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Quotes from Air Transport Security Authority complaints released

Nov. 24, 2010, Ottawa - Some quotes have been released from complaints filed in 2009-10 with the
Canadian Air Transport Security Authority about physical searches at airports.


November 24, 2010
By The Canadian Press

The released records, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, have the identity of the complainants removed:

"I couldn't believe what was happening to me — the embarrassment and utter humiliation — passengers all over the place — I felt like a criminal of the worst description. I was thoroughly patted down, arms squeezed all the way from shoulder to wrist from the front and the back, as well as legs, looked down the back of my slacks, under the soles of my sandals.'' — Vancouver, May 2009.

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"I was given no instruction as to the nature of the check that was about to take place nor was I given the option of a private room. What I then experienced was a security check involving touching around my bra line, between my breasts, which I was clearly uncomfortable with taking place in front of all the other passengers coming through the general security check. When the officer asked me if she could check around my 'waist' area, at which point she pulled at my jeans to around my underwear line, I DEMANDED a private room. She looked at me perplexed and assured me that it wouldn't take very long! Eventually, they 'found' a spare room to complete the check.'' — Toronto, July 2009.

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"Please remind your people at Montreal that unthinkingly intrusive inspection should not be necessary, particularly in cases of obvious disability — but if it is, then a courteous expression of regret will considerably ease the distress so caused.'' — Montreal, April 2009.

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"My wife was asked (told) to remove her shoes and belt which is understandable BUT, the agent then proceeded to have my wife padded down … and the agent put her hand on and around my wife's breasts
and also down her pants front and back and up her legs to you know where! in front of a number of onlookers making my wife QUITE uncomfortable!'' — Calgary, May 2009.

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"As my face glowed from the violation I felt, she ran her hands all over my body, including down my back, where she stuck her fingers under my bra strap and then moved her hands across my ass.
… I feel these random secondary screenings are a violation of my right as a Canadian citizen not to have my body touched by a stranger in a public place without just cause.'' — Toronto, August 2009.

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"There was no part of my body that wasn't touched (except my penis). I was made to bend over and hang onto the counter while they checked the bottom of my shoes — they thoroughly checked my collar
my belt and (waistband) of my pants — felt up and down my legs, my butt and my chest and back. I was made to feel that I had certainly done something to be singled out.'' — Vancouver, August 2009.