Making a mountain out of a molehill
I write to thank CANU for its official response that its searches of passengers’ belongings are not politically driven. I can’t tell readers how relieved I am that people are not targeted but searches are done routinely to deter drug smuggling.
There was an allegation that a CANU officer targeted WPA executive officer, Dr. David Hinds, for a search of his handbag. Freddie Kissoon, in one of his columns (June 23) and the WPA (June 28) alleged that Hinds was targeted for a search based on directives from “above”. I was very surprised to read about that allegation and requested an urgent response from CANU (SN Jun 29). CANU has denied that charge (SN Jun 30).
I wish to note that searches at the airport do not appear to be politically directed and I will be most surprised if anyone is politically targeted for a search or intimidated. Everyone should be subjected to the rules, regardless of his or her status in society. No one should be treated with deference.
Several times during my departure at CJIA, after the x-ray processing, I was taken aside by CANU inspectors and had my handbags searched. On two recent occasions, my name was announced over the public address system, just prior to the boarding of flights, to accompany CANU officials for inspection of “suspicious packages” in my checked luggage. I did not view such actions as harassment or politically driven.
When I asked the inspector why he chose to inspect my bags and not some others, he replied he was instructed to do so from above. That should not be interpreted as meaning instruction coming from “above” or politically directed. To me, the CANU inspectors were simply doing their job in a routine inspection and one should not be offended by their search if done with respect and courtesy.
I hope the CANU officers will do their work diligently to deter trafficking. Sometimes, people, like Kissoon, make a mountain out of a mole hill.