefebvre: You are still deducted dues and we still represent you.

Senator Meighen: Let us take the case that I am not a member of the union until I join Air Canada. I go to Air Canada and they hire me. This may be an unfair question to you: Do you know whether they do some checks as to who I am?

Mr. Lefebvre: I know the checks they do because we objected in court and had the checks overturned a number of years ago when the world was a kinder and gentler place.

Senator Meighen: What do you feel about it now?

Mr. Lefebvre: I that Parliament changed the rules the next day — so we won but we lost. I will tell you why. I think I was there about 15 years when I got dragged into a room and fingerprinted. A couple of characters who reminded me of Frank Burns interrogated me in such a manner that it was an affront to me at that time. They were asking: ``Do you owe anyone money? Do you belong to any organizations? Wipe that smile off your face, kind of thing.'' We objected to it at the time. We all go through that now. It is just a normal order of business for us.

The reason we objected at the time was that a lot of us had been there a great many years. We live in the community, have families and so forth, and we did not feel it was appropriate at the time. That was a number of years ago. As I say, the world has changed.

There are background checks done, I understand, by CSIS. I am not sure if the RCMP is still involved. There is fingerprinting, four or five forms that you must sign. I assume that in the background there is all that work going on.

Senator Meighen: In spite of that, we have had evidence that the workforce, generally speaking, in all areas has been infiltrated by organized crime.

Mr. Lefebvre: I do not know about that. I will return to my comments about security, if it goes to the lowest common denominator. At Air Canada, one of our goals is to ensure that there is a decent working wage and benefits. You tend not to have a nomadic staff that way. You tend to have career people. If there is organized crime out there, perhaps. I read some comments in the newspaper, and I kind of got a chuckle out of them, about Air Canada blocking security from coming in. I do not know in what context that was. There are hiring booms, I suppose, according to the economy, and there are times you do not hire, so I do not know how you would put security in place in the sense of an RCMP officer being hired as a station attendant when we have people laid off.

Senator Meighen: We have all heard of undercover work. I suppose if the authorities said that they had reason to believe that the Hells Angels are in there and said that they wanted to put someone in there as a baggage handler — we have heard that Air Canada has said they are not interested.

Mr. Lefebvre: I happen to know that there have been people in the past after the fact. In certain instances, we know that there have been, I believe, RCMP. However, you cannot put them in there unless you are hiring people. I am going to object if a parachute comes down and a guy is there and I have a guy on the street.

Senator Meighen: If all of a sudden someone is hired, you would object from a union perspective — but obviously it would look funny if no one was being hired and suddenly this character arrives.

Mr. Lefebvre: Correct. You cannot just walk in and say: ``Buddy is going over here. By the way, nobody talks to him and you don't know who he is.'' It is self-defeating.

Senator Meighen: Are there any jobs at the airport, to the knowledge of any of you, where, similar to what we understand happens at some seaports in Canada, there is a hiring hall and when the port authority needs 10 guys to unload a ship they call the hiring hall and the authorities send over 10 guys? Does that exist at the airport?

Mr. Lefebvre: Not that I am aware of. However, there are some agencies at the airport that pay very low wages, and the turnover is unbelievable.

Senator Meighen: I think we know the agency you are referring to.

Mr. Lefeebvre: Some of the agencies.

Senator Meighen: In your area, Mr. McLeod, are there no people who appear all of a sudden?

Mr. McLeod: Your employment — and I can only speak with respect to Air Canada — is based on having a valid security clearance. Mr. Lefebvre can testify to this. If at some point, for some reason, your pass is rejected, you will have a hard time being a employee at Air Canada because you cannot show up to work. In respect to that, I believe so, but just referring back to Mr. Lefebvre, the security turnover at the airport, because of whatever issues, is horrendous.

Senator Meighen: Let's call a spade a spade. Are we talking about the people who frisk you when you go through security?

Mr. McLeod: Yes.

Senator LaPierre: Did you say that your lunch boxes and your knapsacks and the other things you take to work are inspected as if you were a passenger?

