Canada, U.S. begin working group to solve no-fly list errors: Goodale

Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says Canada and the U.S. have established a working group to help resolve problems related to no-fly lists.

Goodale said Tuesday the bilateral Redress Working Group provides a means for government officials to communicate and will help ensure availability of the most accurate information.

The current Canadian system “piggybacks” onto the systems from airlines whereas the American system is operated by the U.S. government.

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“The American system is a standalone system run by the government and the database is entirely interactive and in that way, the American authorities are able to deliver those redress solutions very quickly,” he told Global News.

READ MORE: Added airport security screening not needed for those under-18, says Minister Goodale

Goodale said experts told him an entirely new system will have to be built so the Liberal government is looking for both short- and long-term solutions.

“We are looking at the practical ways where we can find solutions in the short-term for the false positives that are popping up and then redesign the whole thing for the longer term which will mean an entirely new database and information system and that takes some time,” he explained.

Canada and the U.S. had previously agreed to set up the body within 60 days during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to the White House in March.

“We took advantage of that opportunity to establish a redress working group between both countries to draw this together as effectively as we can to eliminate this problem,” Goodale said.

READ MORE: Why your kid’s name could put them on an airline security watchlist

Global News has reported on several cases of young Canadians, including a six-year-old, who faced long airport delays after their names were flagged on aviation security lists.

“There are no 6-year-olds on the no-fly list,” Goodale said. “Unfortunately, there are adult culprits who have very similar or the same names, and they are on the list.

“It’s the confusion between the two that’s causing the problem.”