Skip to main content
Start of content

TRAN Committee Meeting

Notices of Meeting include information about the subject matter to be examined by the committee and date, time and place of the meeting, as well as a list of any witnesses scheduled to appear. The Evidence is the edited and revised transcript of what is said before a committee. The Minutes of Proceedings are the official record of the business conducted by the committee at a sitting.

For an advanced search, use Publication Search tool.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the accessibility of this publication, please contact us at

Previous day publication Next day publication
Skip to Document Navigation Skip to Document Content


Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities



Thursday, April 22, 2010

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]



    Good morning, everyone. Welcome to the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities for meeting 11. Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2), we are here for a study of aviation safety and security; security concerns.
    Joining us today from the University of Ottawa is Mark Salter. He's an associate professor of the school of political studies.
    Via video conference, Rafi Sela will give us a presentation.
    The translation will be delayed.


    The translation system is only working in English; it isn't working in French.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


    On the format, first we will have opening remarks and presentations, and then we will follow with questions and answers.
    I want to advise the committee that because of Mr. Sela's location, translation and response times will be delayed. So please allow for the translators to do the translation and for Mr. Sela to respond, as he will have to wait for the question to be heard.
    We'll start with Mr. Salter, and then we'll go to Mr. Sela.
    Please begin.
    I'd like to thank the committee for the invitation to speak here today.


    I'll be making my presentation in English only, but I will be able to answer questions in French.


     I have two serious concerns about the Canadian aviation security system that have nothing to do with the good work done on the front lines.
    I want to be as clear as possible on my four initial take-home points.
    First, aviation security is a matter of public security. The public must be engaged in an honest, frank discussion of the risks, responsibilities, and uncertainties of aviation security. To my mind, it is simply unacceptable that we have a large sphere of public policy that we cannot discuss openly.
    Second, I see no compelling evidence that risk management is the appropriate model for managing aviation security. I'll return to this, but it is crucial to say that aviation safety and aviation security are fundamentally different objects and they require different manners of management. Safety is an area in which one can accumulate knowledge and therefore make risk judgments. If a bolt fails 800 times, we may assume that it will fail the 801st. However, aviation security, because it is driven by individuals, is fundamentally different. Because 800 people have passed through a security checkpoint securely is absolutely no indication that the 801st person will be secure. Ironically, then, the more we know about aviation security, the more wrong we are.
    Third, because of this underlying uncertainty, safety management systems and security management systems are fundamentally different. I want to highlight the managerial structure that places CATSA, in particular, in an impossible position. Transport Canada has defined a regulatory structure that is prescriptive, yet best practice and Treasury Board Secretariat rules about risk management require CATSA to be flexible. So CATSA is stuck in between the best international practices and the prescriptive regulations of Transport Canada. To me, this should be one of the key grounds of discussion.
    Finally, I think profiling is a dangerous path to go down. Profiling by nationality, origin, race, ethnicity, and language are all incredibly misleading.
    There are a number of questions, and I want to do my best to respond to them in a succinct way.
    First of all, the threat is not simply to the Canadian aviation sector. Rather, it is to Canadian society. The way we protect the Canadian aviation sector must reflect the broader needs and requirements of Canadian society. It seems essential to me that the way we police aviation reflects the values that Canada represents. It seems to me that we need to be very careful about, for example, going down the profiling path.
    Second, with all respect to my colleague, Mr. Sela, from Israel, I would argue that it is incredibly dangerous to follow the path of the Israeli security system as the gold model for international aviation security. I understand that this is the discourse within the majority of public discussions about aviation security. But I think the Israeli situation--geopolitically, legally, and strategically--in terms of risk and threat, is so fundamentally different from what it is in Canada that we really go a step too far if we adopt or even seek to adopt the Israeli model. I'm sure Mr. Sela and I can have a frank and robust conversation about that in the next two hours.
    To give a clear example, we all know that we may be burglarized or assaulted in our homes, and yet we invest in police forces, and perhaps we invest in locks for our doors. We do not put down razor wire and land mines. That's because we have a different understanding of what the risk is to our homes and to us than what it is to the country or to the border between North Korea and South Korea. If we are to understand what measures to take, we have to understand what the risk is, in particular to Canada.


    Third, I'm increasingly concerned about the American tail wagging the Canadian aviation security dog, if that isn't stretching the metaphor too far. At the moment it appears—and I say “it appears” because there is not transparent information about this available to the public—that American security requirements are changing what screening gets done at Canadian airports. This is not just in pre-clearance areas, but those are the spaces where it's most visible. The American government requires that extra screening be done on passengers to the United States.
    My question is how is that being done? I simply don't know. I'm a serious person. It's not because I'm lazy. It's not because I haven't been asking questions. We simply don't know what the rules are. We don't know what the rules are about the degree to which American regulations are pushing Canadian security.
    Finally, one of the key questions, to me, is how secure is our aviation security system?
    I want to make two points. The first is that, in one sense, it's unknowable. It's unknowable because we don't know what the next threat is. Again, this is not because of anything in the process or in our intelligence agencies; it's simply that the aviation security system is a deeply uncertain one.
    We can make broad generalities about highway traffic safety and say there will be 3,000 people killed on Canadian roads over the next year, but we can't say which accident will happen or which accident will be fatal. We can only draw large rules to say that this is the speed limit, or this is what we do with traffic lights.
    In the same way, we do not know--and I would say in some way we can't know--how secure our aviation security system is because there's no way of putting those high-impact, low-frequency events into any kind of model. There's just not enough data that lets us say Canada has a 90% security rate, whereas Israel has 99%, whereas Burkina Faso has 95%. So we have to operate within this atmosphere of uncertainty, which means looking for incremental improvement rather than some kind of metric or number.
    In particular, the millimetre wave scanners represent a genuine leap forward in aviation security screening technology. There is no question that they detect not only the current threats that we face better in terms of liquid explosives and in terms of prohibited items, but they go after the next generation of threats much better also—that is, for example, ceramic knives or other kinds of devices that are not seen by the current metal detector archway. The millimetre wave scanning is, without a doubt, not magic, but a much better mousetrap. So I think they should be rolled out across the country.
    One of the reasons I think these are better is that despite the public hesitation about being naked--or being seen to be naked, although the images themselves are never identified with an actual person—it is much less intrusive than the physical pat-down by an officer.
    Let me make my recommendations to this committee. I'll be as clear as possible.
    First, I think we need to speak plainly and truthfully to the Canadian public about the risk and the uncertainty within the aviation security system. That includes telling both the negative story about uncertainty and the positive story about success. We cannot minimize the degree to which Canadian aviation security has turned on a dime over the past 10 years to provide a much-enhanced level of security, with new waves of technology being rolled out every three or four years.
    Secondly, I think we need to say clearly to our international partners that we are going to treat passengers in Canada to the same standard that we do Canadian citizens. I think there's a very good example of how this has worked to Canada's advantage with the EU-Canada passenger name record, or PNR, agreement—not the advanced passenger information, which is your nationality, but all that other stuff that goes on the reservation form. That agreement, unlike the one between the EU and America, has been given a lot of approval and approbation by privacy officials. So there's a real example where Canada has led the world in doing aviation security better.


