Teen subjected to public airport pat-down

Toronto Sun

Christine McCann feels she allowed her shy 15-year-old daughter to be violated when she was forced to publicly have a full body pat-down at a Sudbury, Ont., airport.

Pickering, Ont., resident McCann and her daughter, Carly Finn, took a Porter Airlines flight to Sudbury over the weekend to visit McCann’s father, who is dying of lung cancer.

“My daughter is extremely shy and when we were returning from Sudbury she was randomly selected for a pat-down,” said McCann. “I asked them if they could take me instead and they said no. I asked if they at least could do it in private, but they did not have the facilities.

“The pat-down was bad enough, but when they asked my daughter to turn around and put her hands on the machine as they spread her legs and patted her down, (that) was the worst,” she said.

McCann said her daughter was so upset, she vowed never to fly again.

“I was upset because my dad — her grandfather — needs to see us, as he does not have that long to live,” she said. “I can’t believe that we had such a good weekend together, staying in a hotel, visiting my dad for two days and going out to dinner. The weekend was blown over an 18-second pat-down.”

Airport screening officers have the right to search any passenger, said Mathieu Larocque, spokesman for Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, which administers passenger screening.

“Some passengers may be selected for a secondary screening, but every passenger has the right to have a private search and that should have happened,” said Larocque. “It is something that we have to accommodate. A formal complaint can be filed and it will be investigated and if need be … corrective measures (taken).”

Porter Airlines has no control over airport security.

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