Mr. McLeod: Every day?

Senator LaPierre: Yes.

Mr. McLeod: No.

Senator LaPierre: Once a month?

Mr. McLeod: Once in a while.

Senator LaPierre: I see, because it is a case of everyone knowing Dave or Rob. They might not know Paul, but that is another matter.

I have travelled on airlines for 50 years. When I say goodbye to my luggage, it goes on an immense conveyer belt in the bowels of the airport and it goes through an immense X-ray machine that declares it to be safe, then it is shuttled out to you, where you then take it to your sorting rooms. Am I wrong?

Mr. McLeod: Yes, you are. When that baggage leaves you and the check-in counter and now someone asks you your three security questions, that bag goes through a hole in the floor and ends up at me at some point.

Senator LaPierre: If I carry this luggage on the aircraft, it goes through much more security.

Mr. McLeod: Absolutely.

Senator LaPierre: I, who have been fighting so that no one carries luggage on aircraft, will have to change my point of view.

I have heard, and I do not know if it is true, that sometimes luggage is lost.

Mr. McLeod: It is never lost. It is just misplaced temporarily.

Senator LaPierre: I have heard that sometimes luggage is misplaced. I arrive on the plane where my luggage is supposed to be but it is not there because I cannot find it at the carousel. Then, I go to Air Canada, and we do what is necessary to track it down. The next morning, it is delivered to my house. Has security not been breached if I flew without my bag or if it is misplaced at the airport?

Mr. McLeod: The intent is that you are willing to travel with that bag, so the aircraft is secure. If you are on that aircraft, your intent was to travel with your bag. The plane, in the eyes of security, is secure.

Senator LaPierre: I do not need to worry about the rare occasions when a bag is misplaced.

Mr. McLeod: No, because your original intent was to travel with that bag. Where, as I stated earlier, there would be a problem and, say on a transborder flight to the U.S., if you were to check in, pass through U.S. customs, put your bag on the belt to go down into the baggage room and then not show up for your flight, that aircraft, that flight will not go anywhere.

Senator LaPierre: That happened to me once in Canada. The flight was delayed until they found that person or removed the bag.

Mr. McLeod: Yes, since September 11.

The Chairman: On the point of intent, there are circumstances where you might check in during the last five minutes or so before a flight closes and they put a special sticker on indicating that the bag may not get there at the same time as the passenger, does the intent still apply under those circumstances?

Mr. McLeod: Yes. Again, you are intending to fly. If you are on the aircraft, your bag can show up a day later.

The Chairman: My point is, what if someone purposely arrived late knowing that you could not get the bag on in time? What about the situation if I arrived five minutes before the closed?

Senator Meighen: Then, you did not board the aircraft?

The Chairman: No, I boarded the aircraft. You get two stickers. One says that you will not get a meal, and the other says that this bag may not arrive when you arrive.

Mr. McLeod: With regard to that, I cannot answer for the person who would want to do that. However, you would have no control of when your bag or where your bag would go or travel or what have you. It may be rerouted through another airline. Your intentions probably would not be met that way.

The Chairman: Do you also handle boxes if someone is checking a box?

Mr. McLeod: Yes, cargo, boxes and oversize pieces, everything that goes on that aircraft, even with regard to mail. As a lead station attendant, I am as responsible as the captain for the handling of that aircraft. I have to sign a document stating that everything on that aircraft is safe, loaded, properly tied down and secure to the best of my ability.

The Chairman: If someone were sending a box with a sweater in it to his or her cousin in Vancouver, would it get any more scrutiny than the suitcase of someone flying to Vancouver?

Mr. McLeod: Is it a checked bag or is it sending by mail?

The Chairman: There is a counter to which you can go and stipulate that.

Mr. McLeod: Oversize pieces? No. That makes no difference whatsoever. Baggage is baggage.

The Chairman: Nobody looks at it. Unless it is going to Reagan, no one will look at it?

Mr. McLeod: Exactly.

Senator Day: Mr. Lefebvre, I will start with you. I have a number of points of clarification.