    Third, I would say that the millimetre wave scanner is a better mousetrap and should be rolled out across the country. Even if there is a cost involved and a public diplomacy campaign needs to be carried out to demonstrate its utility, I think it's a better mousetrap that is less invasive and will allow us to do security screening better and, frankly, with less profiling.
    I really look forward to your questions. I appreciate the opportunity to be here today.
    Thank you.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr. Sela, welcome to our committee. I'll ask you to make your presentation, and then we'll move to questions and answers.
    I want to apologize. I have a little head cold, but I will try to stay online as much as I can.
    First of all, it is an honour and a pleasure to be with you today. I welcome Professor Salter's viewpoint. I've seen it many times. We are definitely on two sides of the line here.
    I'm not going to go through my presentation but rather give you some nine points of what I think is wrong and how to fix not aviation security--because I don't believe in it--but airport security. Aviation security alone will not secure Canadians. If I can blow up a terminal in any country, then the whole aviation concept is broken up. What I suggest is looking at airport security as part of a national transportation and border security system. It's not just the aviation security that needs to be looked at.
    An independent agency by law, that is above the politics and the bureaucracies of the procedures of the government, should be entitled to do the job. In the Israeli system, the gold standard, this means that the Israeli Security Agency, which reports to the Israeli Prime Minister, is the only agency that can regulate and put together a system that should protect Israelis and everybody visiting the country from any—and I would say it again, any--terrorist crime imposed on the country.
    There's one thing I want to stress very carefully: you cannot adopt part of the Israeli system, which a lot of nations are trying to do, wrongfully. The Israeli way of protecting the borders, the airports, seaports, and transportation is a complete system that cannot be broken up. If you break it up and take only one or two things that you like from that system, you might do more harm than good. The biggest issue with Israeli systems, and Professor Salter has done a very good job in fighting it, is what you call profiling. We do not do racial profiling or make any other comments about people's religion, but we do a lot of behaviour profiling. I will get back to that also with your questions.
    The essence of the system basically lies in 90% sharing of real-time intelligence information. If you don't do that, you can put in the best systems in the world and you're doomed. If you don't know what's coming at you, how can you protect yourself?
    Security and response—I say it again, security and response--together...[Inaudible—Editor]...the national resilience. I haven't seen any response plans equipped with CATSA's approval to do the so-called aviation security they have the mandate for.
    Technology and humans are not interchangeable. You cannot bring automatic machines and sniffers, and I don't know what, instead of people, and vice versa. There is a very fine line of decisions to be made of whether you go the human way or the technology way.
    We have a system in Israel called SAFE, which I outline in my papers, which stands for security, architecture, fore planning, and engineering. It basically protects the critical infrastructure, including airports, seaports, and border crossings.
    Finally, airport security is not aviation security or vice versa. Airport security is an involved system. I have made my points many times before. The system that North America is using—and I tend to agree with Professor Salter, that the Americans are setting the security standards and not the Canadians—basically states that we have one point in the terminal where we check the passengers, and that's it. I don't care what kind of equipment you have there because that is the wrong approach to airport security, because if I can overcome this point, I am clear to do whatever I want at the airport, and that is very dangerous.


    I'll say one last thing about the body scanners. I don't know why everybody is running to buy this expensive and really useless machine. The reason for that is...and I cannot, and I'm sorry I cannot; I can do it in person, for people who have security clearance.
    At any rate, I can overcome the body scanners in two minutes with enough explosives to bring down a Boeing 747. You would never, ever see it in those scanners. The technology is wrong. It is right for what happened on Christmas Day, but it is wrong for aviation security. That's why we haven't put this in the Ben Gurion airport. We'd rather put in different systems that can sniff very carefully both luggage and people for explosives residues that are so small that even if you had walked by a bomb, it would sound an alarm.
    I welcome your questions.


    Thank you, Mr. Sela.
    Again, I will just remind the committee that there is a time delay, so ask your question, and I'll be generous with the time.
    Mr. Volpe.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Welcome, Mr. Sela and Professor Salter.
    This, of course, is not the first time we've had a conversation together, although this is the first time we can actually see Mr. Sela, even if it's via the technology of the day.
    I welcome your ideas. I don't think you were debating last time, but you were making your presentations at different times. At least one other colleague around this table had the benefit of some of your perceptions.
    You may be aware that just the other day we had people from CATSA and from Transport Canada discussing this very issue, or at least part of it. That discussion had to do with the technology that Professor Salter says is great and is the best available. He says we're making progress by leaps and bounds by investing in it—I hope I'm not misinterpreting what he said—while, Mr. Sela, you say we shouldn't waste our money.
    I guess we're trying to find a different way. I suppose many of us believe that if we're going to have security in the aviation sector in Canada, we'll have to use a multi-dimensional approach.
    I hope you'll forgive me, Mr. Sela, if I say that the gold standard in Israel works great in Israel--I'm not going to question your perception--but also ask Professor Salter whether he agrees that the very unique situation in Israel, no matter how well it works, may not necessarily be a gold standard for Canada.
    If that's his impression, perhaps he'd share with us the reason for that.
    Thank you very much for the question.
    Mr. Sela can correct me if I misunderstand his point of view. He makes the argument—and I think it is one entirely appropriate for a country as small and, frankly, as vulnerable as Israel—that airport security needs to be integrated into the entire national security architecture. Given that it takes only 25 minutes to get from the West Bank or Gaza to Ben Gurion airport, there is a much different level of security that is required. For example, the checkpoints that exist in east Jerusalem or along the security wall provide information that can then be used to, if not “profile”, then at least “identify” who should be subject to more screening.
    In Canada, we have a fundamentally different legal and political culture that says that airports and mobility are part of our right to move and are part of our right to freedom. We say that surveillance does not extend beyond, for example, the airport or the airport checkpoints to general public places or to other areas of concern.
    So I think the threat that Canada faces is radically different from the one Israel faces. Canada has not experienced the same threats or attacks to airports that Israel has. We are not in the same geopolitical neighbourhood that Israel is in. I think it is only natural that they be far more sensitive to security in that way than we are.
    I wonder then if I could maybe turn the question over to Mr. Sela.
    If Professor Salter is right and we're looking at an entirely different system because of the conditions, in a country like ours, where we have in excess of 60 million passenger movements per annum, I'm wondering whether the advanced check--which I guess Professor Salter refers to as “profiling”—of potential or frequent passengers is, first, feasible in Canada, and two, desirable to look at 60 million-plus passengers and try to build a profile of the security risk for each one of them?


    I don't think that's the question. The question is do you have a system, not the level of security. You are confusing two different issues--the system and the level.
    I agree that Israel has a very, very high level of security, which it needs, but the system fundamentally should be the same. I can describe it to you as the volume on your radio. You have a system that works, and if your threats go up, you just turn up the volume button. You don't change the way you do your screening. You don't add equipment. You don't retrain your people. You don't invest in your airport security every year because other incidents have happened. You are running after the incidents instead of being in front of them.
    Israel has never banned liquids. Israel has never looked at what people carry onto the airplane other than what the ICAO has banned. And we have never had any problem in the last 25 years...although I can tell you that we have 70 threats, real-time threats, which means that within two hours, somebody will blow something up near the airport or in the airport. And we never had an incident like that.
    I agree that the level is very high. The system should be the same. Now, we're not profiling. I don't even suggest to you profiling. I don't even suggest you go to the system that we have in Israel of interviewing passengers. I suggest that instead of looking at everybody, create a trusted traveller and trusted worker identification process, in which travellers who would like to walk through security very fast would actually surrender some of their information to the authorities and be--as you wish--pre-screened as trusted travellers.
    Once you have done this, you will tremendously reduce the number of people you have to check. Your checkpoints then become a very fast walk-through.
    You do need cameras to watch who is coming into your airport, what kinds of cars, who is doing what, who is coming into your terminals, what's going on in the terminals, and then, of course, what's going on at the sleeves to the airlines.
    We can argue until tomorrow whose system is better, but I think we have the proof that it works.
    Monsieur Laframboise.


