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e-3018 (Transportation)

E-petition
Initiated by Holly Oshust from Calgary, Alberta

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:
  • Existing legislation does not require minors to provide any form of identification when travelling domestically by air within Canada;
  • In 2019, there were 40,425 accounts of missing children in Canada and 22 confirmed cases of missing children linked to child trafficking;
  • The International Labor Organization estimates that up to 1.2 million children are trafficked each year;
  • No country is immune to child trafficking; and
  • The lack of identification requirements for minors on domestic flights poses a security risk and does not adequately protect minors from the threat of human trafficking in Canada.
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to amend section 3(1) of the Secure Air Travel Act to provide that an air carrier must, at the boarding gate for a domestic flight, verify the identity of each passenger regardless of age, not just those who appear to be 18 years of age or older.

Response by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): Joël Lightbound, M.P

Human trafficking is an unconscionable crime that impacts the most vulnerable in Canada and around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more difficult to keep vulnerable populations safe, and help victims escape situations of human trafficking and access the supports they need. The Government of Canada is committed to ending human trafficking in all its forms and continues to work with domestic and international partners to prevent and respond to this crime.

In September 2019, the Government of Canada launched the National Strategy to Combat Human Trafficking (National Strategy), a whole-of-government approach that brings together federal efforts, and is supported by an investment of $57.22 million over five years and $10.28 million ongoing. This builds on previous investments of $14.51 million over five years, and $2.89 million per year to establish the Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline, which launched in May 2019, and is a multi-lingual, toll-free service available 24/7 that refers victims to law enforcement, and a range of supports and services.

Investments under the National Strategy will support a national public awareness campaign, enhance support services for victims and at-risk populations, and increase departments’ capacity to detect and respond to suspected cases. The Strategy will also strengthen awareness of human trafficking among front-line workers in key sectors, including the transportation sector (road, air, rail, and marine), who may come in contact with a victim or perpetrator. Specifically, the Strategy will support the development of a comprehensive set of training tools to increase awareness of the indicators and signs of human trafficking in order to enable employees in these sectors to effectively identify potential victims and understand how to report suspected cases to authorities.

With regard to the request to amend  Secure Air Travel Act (SATA) to provide that an air carrier must, at the boarding gate for a domestic flight, verify the identity of each passenger regardless of age, not just those who appear to be 18 years of age or older, the SATA and associated Secure Air Travel Regulations (SATR) are not the appropriate legal framework for verification for the purpose of human trafficking.  Specifically, the SATA and SATR serve the purpose of preventing air travel for the purpose of engaging in acts of terrorism.

Under the SATA, the Minister has the authority to establish a list of individuals if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that they will engage, or attempt to engage, in an act that would threaten transportation security, or travel by air to commit certain terrorism offences. As such, the verification of an air passenger’s identity, who appears 18 years of age or older under section 3(1) of the SATR, is limited to the administration and enforcement of SATA in order to protect Canada’s aviation security interests.

Many airlines recommend that younger passengers travelling within Canada present some form of valid, government-issued identification.

Open for signature
December 3, 2020, at 4:10 p.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
February 1, 2021, at 4:10 p.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard)
February 23, 2021 (Petition No. 432-00532)
Government response tabled
April 12, 2021
Photo - Tom Kmiec
Calgary Shepard
Conservative Caucus
Alberta
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