Canadian Flights to Cuba and Personal Information Collection
Posted: 29 November 2007 05:17 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I am sharing this documentation with Havana Journal because it concerns the travel of Canadians to Cuba as well as the travel of Americans from Canadian airports to Cuban destinations. Many of us have been aware of a quiet agreement that has been ongoing since 9/11 with flight lists being emailed to the American authorities prior to take off from a Canadian airport with a Cuban destination.

I, and some of my Canadian friends have experienced harsh questioning from American border guards regarding our travels to Cuba. They have a complete and detailed travel record in their system of my travels to Cuba. The questioning is a form of harassment that comes from the top and I do not hold the individual border guards at fault. I as a Canadian enjoy my friends from both the United States and Cuba. I do not wish to become a pawn in the ridiculous regulations imposed on Americans by their government. The American government needs to unstick their noses out of my affairs and travels to Cuba, on the same note I expect a continued respect from Cuban authorities regarding my travels to the United States.

If the American government does not come to their senses regarding Canadian over flights then Canadians should demand the personal information of all Americans that are on flights that use Canadian airspace.

OTTAWA, Nov. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced that the
Government of Canada has submitted its official comments on the United States
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) by the Department of Homeland Security on
the Secure Flight Program, urging the U.S. to exempt all Canadian overflights.
  “The Government of Canada is concerned about the implications of the U.S.
proposed Secure Flight Program; and we are working hard to find a solution,”
said Minister Cannon. “Canada and the United States have long worked closely
together to promote aviation security, and this cooperation has greatly
intensified since the tragic events of September 11, 2001. We want to continue
this spirit of cooperation, which includes an assessment of threat and risk,
recognizes existing security initiatives and values privacy and individual
rights. For these reasons, it is imperative that we provide the U.S. with our
comments and suggestions on this proposed regulation.”
  The official comments represent the Government of Canada’s position and
recommendations on the proposed U.S. Secure Flight Program. They include an
assertion that, in light of existing strong security protocols and security
initiatives and ongoing and growing cooperative capacity to address security
challenges, all flights between Canada and third countries that overfly the
U.S. should be exempt from the U.S. Secure Flight program. So far, all
domestic Canadian flights, representing over 75 per cent of overflights, will
be exempt under the proposed U.S. Secure Flight Program.
  “We acknowledge the right of a country under the international law of the
1944 Chicago Convention to regulate access to its airspace, including
overflights that do not land in its territory,” continued Minister Cannon.
“However, in light of our complementary security systems and the security
cooperation of Canada and the United States, and the relative risk, we believe
that there are excellent security grounds for the proposed Secure Flight
Program to exempt all flights to, from and within Canada that overfly the
United States.”
  The official comments also express concern about the impact that the
proposed program would have on the privacy of Canadians. In particular, the
comments underscore that consent is central to Canadian privacy standards.


  <<
                      Backgrounder
                      ——————
                      ——————

      CANADIAN GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO U.S TRANSPORTATION SECURITY
    ADMINISTRATION’S NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING OF AUGUST 23, 2007
    (DOCKET NUMBER TSA-2007-28572) REGARDING THE SECURE FLIGHT PROGRAM
    ————————————————————————————————-

  The official comments of the Government of Canada on the U.S.
Transportation Security Administration’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)
regarding the Secure Flight Program were delivered on November 21, 2007.

  The official comments state the following points:

  -  Canada and the United States already cooperate on a number of
      initiatives that enhance the security of flights in North American
      airspace, including close cooperation between their transportation
      security authorities, joint efforts through the North American
      Defence Command (NORAD) for military response capability, and the
      In-Flight Security Officers programs. Canada and the United States
      have comparable security programs in a number of areas, including the
      physical and identity screening of passengers, security clearances
      for airport staff and enhanced control over access to restricted
      areas at airports;

  -  The risks represented by overflights can be mitigated and managed
      through effective security measures and appropriate cooperation
      between the two countries;

  -  In light of existing security initiatives and the ongoing cooperative
      capacity to respond to security situations, Canada is asking for an
      exemption of all overflights to and from Canada over the U.S.;

  -  The Government of Canada appreciates that all domestic Canadian
      flights that overfly the U.S. are exempted under the current NPRM,
      and requests that all flights between Canada and third countries that
      overfly the U.S. be exempt;

  -  The protection of the privacy of travelers is of critical concern.
      The concept of consent is central to Canadian privacy standards; and

  -  Canada is also concerned that the proposed Secure Flight program
      could use passenger information for vetting against watch lists of
      individuals, beyond those who pose a threat to aviation security.