    Thank you for being here, Mr. Salter and Mr. Sela. I think we're hitting a sensitive nerve. My question is for both of you. Mr. Salter can answer first, then Mr. Sela.
    I'm concerned about what is going on in Canada, and I'll explain to you why. On December 25, we witnessed this change in American standards, and we realized that our Air Transport Security Authority, which hires private contractors for security services, did not have the required staff and had to call on all available police departments to assist it.
    You're talking about systems. The security system we have established, which is to contract security out to private subcontractors, raises a lot of problems in my mind, particularly with what we are learning today. We want the employees to be reliable. There have been tenders and subcontractors have been changed. As you know, uniforms have disappeared. Journalists got their hands on uniforms and were able to penetrate certain airport areas. So that's frightening. We want security, but we don't want to pay the price for it.
    I'd like to hear what you have to say about the fact that the Canadian Air Transport Security Administration uses a private subcontractor business and about our ability to retain appropriate staff in order to guarantee that the work gets done when there are alerts.


    I'm going to answer in French, even though I don't know certain technical terms in that language. I'm sorry about that.
    First, there is an airport security system in Canada. It is a highly complex system because, at an airport, there are local police officers, border officers, investigators and auditors from Transport Canada, who audit CATSA's systems and procedures. There are also people for CATSA and perhaps other federal agencies, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It's a complex system. In my view, the line structure isn't clear.
    If I understand correctly, CATSA is solely responsible for screening. The only things that employees try to detect are prohibited items. If they find some banned item, they can tell passengers that they may not be in possession of that item or hit the red button and call someone who can conduct an investigation. Under the current system, CATSA has very limited responsibilities.
    In response to your question and to what Mr. Sela said, I would say that we in Canada have the technology to monitor the identity of airport workers and to ensure security. It's called the restricted area identity card. This card has won awards in the field of innovative technology in Canada. It is also a model for other air authorities in the world. Uniforms are part of the system and are not a threat to air security because the biometric card is very reliable.
    Under the current system, the sole task of CATSA workers is screening. They must detect prohibited items. This is not a security function, but rather an observation function. If CATSA calls on subcontractors, I don't think that's a problem because their task is not really a security one. I'm aware of your security concern, but I think that, if this function remains an observation function, hiring subcontractors will not pose a real problem.
    I'll now let Mr. Sela answer.
    Mr. Sela, go ahead please.


    You know, now we're going into a system that I certainly don't approve of and you want me to explain why it doesn't work. That's very difficult for me.
    I can tell you that the threat levels in Israel are going up and down a thousand times more than they go up and down in North America, and we never, ever have to hire outside people or reinforce the people who are working at the airport or the border crossing. The reason for that, again, is the system. You can turn it up, you can turn it down, but you never change the system. That's why I'm so adamant: get the system going. You have one place at the airport where you want to check everybody.
    The card that Professor Salter has so well described is a nice technology, but it works in Canada. [Inaudible--Editor] Hong Kong or in Singapore. More importantly, does it replace the TWIC card in the United States? No.
    So you're going about doing technology in your own little backyard hoping the rest of the world will go with you. This, in my opinion, is not the way to do it. My opinion is that in the case of aviation security, ICAO needs to play a much higher role in enforcing standards for security, like they do in safety. I've been in front of ICAO twice. I haven't been very successful with it.
    I think if Canada wants to play a role in this, Canada, the United States, England, Germany, Russia should come in front of ICAO and say, “Listen guys, enough play, it's time to do. Come up with some regulations that all the airports will follow and we will enforce them.” This is the only way you can come up with a system that works.


    Merci, Monsieur Laframboise.
    Mr. Bevington.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Thank you to the two witnesses. I've had the pleasure of hearing their opinions in the past. I appreciate their scholarly nature and their practical nature as well.
    You know, I view this system at the airports we have as like the Maginot line in France. It looks pretty impressive in the front, but all you have to do is go around and all the security is gone. I also look at what's happened in North America, the three major incidents of terrorism whether Air India, 9/11, this latest incident, and they seem to be failures of security information, not of airport systems per se but the failure to communicate information. That gets to a couple of things.
    One of them, Mr. Salter, is what you're talking about, the complexity of the jurisdictions that service the airport security. We have that even in Parliament where we have Transport Canada responsible for physical security at airports and we have Public Safety responsible for things like secure flight designations. We have no coordination.
    Is this something that both of you can agree is a problem at our airports?
    Without question, there is a real dynamic at Canadian airports. Transport Canada describes the passenger protect list, which is immediate threats to aviation, and it is the airline agents who inform the passenger of their ability to board or not board the flight. They then phone a 1-800 number that connects them with the TC folks. The local police are responsible for interdiction, particularly of CATSA, but CATSA has no role in either intelligence gathering or intelligence utilization. Their only job is to look for objects. That's it. It's only objects. So Transport Canada and maybe the police have ideas about who the individuals are, but CATSA just looks for objects.
    Were it possible to create reliable intelligence about aviation security, then I would be very excited to see that used. I'm personally not convinced that we have either a global system or even a national system that allows us to identify those threats with enough certainty or with enough timeliness to actually manage it.
    So intelligence sharing is certainly useful, and it's certainly helpful, but remember that we would need an equivalent surveillance system to make sure that we understood when those people were entering and leaving the airports.
     Mr. Sela.
    Well, there is a system. I hate to say it again and again, but there is a system. We have a platform by which we can alert the cellphone of a CATSA employee when somebody is a suspect. We have a system that automatically--I say it again, automatically--detects threats. We have a system that makes intelligence agencies share their information without their giving away the store, which we were trying to convince the Americans to look at.
    There are systems available. The problem is that the American TSA is entrenched in their security standard of doing it the way they do it: like an elephant in a china store, coming into a terminal, turning the terminal upside down, taking the aviation business almost out of business, and not doing security.
    And nobody does anything about it. You can debate it to death. The essence is that you need to have your security agency, which is one of the best in the world, share information in real time with those people who encounter the danger. It is available. You can use it.


    Another topic is the full-body scanner.
    Mr. Salter, you talked about the ability of these scanners to see ceramic objects. We had evidence in the last meeting that CATSA felt that the body pat was equivalent to the full-body scan.
    If you have trained personnel who are looking for identification of psychological elements or people under stress, would not the pat-down be a more effective device in determining from individuals their relative state of mind when going through a scanning system? In other words, can't human beings judge other human beings better than a machine judges human beings?
    When we have two systems that we've put in place...and one may detect ceramic devices, but we heard evidence last time that the idea of knives and guns being the biggest threat anymore is gone because of the hardened cockpit doors. We're really looking for explosives now; that's really the biggest threat we have for aircraft.
    What system do you think would be more effective in actually determining that?
    I think this gets to the meat of my disagreement with Mr. Sela, and that's about behavioural profiling.
    I'm going to be as provocative as possible to make the distinction between the two arguments extremely clear.
    I do not believe one has behavioural profiling that is independent of culture. I think we need to be wary of engaging a system of behavioural profiling that makes the same assumptions about how we react to stress and authority. An obvious example is eye contact with individuals who are in a higher position of authority. In western culture, we take that as a sign of respect and a sign of confidence, whereas in other cultures it's read in an entirely different way.
    I know that Mr. Sela will be able to speak to this in a different way, but I'm concerned that the behavioural profiling brings with it certain racial, ethnic, and linguistic stereotypes that we would not wish to follow.
    Mr. Sela.
    I fail to understand how we're now comparing profiling with body scanners. They're not the same equipment to do the same thing. Body scanners are just an extension of the regular X-ray machines. And they do nothing.
    Let me tell you something. X-ray machines and body scanners are all operated by people. If the people are not well trained, or they're tired, or they don't have time to look at the screen because they are engaged in talking to other people, what good does it do? It's not 100% effective anyway.
     I am under strict constraints of security, but I'm telling you again, we have compromised the body scanners too many times with explosives that could bring down a 747--I know how to do it, and I could explain it to people with security clearance--but you will never, ever see it in the scanner like that.
    My idea, again, is use the current equipment--the manned portals with the metal detectors, the X-ray machines--and put on some new devices that have been developed, that sniff explosives, drugs, and biohazards. Go with that instead of looking at the naked-person image that people won't look at after awhile and anything can be smuggled through.


