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"Toronto airport let passengers skip screening: CBC"

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Toronto airport let passengers skip screening: CBC

OTTAWA (Reuters) - A four-day protest by screening staff at Toronto's
international Pearson airport in October meant 250,000 passengers boarded
aircraft without being searched properly, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
said on Thursday.

CBC quoted an internal transport ministry report as saying the lapse had
"severely compromised the traveling public". It said the "security screening
process was circumvented...in some cases it was abandoned altogether."

The problem arose after screeners working for a private security company
began working to rule, hand-searching all carry-on bags and creating long

The screeners told the transport ministry that managers cleared the lines by
allowing about 250,000 passengers to pass through with minimal or no

In a letter to the transport ministry, workers quoted their managers as
asking "Why are you searching bags?" They said the managers "wanted us to
rush through the screening procedures".

The internal report said the managers' action "constituted a gross violation
of pertinent legislation", CBC reported.

The chief spokeswoman for Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon could not be
contacted for comment.

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, the federal organization that
oversees airport screening, did not immediately respond to a call seeking

Data from the Airports Council International group shows that in the first
third of this year, Pearson was the 29th busiest airport in the world.

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