ontario news watch

Air Canada apology to U.K. MP over airport screening ‘right thing to do’: Rodriguez

OTTAWA — Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez says Air Canada was right to apologize to a British MP who alleges he was subjected to Islamophobic screening by the airline and Canadian border officials on a recent diplomatic trip to Canada.

Mohammad Yasin was pulled aside for questioning at London’s Heathrow Airport while other lawmakers he was travelling with were allowed through, and was stopped again at airports in Montreal and Toronto.

Yasin’s fellow Labour MP rose in the British House this week to say that Yasin was stopped “because his name is Mohammad,” and that the incident was “racist and Islamophobic (in) nature.”

Rodriguez says the government reached out to Air Canada after it heard about the incident, and the airline has since apologized.

Air Canada would not say why Yasin was questioned, only that he was designated for extra screening before his flight and that the airline is investigating internally to make sure procedures were followed.

The British high commission in Ottawa says it has raised concerns about Yasin’s experience with the federal government.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2023.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press