    Ms. Brown.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Thank you, gentlemen. I found this very interesting.
     In fact, earlier this week when I flew in from Pearson to Ottawa, I was exceedingly surprised—I guess this has come about as a result of this discussion we've been having in the committee—to have a woman sitting across the aisle from me who was doing some knitting, which for any other mode of transportation you would say is a very gentle occupation and something that is admirable. But she was using a pair of metal knitting needles, and it occurred to me that they could very easily become a weapon in the hands of the wrong person. I suppose we are all becoming more sensitized to these issues.
    Mr. Salter, in preparation for this discussion today, I did a bit of research online last night. In the introduction to the book Politics at the Airport, you used two terms that I wish you would define for me. They were “governmentality” and “assemblage”. You said that things are incomplete, they're fragmented, and there's a “dispersed nature” of airport politics.
    Is this what you're referring to when you talk about the multitude of issues or areas that have to impact our airport security? Could you talk about that for us this morning?
    Wow. Thank you. That's very kind. I appreciate that there's someone other than my parents who has even looked at my book online.
    “Governmentality” is just a way of looking at the rules that guide the formation of other rules. One thing that speaks to the question of subcontracting is that modern government attempts to be as efficient as possible, and so when CATSA looked at the screening operations, they asked, is it more efficient for us to have these be federal employees or subcontractors? They said that because of the flexibility of the workforce, because of the task required, it's more efficient for us to do it with subcontractors than to do it ourselves.
    So they simply hired the people who were already doing the job to now wear the CATSA uniforms and they have now gone through several rounds of repeating the contract. “Governmentality” is just that way of thinking about how the rules are made.
    I think you're exactly right--well, I think I'm right--in saying that the modern security system is dispersed. Mr. Sela has mentioned ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organization, which sets the standards of recommended practices for airport security. There's a universal security audit program, which ICAO runs. Canada has participated—it was the first country to participate—and yet those results are not made public. They must exist; they must be available to you, but not to the general public.
    Under the Chicago treaty, we should have a national aviation security agency, one agency that's responsible for aviation security. Canada does not; we have a number of agencies and ministries that are responsible for different parts of it. And then we have carrier sanctions. The air carriers are responsible for security on their planes, but there's also the secure flight program. There are lots of different rules and regulations and agencies.
    My argument would be not that larger government is better and that it would be better to have one big agency that was responsible for every part of the system, although I certainly take Mr. Sela's point that this works in the small case of Israel. Rather, my point would be that all of these different agencies combine to make a system that is extremely complex, and that this complexity could be resilient and could also be confusing.
     I also went through Pearson yesterday. There was a large crowd outside the security checkpoint, because they were putting in pat-downs all across the screening points. I said to the screener, “This is new”, and she said, “Yes, the regulation came down yesterday. It may be gone tomorrow.” I said, “Do you not know?” She replied, “Why would anyone tell us?”
    Now, I would make the argument that it would be good to tell us, the passengers, because then we would know to leave half an hour or an hour early for security at the airport. To not tell the front line staff what the regulations are and what the expectations are seems to be a negative result of this kind of synergy of all these different regulations, all these different competing components.


    So to your point, Mr. Sela, in an article in which you are quoted, it says:

Most airports don't see themselves as a business. They're a budgeted service provider. They have fixed budget and a mandate to give service to airlines and passengers. If they can't do that within their budget, it's not a problem for them--they simply raise the airport taxes, which the passenger ultimately pays for.
    You go on to talk about how that's mandated.
    If an airport is looked at as a business, is there not, then, an opportunity for a corporate mandate or a corporate vision to be put in place?
    Absolutely. You're right; the Ben Gurion airport, which nobody wants as a gold standard, and I believe it, is run like a business. They actually make money on security. You won't believe it, but they do. They are so efficient and so good that people who are going through security first of all are not harassed. They feel very comfortable. They have enough time to get all their money out at the duty free. They have created the Buy and Bye, an Israeli patent, for people who are going abroad to visit somebody. They can buy the duty-free, leave it in the airport, and when they come back they can pick it up. The Ben Gurion airport is one of the most efficient airports in the world.
    I want to comment on something Professor Salter said. The Israeli ISA is probably one of the smallest security organizations in the world, not the largest. And it's not because Israel is small. It's because the security agency is very efficient. We have also a lot of government agencies that are responsible for different areas in the security of Israel, but one--only one--regulates the system and says what needs to be done. If that is clear, you can have 17 jurisdictions at the airport. If they know exactly what the rules and regulations are, they can follow each one by themselves.
    The other point I want to make is this. If you have so many jurisdictions responsible, why don't you train and drill them? I have never seen a drill that has involved everybody at the airport, for whatever scenario you want to do, without disrupting, of course, the airport's operation.
     I'll give you an example. The other day I arrived from Toronto on a direct flight with Air Canada to Tel Aviv. I'm some kind of a VIP, and I go through the airport very fast. All of a sudden, somebody stops me in front of customs. I say, “I want to see my grandchild. What's going on?” He says, “Just one minute, sir”. And I say, “Okay, it's a drill”, but he won't tell me it's a drill. He says, “Just a minute, we have a situation. It will take just a minute.” It took about two and a half minutes and they let the crowd through.
     It was a bomb drill in the middle of the secure area in customs. It was drilled by all the forces. It took two and a half minutes of the customers' time, but the forces were drilled and the lessons were learned.
    You need to take this seriously. If, God forbid, something happens in one of your airports, you will never recover. You will always point fingers as to why we didn't do this, why we didn't do that.
    There are solutions that are not explosive. They just need to be carried out in the right way.
     Thank you.
    Ms. Crombie.
    That was very dramatic, Mr. Sela. Thank you.
    This government's very excited about the purchase of the 44 new body scanners that were announced at Christmastime. Mr. Salter is a strong advocate for the scanners and Mr. Sela says it's a useless waste of money, as we've been hearing. Mr. Sela says behavioural screening is what's needed; Mr. Salter says behavioural screening is very close to profiling, which is dangerous.
    We understand that the Canadian geopolitical environment is quite different from what we have in Israel. That's understood. But things could change.
    Mr. Sela wants airport security, not aviation security. He says that's what's needed. And Mr. Salter says airport security is very complex. So we have two very diametrically different and opposing views, polar views.
    But this government, nonetheless, has made this $11-million investment in the 44 scanners. Given the investment and given that we're raising another, whether it's $1.5 billion or, as we heard yesterday, $3.2 billion through a new airport security tax, how can we best build on the scanners for a reliable airport and aviation security management system?
    It's to you both.