You indicated that, when talking about hiring new employees, there may be some people who are unemployed. Are these members of your union?

Mr. Lefebvre: Yes.

Senator Day: Would they be people who had been working with your local and who were laid off, for whatever reason?

Mr. Lefebvre: Right.

Senator Day: Would you have people in your union from other locals who arrive in Toronto, members of your union who are looking for work and who have never worked at Pearson, who you try to look out for and get them on?

Mr. Lefebvre: No, it is only a transfer situation of existing personnel. Maybe someone took an opportunity of a vacancy which does not exist now. I have laid off staff. However, if there were full employment and there was a vacancy, under our collective agreement, that person could accept a transfer. They are already working for Air Canada at another location such as Vancouver. I do not know why anyone would want to come from Vancouver to Toronto, though.

Senator Day: If I am working in Saint John, New Brunswick and I am a member of your union, and I want to go to Toronto, does my name get added to the your vacancy list, and do you try to get me in there whenever there is a vacancy?

Mr. Lefebvre: The only way you can transfer an existing employee is with a vacancy. For instance, if there is a vacancy in Dave's position, that goes out. We already have a list of names of personnel who want to transfer to Toronto. Air Canada scrutinizes them on various things like their time records, type of person and all that. Other aspects are that they are already security cleared and they have worked for Air Canada. They have to work for five years with Air Canada if they are outside of this region, which is basically Ottawa, London, Trenton and Toronto. They have established that they have been there at least five years to get on that list, and they would accept a transfer according to their seniority. It's a seniority system, so the one with the most seniority gets the job.

Senator Day: When you say they have already passed their security check, these are people who have already worked for Air Canada and are members of the union by virtue of the union relationship with Air Canada that you have described for us. The security check is a check that Air Canada has done, not your union.

Mr. Lefebvre: No, I am talking about the one that we all have done, with the fingerprinting and IDs. When you come to Toronto, you probably have to go through that process again. I am not entirely sure, but I know that with the GTAA, you have to go through some tests and scrutiny to get your identification again.

Senator Day: Is that the process you have to go through every three to five years, if you are in Toronto, in order to get your security pass?

Mr. McLeod: Yes. It used to be five years. It is down to three. Do you have your ID with you?

Mr. Lefebvre: Yes, I have got one with me.

Senator Day: Do you have an Air Canada pass as well as that one?

Mr. Lefebvre: No. This one is just for Pearson airport strictly. It is a picture ID and it has my, I guess, essential information on the back, my height, my eye colour and so forth, my signature. It has a number attached to it. I have to have this visible at all times anywhere in security area, or I can be detained by the police and charged.

Mr. McLeod: That is up and beyond Air Canada. You can be a model employee and have that pass revoked, and you cannot work at the airport.

Senator Day: How frequently do you have to use that pass in the run of an average day?

Mr. McLeod: At all times.

Senator Day: Have you ever been stopped so someone could look at the photograph?

Mr. Lefebvre: Yes.

Senator Day: How frequently would that happen?

Mr. Lefebvre: I am not out there all the time. These two gentlemen would have to answer that.

Mr. McLeod: General security is going to check that, but other employees are encouraged to check other employees. If a pass holder asks to see your pass, you cannot deny them looking at.

Senator Day: The union does not mind that?

Mr. Lefebvre: We have no say in security matters. We are not invited to the table.

Senator Day: Suppose one of your colleagues leaves Toronto and goes to Saint John, New Brunswick, or retires. Do you know the procedure that is followed to recover those cards in that instance?

Mr. Lefebvre: Yes. It is signed for; there is a receipt. Whenever any revocation of a pass occurs, we always make sure the person gets a receipt. It can only be taken by security personnel or GTAA personnel. No one else can take that from you.

Members are told that when they get their ID it is sacred, it is theirs. If a person retires, as part of that the pass is removed from that individual.

Senator Meighen: Suppose I were to look more handsome and more like you? It is amazing what little resemblance seems to be satisfactory for people using other peoples' passes — at least, so I hear, in terms of being able to drink or to buy alcohol.

