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This article was published 10/8/2010 (3485 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
OTTAWA — Manitoba Conservative MP Shelly Glover says Canadians deserve consistency, fairness and assurances of their safety from the country's air security screening processes.
Glover comments came at a wild parliamentary committee hearing Tuesday the Tories called to probe allegations veiled Muslim women were not asked to show their faces to prove their identity when boarding an airplane. The issue was spawned by an amateur video of two women boarding a plane in Montreal without being asked to remove their veils.
Glover said numerous Canadians have since expressed to her they are afraid to fly, including a pilot who spoke to her at the Winnipeg airport when Glover was preparing to fly to Ottawa for the meeting.
"We need to alleviate the fears of Canadians," she said. She was livid the committee voted not to study the issue after a meeting that faced not only antics but fierce partisan bickering. It even included a 45-minute long battle about who would chair the meeting. Glover said opposition parties don't care about Canadians fears.
"We should be alleviating the fears of Canadians but the opposition doesn't want to talk about it," said Glover.
Liberal public safety critic Mark Holland said the Conservatives were just trying to "push people's fear buttons" and change the channel from their decision to cancel the long census.
Holland said a simple solution would be to have the transport minister ensure all airlines know they must check all passengers' identities, including veiled passengers.
"That would be a simple solution but it's not as much theatrics so there's no political reason for them to do that," he said.
Holland said the whole issue of airport screening and airline security is already being studied by the transport committee.
"They are 20 hours deep into their study," said Holland. "Why should we duplicate what another committee is doing?"
But Glover said that committee won't meet until the fall and Canadians are afraid to fly now.
"This is something Canadians are very much concerned about," she said.
Travel agencies and airlines told Postmedia News Tuesday business has not wavered following the stir caused by the video.
Glover said she called for the public safety committee to meet so it can hear what the current practices are, where the gaps are and then make suggestions to the minister.
"We need to ensure there is consistency and fairness," said Glover.
— with files from Postmedia News