     Thank you.
    My understanding is that CATSA is running up a test bed on behavioural profiling. I would hope that CATSA would be able to provide some kind of data as to whether or not that's effective.
    I think the differences between Mr. Sela and I are clear. The one thing that will help with that is data--if this actually works in the Canadian context.
    I could not agree more with Mr. Sela that more drills and more red teaming are necessary, and that in fact the Canadian aviation system needs to act as if it were united, even if it were not. I think the idea of drills, the idea of red teaming—where you get folks in the room and they pretend they are terrorists and they seek out the weak parts of the system—is excellent, and one of the best practices used not only in Israel but also in the United States. Those are practical things.
    I have two more questions, and I want to get Mr. Sela in as well. Thank you.
    Mr. Sela, do you have a brief response as well, or do you want me to go on to the next one and then respond...?
    Actually, this might lead into it as well. My next question really has to do with your behavioural screening approach, which I think is very worthwhile.
    Currently here in Canada we use a very random screening approach. You have to step on a mat and you're told whether to go for random screening or not. I know that many MPs are chosen for secondary screening every week, and I'm not sure that's a good use of resources. In fact, my three children and I were set aside for random screening once. I'm not sure if that was a good use of resources either.
    How does your approach, Mr. Sela, differ from...and specifically, the behavioural screening approach versus the approach we have now?
    If you want to dovetail into my first question, which was how we have a better and more integrated system building on the body scanners, then feel free.
    A voice: Did they take your tequila?
    Mrs. Bonnie Crombie: No. I didn't have any tequila.
    The body scanners are not your decision but the TSA's decision, which Canada is just following.
    My best advice is stop the purchase, but I know they will not do that.
    I want to tell you about profiling. I have no bad connotation about behavioural profiling. I don't think behavioural profiling is the first thing you need to jump into. I think what you need to do, again, is assess them. Create a system of trusted traveller and trusted worker, which can be the same system on different databases. Then start to alleviate your screening procedures with sniffing machines, and then look at passengers for more behavioural signs. I don't believe that to do behavioural profiling without having a whole system behind it is worth anything.
    Thank you.
    I'm wondering if Professor Salter could comment on the random approach to screening that we have now.
    I appreciate that. I think “random”, and the fact that you have been selected, is good news, because it demonstrates that it's random.
    The issue with trusted traveller systems, if we look at NEXUS, for example, which is the example in the United States, is that we see extremely low uptake, because people are not willing to give up that much of their private information.
    So at the very least, if we are going to implement the trusted traveller system in Canada, there needs to be a much better public sell that this will increase both efficiency and security in exchange for that private data.


    Thank you.
    Monsieur Laframboise.


    My question is for Mr. Salter.
    Earlier you said you were in favour of subcontracting. Subcontracting results in contract renewals and changes in the businesses that handle security. This is often done by staff who have never worked in the aviation sector. You agree with that. So there will be public calls for tenders.
    Personally, this is what I question: using the private sector, making public calls for tenders and making staff changes in certain fixed years. This is a choice, this is our way of acting, and it's a choice we make.
    However, you said that CATSA was stuck between international practices and Transport Canada's regulations. I'd like you to explain that to me more.
    All right. I'll answer in English, since it's a complex matter.


    That's not to say that the other question wasn't complex also.
    The best practice for international security, as demonstrated by Mr. Sela, is precisely risk management, it is to identify those who are high risk and those who are trusted travellers. The way that the random screening system works with CATSA now is that every single passenger is treated the same way.
    This is the tension that I was talking about. The best systems, as Mr. Sela rightly identifies, separate out those who are risky and those who are trusted, but our current system treats everyone exactly the same way.
    CATSA right now simply cannot, under its legislative mandate, treat individuals differently. It cannot. It cannot do investigation. It cannot look at your identity documents. It cannot participate in that trusted traveller system.
    So there is a tension between CATSA's desire to emulate best practices and the regulatory instrument that describes that everyone must be treated exactly the same.


    My next question is for you, Mr. Sela.
    Terrorists are definitely changing and refining their actions. How does it work when you are informed of new developments concerning the terrorist communities? Do you have a way of informing other partners in the world, the Americans and others? Is there a system in place for quickly transferring data from Israel to Canada or the United States, for example, or with other countries in the world?


    I want to make one quick comment on Professor's Salter's viewpoint.
    My viewpoint is very different. There is no democracy in security. There is no politics in security. Security is a defined way of protecting people.
    My idea of having a random search at the airport is like Russian roulette. It's exactly the same deal. How do you know you get the right people? People get through because you have no method of screening.
    To your question about intelligence, I will share with you a quick story. When Mr. Ariel Sharon was the prime minister, he gave an order. He was a general, but even when he was a prime minister he never forgot he was a general. He gave an order to all the intelligence agencies in Israel to share information from today on.
    We know that will never happen. It will never happen in Israel and it will never happen in any other place in the world.
    Within three months, the Israeli Security Agency has put together very sophisticated computer software in which each agency puts in its real-time alerts and it puts out a unified database that can be shared in real time. We are doing it right now only with the United States, but I'm sure that government to government we can share it with other allies as well.
    But this is basic for airport and aviation security: sharing intelligence in real time.


    Mr. Jean.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Thank you, gentlemen, for appearing today.
    My questions zero in on two particular issues. One is the trusted traveller program, or a synopsis of that.
    I recently applied for NEXUS and a CANPASS, just to see what the system was and to understand better the issue of aviation security. To be honest, I never found it to be at all intrusive, but of course, I haven't gone for my interview yet. We'll see what happens there.
    I had a chance a year and a half ago to travel to Israel with my mother and 30 people from a synagogue in New Jersey. It was quite interesting when I came back to Ben Gurion airport. Our vehicle got stopped and I was in the front, so they asked me a whole bunch of questions. I got out. He asked for my ID, and I told him I was a member of Parliament from Canada. As I gave him my ID and they started to take the luggage out of the back for five or six people who were in the same van as me, as soon as he saw my identification he immediately told them to stop taking the suitcases out, he put the suitcases back in, and sent me on my way, along with all my passengers.
    This is versus the situation in Canada, where I travel pretty much every week or very frequently. I get asked what I do for a living and they send me to another second or third layer of security, which I've always found to be very interesting. As I say, I go though airports a lot, and I have, I would suggest, probably one in three times gone through another level of security screening, although I can come here to this place and walk around with total freedom and sit beside anybody I want, including cabinet members and the Prime Minister, without any issue of security screening. So I agree that there is an issue in relation to what we do.
    In Israel in particular and other democracies across the world, is there a more robust system of trusted traveller, and to what extent do we exclude people? What percentage, would you suggest, of those people would be excluded as a trusted traveller versus the people who go through the first layer of security and the potential other layers of security?
    Mr. Sela.
    In Israel, as I said before, I will make Professor Salter's worries go away. We have done away with interviews for trusted traveller cards. We now have an automatic system that looks like a passport photo booth in which there is a computer and a mouse, and you sit and answer 10 questions.
    Once you have done that, the system delivers a “yea” or “nay.” If it delivers a “yea,” you get a card.
    You need to go through this procedure every year, and you are a trusted traveller. There is no person involved, no person-to-person interviews. If you fail the system, you have to go and see somebody.
    I'll tell you how good the system is. When I was asked to check the system and I went to the manufacturer, the guy who actually greeted me at the port was an ISA agent. He said, “Take my ID card, because you can't get into the system without a valid card.” So he gave me his ID card, and I put it in my pocket.
    I went to the machine and answered all the questions, and I was flagged. When I got out, I said, “Why did you flag me? What am I, a terrorist?” He said, “Yes, you lied to the machine.” I said, “What do you mean, I lied to the machine? I can't lie to the machine.” He said, “The machine asked you if somebody gave you anything before you entered, and you said no.” I thought, “Oh my God, right; he gave me his card.”
    Even unintentionally, the machine found out that I was hiding information.
    So we have systems--that's what I'm trying to say--that can ease the tension and can make people much more comfortable in acquiring trusted traveller cards.
    Thanks, Mr. Sela.
    First of all, is it possible to provide information in relation to those questions, what basis they come from, psychological profiling or whatever the case may be? I have to move on to another question, but I would be interested in more information about that program, if you could provide that to us.
    The question I have next is in relation to profiling. Quite frankly, I did some research on profiling generally. I came across a Canadian Human Rights Commission report, The Effectiveness of Profiling from a National Security Perspective, and I note that profiling is not just racial profiling. There are examples of different types of profiling, including behaviour, geographical, perspective, and of course, the last one, being consumer profiling, or racial profiling in essence.
    I think that would be a dangerous road to enter, but certainly security, as you say, crosses all boundaries of politics and sometimes reasonableness to make sure that Canadians and other countries are secure.
    Are you suggesting, Mr. Salter, that we eliminate any sense of profiling and get to a point where, except for the trusted traveller program and people who are exempted from the second or third levels of screening, we screen everybody? Do we come to a point where we forget who the person is, forget what their history or background is, and just issue them an edict where they have to go through every level of security?


