The Anti-Terrorism Act and Security Measures in Canada: Public Views, Impacts and Travel Experiences

5. Results (cont'd)

5. Results (cont'd)

5.5 Crossing borders and airport experiences

The survey inquired about the extent and type of travel the respondents had engaged in over the last four years. Respondents who indicated that they had travelled within this time frame were asked follow-up questions regarding their experiences with security and immigration officials. In this section, there were no statistically significant differences between the experiences and opinions of visible minority and non-minority respondents. All data for this section can be found in Table 5 of Appendix B.

5.5.1 Air travel within Canada

Almost half (45%, n=765) of the respondents had travelled by air within Canada over the last four years. Aside from the customary security procedures that all travellers experience, 21% of the participants reported being taken aside for additional security screening. Of those who received additional screening, most (65%) had their property searched, were personally searched (20%) and/or were required to remove their shoes/belt (18%). Of those who were subject to additional screening, most (70%) felt that it was justified to ensure public safety.

5.5.2 Air travel between Canada and U.S.

Approximately one-third (33%, n=559) of the participants had travelled by air between Canada and the U.S. within the last four years. One-quarter (25%) of these respondents were subject to additional screening aside from the standard security checks. Again, the most common form of additional screening were property searches (52%), removal of shoes and/or belts (35%), and personal searches (27%). Almost three-quarters (72%) of these respondents felt that the additional screening was justified to ensure public safety.

5.5.3 Air travel between Canada and countries outside North America

Almost one-third (29%, n=499) of the participants had travelled by air between Canada and a country outside North America over the last four years. Twelve percent had experienced additional screening while passing through the airport security in a foreign country. As with the results presented above, the most common forms of additional screening in foreign airports were property searches (50%) and personal searches (27%). This additional screening was viewed as justified in order to ensure public safety by most (74%) of the respondents.

5.5.4 Travel between Canada and U.S. other than by air

About half (45%, n=769) of the participants had travelled between Canada and the U.S. by other means (e.g. car, train or boat) over the last four years. Eighteen percent of those crossing the border into the U.S. from Canada received additional screening by U.S. border officials. The most common forms of additional screening were property searches (48%) and having their documentation questioned (31%). Fifteen percent of these respondents were taken into an office and questioned. Half (51%) of the respondents felt that the additional screening was justified to ensure public safety.

5.5.5 Returning to Canada

The respondents were asked about their experiences returning to Canada from the U.S. or another country. Eight percent (n=91) indicated they had received additional screening by Canadian immigration and customs officials (not airport security). Again, the most common forms of additional screening were property searches (55%) and having documentation questioned (29%). Slightly more than half (55%) felt the additional screening was justified.

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