July 24th, 2024

Federal Appeal Court tosses Charter challenge for pair on Canada’s no-fly list

By The Canadian Press on June 20, 2024.

Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) employees and air passengers are seen at a security screening checkpoint at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER – The Federal Court of Appeal has thrown out a bid by two men to get off the country’s no-fly list after they weren’t allowed to get on planes in Vancouver in 2018.

In a ruling this week, the court dismissed an appeal by Bhagat Singh Brar and Parvkar Singh Dulai after they lost their constitutional challenge of Canada’s Secure Air Travel Act in the lower court.

The ruling says the act empowers the public safety minister to ban people from flying if there are “reasonable grounds to suspect they will threaten transportation security or travel by air to commit a terrorism offence.”

Both Brar and Dulai claimed in court that their inclusion on the list violated their Charter rights, but the court ruling found the legislation was justified and the confidential portions of the court process were procedurally fair.

The ruling says based on confidential security information, the minister had reasonable grounds to suspect that the two men would travel by air to commit a terrorism offence.

Judge David Stratas, who wrote for the three-judge panel, says while the courts need to protect rights, the stakes for government are “sky-high” for security and terrorism prevention, which warrants giving Parliament “some leeway.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 20, 2024.

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