Robert and James Kenny

[Jun 16, 2008 05:02 PM]

For the past five years Toronto Crown Attorney Robert Kenny, 33, has been routinely stopped before boarding any flight in Canada or the U.S., apparently because he is on a no-fly list.

It would appear odd that a Crown attorney could be placed on a watch list but now his brother James Kenny, a 25-year old graduate student, has been also having problems flying for the past six months.

"When Robert started getting checked, we thought it was just bad luck, but now that two of my boys are being checked, it seems like more than coincidence," said their father who happens to be Colin Kenny, a prominent Liberal Senator from Toronto and the chairperson of the Senate's Standing Committee on National Security and Defence Committee.

In March, Senator Kenny wrote to Transport minister Lawrence Cannon asking for his help: "As there is no valid reason for them to be stopped every time they fly, I would appreciate if you used your good offices to put an end to this."

The Transport minister answered on May 28, 2008 suggesting that "your sons arrive earlier for their flights and bring along additional documentation to facilitate the verification of their identities." Mr. Cannon added that the two men were not on the Canadian no-fly list and encouraged them to contact the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Travelers Redress Inquiry Program and gave them the website address.

Senator Kenny is not amused: "If the best we can do for people caught on the list is to say, 'Go and check a website,' I do not think this government is doing much to take care of Canadians …. For all Canadians who are caught in this trap - and there appear to be thousands of them - Is this how they are shipped off, and is this how they are dealt with by the Government of Canada?"