    Thank you. I appreciate that.
    First of all, for the NEXUS program, the problem is not once you're in the system. The problem with uptake is the number of people applying for the system. It's not because of the actual giving up of information but the perceived giving up of information. Again, it's a matter of selling and public diplomacy as much as it is about a real exchange between privacy and security.
    If we could be certain that profiling worked and was reliable, with a one-to-one match, I would then be all for it, because it would be effective. The Christmas Day bombing, in particular, demonstrates the degree to which we simply cannot connect the dots.
    What Mr. Sela is not saying about the trusted traveller system and the Israeli system is that there's an enormous database and enormous security apparatus behind those ten questions that provide intelligence for the Israeli security agency to allow them to make those decisions. Our legal and political culture is simply different in Canada. It would not tolerate that degree of surveillance and intrusion into our private lives to get to the point where we would accept those types of questions.
    At the moment, I think random profiling is better than broken profiling.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Volpe.
    I'm going to share my time with Madam Crombie. She can finish with some of the other questions.
    I'm intrigued by the repeated issue of setting up the system that Mr. Sela talks about. Has anyone asked him to sketch an outline of such a system for Canadian airports?
    No. I gave presentations on the system and the highlights of the system at two aviation security conferences and about five TSA conferences.
    I think the major problem you are looking at--Professor Salter said it very nicely, the tail that waggles the dog--is that the TSA is actually calling the shots here.
    First of all, there's been no TSA chief in the United States for a year and a half, so Napolitano probably thinks it's not important.
    The second thing is that Mr. Kip Hawley, who was the last TSA commissioner, took a stand that said don't confuse me with the facts. We know best, we do what we do, and that's it. You can do whatever you want to do in Israel, and that's it.
     I don't think it's a good approach. I think you need to look at what we have, what the Germans have, what the Brits have, what the Singaporeans have, and whatever your allies have as technology. I know you have intelligent people. Look at those systems and have some consultants come to consult with you. You can then decide on which system fits your style of life, your laws, and the way in which you want to conduct security at the airport.
    Does a system in the way that Mr. Sela points out make sense for Canada? Is it possible for us to say to the Americans that we're following a different system, even if many of our flights fly over American territory?


    Thank you.
    I'm not against systems. I'm not against systems by their very nature. I think there's a real opportunity. if not for greater coordination then for greater transparency among the different agencies.
    I think the way in which Canadians have decided to screen hold baggage is radically different from the U.S. way. The U.S. screens everyone with their most advanced technology. The Europeans use a risk-based system, and so do we. You only go to the next level of technology if the first one fails.
    We've managed to maintain that standard in the face of American pressure to adopt their standard. That is an actual case of airport screening where we have managed to maintain a different standard in the face of American pressure.
    Actually, Mr. Salter, that's a perfect segue for me, because I wanted to ask you in particular how we can better integrate our safety and security management systems with other governments. You have spoken about the U.S. government necessitates us following their lead on their aviation security, and I'm wondering if we shouldn't actually better integrate it with the U.S. and their risk management approach, and with others, particularly European governments as well. Shouldn't there be better coordination to our approach, and why isn't there? Is it because the risk assessment is different, the techniques are different, the philosophies are different? And which one body would be responsible for coordinating all of that?
    I think you have identified it perfectly. There's a fundamental disagreement at the philosophical level about the degree of risk that governments are willing to accept. The Americans want to try to have a zero-risk policy, which leads them to a sort of impossible standard. The Europeans have accepted a risk management perspective. Canada is stuck between these two philosophical differences, and I would say is benefiting from neither.
    Who would be in charge of that? You'd need someone else.
    Perhaps Mr. Sela knows of....
    Yes, I'd be interested in hearing from Mr. Sela too, with regard to better integration.
    I will say again: if you want worldwide coordination, you have to go to the ICAO. The International Civil Aviation Organization has done a great job in safety. I think they can do the same in security. But nobody right now needs it--not Canada, not the United States, not anybody else.
    You need to go to ICAO and demand, and say to them, look, safety and security are now the same issue; I don't care if a plane comes down because the engine failed or because a bomb went off; you have the authority and the responsibility to put up the rules and regulations, the standards and technologies, that ought to be used in order to create a well-established aviation security system cross-global and cross-country.
    Mr. Mayes.
    Thank you to the witnesses for being here today, even if through video conferencing.
     Mr. Salter, you talked about the concerns regarding the privacy of the individual. Yet those who work in airports have restricted area identification cards. There is obviously some screening done and maybe some compromise of some of the privacy of those employed in airports.
    Shouldn't the air passenger be given that opportunity to give up some of that privacy in order to be identified as a safe traveller? Sometimes I feel like I'm discriminated against in the security lineup when I am put in the category of being a threat and really I'm not a threat. I am being treated differently because there might be a threat. I'm just wondering what your feelings are about having the option of being identified and moved more quickly through the airport.
    Mr. Sela, I just want to ask a question about airport security. I was in the airport in Narita, Japan. Actually, they stopped the vehicles. Some of the security is actually performed outside the compound of the airport. I thought that was a good approach, where they used sniffing dogs and had the ability to check people as they go through and maybe speed up that process. I say this because security can sometimes choke the free flow of passengers to where they want to get.
    First, Mr. Salter, could you talk a little bit about the privacy of the individual and maybe the opportunity for them to be identified as a safe risk?


     Thank you. I think a powerful argument has been made by air pilots, members of Parliament, members of the armed forces, and members of the police who say they've already been through security clearance and there's no utility in having them go through the same line.
    If there is a previous government security clearance connected to that trusted traveller, then that makes sense to me. One of the things the RAIC process does is it goes through Transport Canada. So Transport Canada does an investigation through the RCMP and it's thus connected to the government.
    I think my worry is with entirely voluntary citizen-driven, because we simply don't have enough reliable intelligence on individuals. So they may give up their privacy but to no avail.
    If we think about the 9/11 hijackers, they all had credit histories that were fine, the majority of them had appropriate federal documentation, and several of them had frequent flyer things, which would all naturally lead us to think they were low-risk even though they were not.
    Again I make the point that until we have reliable intelligence, voluntarism only will not lead to a good system.
    Mr. Sela, could you let us know about perimeter security around the airport?
    I first want to comment on what Professor Salter just said.
    There is no intelligence involved in the trusted traveller program in Israel--none whatsoever. We do give trusted travellers to foreigners; we don't know anything about them. But I can tell you this about the 9/11 people: we would have caught them one by one, because they had something to hide, and we find out if you have something to hide. This is a very good system, and I do hope that somebody will take note of it.
    For the perimeter security, I don't want to scare you guys, but I can take a pickup truck today, fill it with 500 kilos of explosives, drive to the front door of the terminal at Pearson, and blow it up. You will have an aviation disaster almost as big as it was in Europe with the ash. You don't even mind that all this glass that is built in the airport is not blastproof. People won't be killed by the blast. They will be killed by the glass.
    You do have to know who is entering your airport. If you have a suspicious vehicle, you have to stop it. You have to stop it at such a distance that if, God forbid, it is a suicide bomber, then you can mitigate it before it creates any harm.
    I can go on and on. You know the security lines you have at the airports? It's the biggest threat to aviation ever. You do not want many people to stand in one place. You want them to flow. If you stop the flow and have them wait three hours in line for a 10-second security, this is not a security measure. This is a security risk.
    We're going to go to one more round of five minutes each.
    I'll start with Ms. Crombie.
    Mr. Volpe and I were discussing the profile of the trusted traveller, Mr. Sela. Could you enlighten us all on what exactly that means?
    I can't get into too much detail. I would be happy to send, after this session, a detailed presentation--for your eyes only--that could elaborate on how we do things.
    If I may interrupt, if you would send any of that pertinent information through the clerk, we would share it with our committee.
    Thank you very much. I will do that.
    Ms. Crombie.