Suppose you give me your pass because you and I are cooking up some scheme. I look a bit like you, and I wander into Pearson. Where will I be challenged, or will I be challenged?

Mr. Lefebvre: At the door, they will look at the photo. If the photo is you, I suppose you could slide through there.

Senator Meighen: No, the photo is you, but you look like me.

Mr. Lefebvre: The other part of that is that you will be working with some people, and they will likely wonder who the hell you are.

Senator Meighen: I am not really going to work. I am just there to plant something unpleasant in a sensitive area. So, there I am. Unless it is Mr. McLeod, who knows you, and I am not you, he will wonder if I have a pass.

Mr. McLeod: That would fall on the responsibility of the security agency checking you at the checkpoint. It is up to their scrutiny as to whether to let you through, based on the information on your pass.

Senator Meighen: We are trying to find out if that scrutiny is rigorous or lax.

Mr. McLeod: In my opinion, no, it is not rigorous at all.

Senator Meighen: It is not rigorous?

Mr. McLeod: No.

The Chairman: To follow that along, if Senator Meighen's friend arrived at the worksite where your colleagues were working but had on a white hardhat and seemed to be taking notes on a clipboard, or examining things, do you think someone would be likely to come up and challenge him?

Mr. McLeod: No.

Mr. Lefebvre: If he has one of these on.

Mr. McLeod: If I see a purple pass clipped to his shirt —

Senator LaPierre: Even though you do not know him?

Mr. McLeod: There are some many agencies and so many employees with different companies, construction going on — no, I will not challenge that person. Being on the ramp, being a lead station attendant, if they are around my aircraft then, yes, I will say, ``What is going on?'' However, that is from my own personal view because that is my plane; I am responsible. Legally, I am responsible for that aircraft as well, so, no, I do not want anything to happen.

The Chairman: If he had the white hardhat and a clipboard and said that he was counting planes, you would do what?

Mr. McLeod: Never even blink.

Senator Day: I am grateful to have provoked these extra questions.

You indicate that every three years now there is a review of security.

Mr. McLeod: Yes.

Senator Day: In the six years, Mr. Lefebvre, that you have been there, how many of your union employees have not been able to get a pass and, therefore, have not been able to continue work?

Mr. Lefebvre: There has been the order hiccup. For instance, if someone is criminally charged outside of work with an activity that could, in the eyes of the security people, put risk, they have their pass revoked. That has to go before the security person at Pearson who oversees that. I believe he used to be the deputy chief of the Peel Police. I cannot think of the gentleman's name. I have talked to him on the phone before about whether it falls into the area of risk, where the guy cannot go to work at all. That is for things happening outside of work.

At work, the odd thing has happened. Two employees will get into a scuffle, and they will want to fire them or charge them, or one will be charged. We try to resolve those matters internally, but they will remove your pass and there will be a time frame where you will have to appeal and appear before them to say why they should give the pass back to you. I suppose in that time frame they do a check on you. I am not sure what happens in the background.

Senator Day: Does it happen often?

Mr. Lefebvre: No.

Senator Day: Every time there is a hiccup, you try to work out what happened; is that correct?

Mr. Lefebvre: We try to find out what the real deal is. Obviously, they will take the pass away until they determine whether there is a risk.

Senator Day: In the last year, have you had any people who have had their security permanently rejected?

Mr. Lefebvre: I cannot think of permanent. There have been some altercations in the workplace between two parties, and they have temporarily taken it away, and then given it back once that is resolved to the point where they figure it is a one-off, I suppose.

Senator Day: I would like to go down to where the work is being done. The bags are inside a building downstairs all ready to go inside these aircraft. Is it your men and women, your union, who bring in the airplanes, who stand there with the little flag?

Mr. McLeod: That is my function.

Senator Day: You do that as well?

Mr. McLeod: Yes.

Senator Day: You hook up the machine to push the plane out?

Mr. McLeod: Exactly.

Senator Day: They are members of the same union. You know most of these men and women?

