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PM Prorogues Politics Over National Security

January 5, 2010

The Prime Minister's decision to prorogue Parliament threatens the safety of our citizens.

On January 5, 2010, MPs Rob Merrifield and John Baird made a statement to the press about the use of body scanners in Canadian airports. The body scanners are expected to be installed by March 2010.

Merrified appeared to indicate that scanners would be used for those "selected for secondary screening."

A Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) conducted by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada concluded that body scanners can only be used for individuals who fail a metal detector test.

"By neglecting to mention this important prerequisite for the use of body scanners," said Omar Ha-Redeye, a law student at the University of Western Ontario, "the Minister suggests a lack of consideration for the concerns of the public."

Ha-Redeye indicates that allowing a more arbitrary use of body scanners would also open up the potential for abuse, such as the profiling of passengers based on other criteria.

Discussions about the appropriate balance between privacy and national security concerns would typically occur at Parliamentary committee. These committees do not function when Parliament has been prorogued.

"By proroguing Parliament, the Prime Minister has put partisan politics over our safety," said Ha-Redeye, who calls for the Ministers to clarify their position, and encourages the public to report abuses of scanners.

For more information contact:
Omar Ha-Redeye
Phone: 226-448-6627

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Omar Ha-Redeye


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