                                          November 2007
  >>


For further information: Karine White, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700;
Media Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Transport Canada is
online at http://www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at
http://www.tc.gc.ca/listserv/and keep up-to-date on the latest from Transport Canada.
This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons
with visual disabilities.

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Posted: 29 November 2007 05:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Funny that I don’t read the same thing about Mexican overflights. I would think the security in Mexico is not even close to Canadian security.

The questioning by authorities does seem to be just another long arm of the stupid US Embargo. Just President Bush flexing his ignorance.

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Posted: 29 November 2007 06:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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One thing i find ironic though is that the Canadian governement is taking a holier than thou attitude.  Several years ago it was discovered that the data we put on our entry cards for re-entering Canada was being bumped against the rolls of people collecting unemployment benefits to establish people taking “unauthorized” vacations while collecting unemployment….  numerous people got a call to come into the Unempoyment offices to do some explaining (and were then penalized and had to pay benefits back. Just like the flight lists, I appreciate the purpose but don’t appreciate giving governments a blank check on what to do with data i’m required to give for that noble purpose.

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Posted: 29 November 2007 06:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Ah, socialism. Just wait till Hillary is elected and we have national health insurance and are monitored for “unauthorized” vacations.

Signed,

NOT a Hillary fan.

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Posted: 29 November 2007 06:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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wasnt health insurance but unemployment insurance….  everybody pays into it when you work, and then you’re entittled to a pittance for a few months when you’re not.  Of course you’re supposed to be looking for work while collecting and not taking out of country vacations, so the purpose was noble.  Just don’t go along with the use my re-entry cards are used for - supposed to be for security and customs purposes.

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Posted: 29 November 2007 06:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Okay, call it work insurance. Either way, it does suck to have the government watching you and if Hillary gets in then we can all kiss our freedoms goodbye…unless you are an illegal immigrant from Mexico, then you are free to do whatever you like.

Strange world.

Who knows, maybe a post-Castro Cuba will be the freest society because they’ve already tried all the socialist crap?

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Posted: 29 November 2007 07:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Extreme beliefs are dangerous for all citizens and for all countries. A kind and considerate approach should be taken. Governments should respect the freedoms for all of its citizens before that of large corporations and powerful interest groups. Basic needs for the less fortunate not only benefits those in need, it benefits the more fortunate as well. Americans have really messed up the true meaning of liberal, the ability to have an open mind. At the same time Republicans as we see them today have a made mess of personal freedoms and liberties cloaked under the Freedom Act. I am really having problems believing that most Americans will accept the idea of a Cuba that has free elections and social justice for all at the same time. I for one dislike Hilary Clinton for the mere fact that her position on Cuba is only slightly different than Bush’s. On the Republican side I haven’t heard anything different as well. At the present time, Obama seems the only one that dares to think out of the box with regards to getting a sensible approach in assisting Cuba. So maybe the real issue for friends of Cuba will be who dares to fight the corrupt, evil money base in Florida that has dictated American-Cuban policy and then there will be a true understanding of the work that needs to be done to enable our friends in Cuba.

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Posted: 01 February 2008 04:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Frankly, I find the timing unfounded. I am not a Canadian citizin but I do empathize. It’s like they all realized that they have to be stricter and paranoid of who’s entering their countries just because someone is going to seat at Washington on November. I do hope more freedom will be experienced after Fidel Castro’s reign. Canadians. heck all races should be free travel to any country they want without being coerced or harassed in any way.aa

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—Check more of my experiences at http://travelbargainhunters.ning.com/

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