Mr. McLeod: Absolutely.

Senator Day: They do not have access to the bags, do they?

Mr. McLeod: Who?

Senator Day: The people who push the plane out?

Mr. McLeod: Absolutely. That is our work. That is what we perform. It basically comes through a hole in the floor on a belt, and depending on the facility you are in the baggage comes down a straight a belt or a round belt, a carousel, to be loaded by the station attendants either into a container to go onto the aircraft or on a cart to be taken out to it. All the baggage is organized and prepared by our staff, myself included, depending on where you are working that day. That baggage is delivered to the aircraft to another group to load it on the aircraft.

Senator Day: This is another team, but they are all members of the same union?

Mr. McLeod: Correct.

Senator Day: They are colleagues of yours, directly or indirectly?

Mr. McLeod: Correct.

Senator Day: The people who cater on the aircraft are not members of your union?

Mr. McLeod: No.

Senator Day: Do they have access to where the bags are? Can they walk in around the bags if they want to do so?

Mr. McLeod: Absolutely, because their pass says that they can. I would question that if they were in there.

Senator Day: If anyone has one of these passes, they could walk around there. How many kilometres of conveyer belts did you say were there?

Mr. Lefebvre: I think it was 22 kilometres that we were talking about out there, the last time I checked.

Senator Day: In all of that space where people are getting ready for the aircraft, people could walk around in addition to the people who are supposed to be there with a job to do?

Mr. Lefebvre: Most of the conveyors are in the ceiling area. They are not accessible unless you climbing the belt system, like maintenance personnel. We have people we call ``jammers.'' They have radios, coordinates and cameras. If there is a jam-up on a belt, that is baggage jamming —

Senator Day: A de-jammer?

Mr. McLeod: That is correct. When they built that terminal they seemed to have a system of right angles. As you know, right angles cause resistance. Hence, it has been a struggle to get those right angles out and try to get baggage moving.

Senator Day: Are those members of your union?

Mr. Lefebvre: The jammers are station attendants just like Mr. McLeod and myself.

Senator Day: Conveyor belt maintenance people?

Mr. McLeod: In Terminal 2, not in Terminal 1.

Senator Day: My point is that other people, as long as they have one of these badges given out by the airport authority, could conceivably be in and around the bags, which are ready for loading on an aircraft that may be going out in a couple of hours. Is that possible?

Mr. Lefebvre: Yes, but bags do not usually sit around for that long. There is no area that I can think of where the bags would be on their own. There is the baggage room out to the ramp and the gate. There is so much volume that it is constantly moving.

Mr. McLeod: A bag does not really stop moving until it is in the possession of a station attendant or it is in the bag room. Referring back to the lost baggage, if that tag that is put on your bag somehow becomes dislodged and ripped, it would probably travel around that computerized system for up to one or two hours.

The Chairman: Even if you checked in a couple of hours early?

Mr. McLeod: A couple of hours and it will eventually be rejected. It goes through the system and because of the length of that system, it could travel and, depending on the path that the computer makes it take, it could travel for an hour or two, and finally, the computer realizes that the bag has circulated six times and that it has no tag, and so it is spit down to a rejection point within the baggage room. Someone will then determine that your baggage is misplaced.

Senator Day: If you check in two hours beforehand, the bag is not riding forever on this conveyer belt unless it has lost its tag. It is in a room somewhere downstairs. It is that room I am talking about. Who has access to that room? Is it sealed and guarded or could someone walk in and out of that room provided they had that ID badge?

Mr. Lefebvre: You are right, senator. Anyone who has access with one of these identification cards could walk in there.

The Chairman: Gentlemen, thank you for appearing before the committee today. Your testimony has been very helpful to the committee. The committee is very grateful to you for sharing your information with us.

Those who wish may follow the work of the committee by visiting our Web site at We post our witness testimony as well as confirmed hearing schedules. Otherwise, you may contact the clerk of the committee by calling 1-800-267-7362 for further information or assistance in contacting members of the committee.

The committee adjourned.