    Mr. Salter, what is the difference between the trusted traveller philosophy and approach that the Israelis take and the system we have in place here in North America, really, and would you advocate taking a similar approach?
    There are three models for the trusted traveller system. The first is the simplifying passenger travel initiative, which is being run by IATA, the International Air Transport Association, which has connected technology companies, airports, and governments to provide essentially an express route between London and Hong Kong so that your travel credentials follow you through the airport.
    The second is the national version, which is like the NEXUS or the CANPASS, in which both countries' police forces agree on a number of security checks. This is always linked to biometric information, because while one's documents can be changed, it's hard to change one's retina or one's iris or one's face for verification.
    The third is the kind that is in place at Ben Gurion, at Schiphol, that has been tried in the United States, which is airport-specific systems, where one does not apply for the aviation system as a whole but rather for specific airports. The “Privium” system at Schiphol airport and the “Clear” program in the United States are airport-run. There are also checks, but they are local rather than national.
    So if I were a tourist traveller to Israel, maybe with my family, would I be profiled? Would I be subject to some secondary screening?
    I think you'll have to ask Mr. Sela about the Israeli procedure.
    Mr. Sela.
    The system we have can be global. Again, other nations have to adopt the same biometrics, the same cards, and the same system.
    I mean, look at your Visa card. You can use your Visa card today to take money out in China, but you are a Canadian bank person. So the same system--I'm not saying the Visa system, but it's the same concept--can be made for the trusted traveller. You can have a trusted traveller card that you can take worldwide, if ICAO will supervise, for instance, and you will be a trusted traveller in Canada, in the United States, in Russia, and in Japan.
    So your personal information would be encrypted on a card. Are there any other governments or airports using your system?
    First of all, let me correct you: there is no personal information on the card. It's only a viable biometric and some other information that is encryption information, because you have been trusted by your government, not by us. When you carry the card, the card is encrypted by a government agency that is a trusted government agency, by ICAO for instance, and no personal information is on the card.
    Are there other governments or airports using your system currently?
    Not yet, because we need a global standard. We can't start with two nations. We need a global standard.
    Thank you.
    Monsieur Laframboise.


    Mr. Salter, from what I've understood, you recommended telling our international partners that our passengers will be treated in accordance with Canadian values. That's what I understood. I would like you to give us some more details on that point.
    Thank you.
    I entirely agree with Mr. Sela concerning part of his speech. The American agencies now dictate their requirements at the global level. That's partly because 50% of passenger flights are within the United States. The impact of those flights is very significant.


    The great concern I have about the transmission of U.S. standards is that the U.S. requires target nationalities to be given more screening, even in foreign countries such as Canada, and they identify those countries with a very broad brush. So after Abdulmutallab at Christmastime, all Nigerians were now subject to extra screening.
    Now, we don't share that same sense of risk, that same evaluation of the threat, and in fact there were numbers circulating in the press that up to a million Canadians who were born in those 13 target countries could be subject to those extra screenings.
    I think that it is a matter of national sovereignty that we insist to the Americans that we will not give extra screening to those passengers in Canada under Canadian law. That seem to me unjust and not suiting to our political character.



    Mr. Sela, what do you think about Mr. Salter's comments?


    I totally agree with him. I think the United States acts on panic and not on the system. You don't discriminate against countries just because people came out of those countries. You don't discriminate against cities because people are having crime committed in those cities. I say this is a stupid decision.
    When you qualify, you need to qualify on a behavioural standard and not on origin or colour of skin, or any such regulation. I do believe that we can come up with a standard for a global trusted traveller program, that ICOA will be the enforcer and the regulator, and each government will have to show that they are participants of the right way to do this. Then we will have a system that Canadians, Americans, and Israelis can share.
    Mr. Bevington.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    Mr. Sela, one question that Mr. Jean had asked you was about the percentage of travellers right now in Israel who are under the trusted traveller program. What is the percentage?
    I don't have the numbers at the top of my head, but I would say about 50%.
    In the past meeting, CATSA said they had no statistics on the costs of security between countries. Are you familiar with the different costs per passenger flight of security systems between Canada, the U.S., Israel, Germany?
    The Ben Gurion system is between 50% and 60% of the cost per passenger...than any other airport in the world. It's less by 40% to 30%.
    Mr. Salter, do you have any information on that?
    No, I do not.
    So what we see is that your system actually costs less.
    I'm getting back to these body scanners, because we've invested a fair bit of money in them, and I want to understand.
    Mr. Salter, you said they can detect these ceramic knives. What's the threat assessment of a ceramic knife these days with the hardened cockpits? We can't weaponize a plane anymore with a knife—not like 9/11—if proper procedures are followed in the cockpit. What actually will this do? Wouldn't a sniffer system be better for detecting the real hazard, which is an explosive device?
    Mr. Sela seems to have secret information about the spoofing of these that I don't have. It could be that I'm out of the loop.
    But you're using the ceramic knife as a--
    Oh, sorry; I think you're absolutely right that....
    My apologies. Were you finished?
    It's okay. Go ahead.


    I think the current threat is absolutely explosives. The 3-D scanners do a better job of isolating where, on the body, electronic devices are hidden, because they all need some kind of electronic trigger system.
    Now, if Mr. Sela has secret information that says that they can be spoofed, then....
    You could put a trigger system into an electric device--
    Dr. Mark Salter: Into a cellphone, into a car fob--absolutely.
    Mr. Dennis Bevington: --or a camera or whatever. Honestly, that doesn't seem to be a reason to install these scanners. There's got to be some reason to do this, something we can identify as a reason why we should spend $11 million of taxpayers money.
    Plus there are the incredible operating costs of these things. You've got to have different people—one person to examine the person, another person to independently look at them so they can't realize who is the person they are looking at. You have to have people going in and out of these scanning booths. You have to keep up the attention of the scanners, so you'll have to change them at very regular intervals so that people can keep looking at the scanning equipment to actually determine things.
    I mean, I've seen the images. These people are going to have to pay attention to see something.
    Yes. I think the question of attention and rotation is interesting. There's a psychologist in Switzerland who argues precisely the opposite, that it takes 20 minutes for one to sort of warm up on the scanners in order to be able to detect things, precisely because it's difficult to detect on these images, including for the sit-down X-rays. Rotating people through the post regularly does not seem to be more efficient than rotating them slowly. But that's a minor point.
    I would say, as well, the subject material is going to be very difficult for people who are going to be looking at this day in and day out. I think that's going to be another considerable psychological problem for most of the scanning people.
    It could be, but I think the primary reason to do it is because it detects both metal and explosives better than the current system. You will not need fewer people for the sniffer technology than you need now for the body scanners.
    Mr. Sela, a comment?
    First of all, I disagree: you need fewer people for the sniffer than for the X-ray, because the sniffer is automatic.
    Second, I don't want to scare you, but what happens if I'm a suicide bomber and I go through this machine and blow myself up? Do you buy a new machine and a new terminal? What do you do?
    You can only detect a suicide bomber when he's at the machine, because you don't do anything before or after it. That's my point. If I really want to inflict harm on an airport and I'm a suicide bomber and you don't have any means of profiling me before I get there, I could get five of those guys in front of five of your scanners and the whole system is gone.
    Mr. Bruinooge.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I'll give my colleague Mr. Richards an opportunity to ask a question first, then I'll ask a couple.
    The Chair: Mr. Richards.
    Thank you very much.
    I appreciate Mr. Bruinooge sharing some time with me.
    Mr. Sela, we've heard a lot from you today about the passenger screening or behavioural analysis that you do in your country. I know you've mentioned that you don't feel the scanners we're purchasing here in Canada are the best method of technology that could be used. What I am curious about, and I didn't hear a lot about it from you today, are the technology methods you use to complement your passenger screening, your profiling that you do.
    Could you elaborate a bit for me on some of the technology methods you use and why you feel those are the best way to go?
    First of all, we do not rely on the scanners, per se. The only reason we have scanners at Ben Gurion airport is because of ICAO standards.
    By the way, we do profile people at the scanner. We do look at the people. We do profile them behaviourally. We don't pay much attention to what they have in their bags unless it is banned by ICAO--guns, knives, and stuff like that. But you can take five bottles of very good Israeli wine back with you to Canada, if you fly directly.
    Mr. Bruinooge.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I have just a quick question for Professor Salter, as we're likely running out of time.
    I'd like to go back to one of your comments in relation to security risk relative to Israel and how, because of the fact that perhaps we don't have a militant country that is attempting to or wanting to enter into another country or other countries around our country that have these various aggressive philosophies, perhaps, or not.... I think that was what you were indicating.
    If we don't have the systems that are similar to Israel's, doesn't that in essence make us a riskier target because of the fact that really there is a general ease for which a terrorist could achieve some type of global political goal in Canada? I guess my point is that perhaps you could talk about our risk level relative to our systems and where that places Canada in the world.


