The Canadian airline industry is raising concerns about a provision in the Conservatives' C-51 anti-terror bill that will empower the public safety minister to direct them to do "anything" he wants.
Marc-André O'Rourke of the National Airlines Council of Canada (a group representing Canada's four largest airlines) told a security committee examining Bill C-51 that the airline industry is concerned "with the use of the word anything" Thursday night.
Many have criticized Bill C-51 as being too vague and too broad in its language. The government's own Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien is the latest to point out that the language in C-51 establishing new powers is "extremely broad."
Section 9 of C-51, relating to the no-fly list, states that "the minister may direct an air carrier to do anything that, in the minister's opinion, is reasonable and necessary to prevent a listed person from engaging in any act." O'Rourke pointed out that in addition to concerns that using front-line airline staff to carry out security functions may put them in harms way, the vagueness of the word "anything" could mean, well -- anything.
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