    Thank you.
    First of all, the Ogdensburg agreement says to the United States, for example, that Canada will not be a launching place for attacks to the U.S. So there's a very real way in which our security is tied to our neighbour's in the same way. But Israel is subject to much more frequent suicide bombings, in particular, than Canada has ever been. Ahmed Ressam, the millennium bomber, is sort of one of the primary events that we had, and the Air India attack. That has been two in the past 35 years.
    So our level of threat is very much lower. It is true that al Qaeda has named Canada as one of the allies of the United States. That puts us on the radar. So I don't want to say that we are a country that has not been named specifically, because we have, but in particular because of our geographic position and because of our politics and our open society, I think we are in a much different situation. Our risk level is much lower than that of Israel.
    I want to pick up on something that Mr. Sela said. He said that if you can't detect those individuals about whom you are worried at the perimeter of the airport, and then identify them for greater screening as they go through the system....
    I want you to think about what that would mean for Canada. That would mean CCTV or some kind of detection on, what, the 409, on the Airport Parkway, on the QEW? It would mean pushing surveillance out from the terminal and from the airport in a way that I think does not really sit well with the Canadian culture of freedom of movement.
    I have one last point, I guess just to wrap up.
    On December 16, I was in the Vancouver International Airport. As I was boarding my flight, a very large Ford SUV smashed through all the glass and ended up right at the counter where you get tickets, not 20 feet away from me.
    Of course, that was an accident, but it could have been something else. I think there is merit to having some perimeters in our country.
    Thank you.
    With that, I will thank our guests.
    The challenge for all of us is to provide safety and security to travellers, and to have two divergent views on that is good for our committee to hear, I think. We look forward to meeting and visiting with you again in the future.
    Thank you, Mr. Sela, for your time today. I know you're with us not physically but certainly in spirit and mind.
    Mr. Salter, thank you for your contribution.
    We are going to go into a subcommittee, but first I'd like the attention of all the committee. I have passed around a request for travel. That is subject to us getting enough people organized and prepared to travel in May after our May week break in our constituencies. I need a motion to approve it so that we can take it to the budget committee.
    Monsieur Laframboise has moved it. Mr. Jean has seconded it.
    All in favour?
    (Motion agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
    The Chair: Thank you. I appreciate it. That will go to the liaison committee today.
    Mr. Jean.
    This is on a point of order, as a result of what took place in an in camera meeting some time ago in relation to Mr. Kennedy. There was some information that was said in camera. My understanding is that the Speaker cannot make any ruling in relation to in camera discussions unless he is given permission by the committee to have that information.
    What I'm moving today is a motion to allow the Speaker, and only the Speaker, to receive the information that was contained within an in camera meeting--that in camera meeting in particular--so he can make a proper determination in relation to the point of privilege that the committee directed to him.


    Are there comments?
    Mr. Volpe.
    I'm wondering procedurally what really has to happen. I thought there had to be a concurrence motion first, because the committee has reported its deliberations, and those deliberations included reflections that emanated from debates in camera.
    The Speaker I guess would have to address it if the report that was submitted to the House had received a concurrence motion, or the House itself had concurred in that particular report. If the House has not concurred in that report, then the Speaker doesn't have to deliberate on it.
    Now, that was my understanding. I'm wondering whether our clerk can shed some light on that.
    It was actually from the clerk that this request arose. That's my understanding.
    We don't need to do a concurrence motion in the House because we didn't report an actual motion for the House to then concur in. We reported a bit of a narrative of what happened. We brought the issue to the Speaker's attention. At this point now it would be for any member to notify the Speaker that they intended to raise the issue in the usual method after question period as a question of privilege.
    Regarding the Speaker having access to the in camera transcripts, I don't know the process for that, but we can certainly pass a motion to that effect if we choose to.
    On a point of clarification, my understanding is that we must push this forward to close the matter. I don't want to continue to beat a dead horse--quite frankly, I feel that horse is gone--but I think we have to follow through with it.
    I was going to raise it after question period either today or tomorrow. To be very blunt, it was going to be less than a paragraph long. It wasn't going to point out any particular incident that took place. It was just going to ask the Speaker to please investigate what took place and make a determination.
    I'm not looking to embarrass anybody or to follow through to find somebody sanctioned it in any way, to be blunt. I don't think that's constructive. But I just wanted to give him the opportunity to have all of the information so there's nobody left at the side, if there is an issue on that.
    So it's by way of a motion, and it's just to open up the in camera discussion so that he can analyze it fully and thoroughly. If the committee does agree, it's just going to ask the Speaker to investigate: that's it.
    I will advise that there is a House vote. The lights are flashing. It's a 30-minute bell.
    Monsieur Laframboise.


    I think the parliamentary secretary's motion is straightforward. In any case, we don't intend to make a big deal about this. We simply have to have everything necessary so we can close this debate.


    Are there any other comments?
    Go ahead, Mr. Bevington.
    I don't have a problem with providing the Speaker, in confidence, with that information.
    I would like to see the end of this. This is, really, going back to the.... This has occurred because we weren't careful about instructions on in camera meetings. I think we have that straight in the committee now.
    Is it the will of the committee to accept a motion to allow the Speaker to receive the in camera minutes of that particular meeting?
    Who's going to present it?
    I will, and I'd be happy to pass the speech to you beforehand. It would be one or two paragraphs maximum.
    I'm pleased to hear my colleagues on this side say that they'd like to put the matter to rest. I don't want to create another precedent, but if it is the intention of the committee to put the issue to rest and to minimize any further discussion, perhaps it would be best that the chair stand and say, “Mr. Speaker, I reported last week on committee hearings, and it is the committee's wish that you avail yourself of the minutes of the in camera meeting while you make your deliberations.”
     That would be fine with me.


    I'm certainly prepared to do that.
    Well, if my colleagues on this side accept it, and colleagues on that side accept it, then I'm okay.
     Shall we vote on a motion, or...?
    It doesn't have to be a motion.
    The Chair: Consensus?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    Thank you very much.
     So the motion from Mr. Jean will be withdrawn.
    We're back here Tuesday at nine o'clock.
    The meeting is adjourned.
Publication Explorer
Publication Explorer