Sun Media boggles the mind

In our round-up last week of just some of the really crappy reporting on polling that is going on at QMI, we wrote about a Brian Lilley news piece on what he called a “secret government survey” that he said showed (although he only had partial numbers form this “survey”) that 70 per cent of Tamil refugees are going home for the holidays and therefore aren’t real refugees and so are abusing the system and what not.

We pointed-out how extrapolating broadly based on partial information from a “secret” survey was pretty dubious, how the information he did present could very likely not support his desired conclusion at all, and how if this survey was really “secret” someone with an obvious agenda wouldn’t have very selectively leaked it to him.

The CBC’s Kady O’Malley took it one step further, reaching-out to the Canada Border Services Agency and asking for some of the methodology behind the “survey” so as to better put the figures into context. This could either bolster, or weaken, Lilley’s thesis. The CBSA complied, and the results speak for themselves:

Per your request: travel patterns of Sri Lankans returning to their homeland after being granted refugee status in Canada, we can confirm that a small sampling was done (50 persons) and here are the results:

Of the 50 files reviewed the following information was identified:

*Number of sponsors not previously deemed Convention Refugees – 19
*Number of sponsors formerly deemed Convention Refugees – 31
*Within the aforementioned subset of 31 sponsors formerly deemed Convention Refugees who, according to the FC1 applicant, had subsequently returned to Sri Lanka – 22

As this review was done based on statements applicants made during their immigration interview and not based on any formal entry control system, this information must be considered anecdotal in nature.

Numbers were counted within the sample group and no statistical modeling or statistical process was applied. As such, CBSA has no ability to state that this sample is statistically representative of any pattern that may or may not exist beyond this sample. Rather, these numbers are solely indicative of an observed pattern within the small sample reviewed.

Since there has been no analysis beyond what was on the immigration file in Colombo, these findings should be considered as context only.

Additionally based on the size and statistical validity of this sample, it should be noted that no conclusions should be reached on the comments/observations made on this file.

As O’Malley rather benignly noted:

So it seems that this was not, in fact, a “secret government survey,” but a review of a sampling of files from Sri Lankan nationals, some of whom were formerly found to be Convention refugees, who now want to sponsor family members to come to Canada. No weighting was done, and no claim has been made that the findings are representative of the total population. In fact, as far as CBSA is concerned, it “must be considered anecdotal in nature.”

All of which may not make for quite as snappy a headline, but does, at least, provide some much needed context — and when it comes to a public policy debate as emotional as this, it’s hard to see how that could be a bad thing.

Ah, Kady. It’s not really that hard to see. Not if you want it badly enough. Queue Lilley who, instead of accepting this new information with grace and re-considering his thesis, decided to go another route: ignore the contrary information, double-down on his weakening argument, and attack the pint-sized messenger:

It has been fascinating to watch the political left in this country react to the news, reported on Sunday, that 71% of Sri Lankan refugee claimants in a secret government survey go home for vacations or to sponsor family members into Canada.

For pointing out that the Harper government is not taking the issue of bogus refugees seriously, we have oddly been painted as mouthpieces for the government. The left in Canada, it seems, would rather ignore the issue than take the government to task. Over at the CBC, blogger in residence Kady O’Malley took issue with our numbers for not being statistically valid.

Again, Brian, those that prepared the “secret government survey” we’re talking about here said themselves that it’s not statistically valid, and that no conclusions should be reached. We’ll let blogger BigCityLib pinch-hit here:

But, of course, Lilley has no way of knowing that any of the 50 Tamils in the sample were among the 611/392 that came over “last year”. As the CBSA email suggests, many of them could have been in Canada for considerably longer. All of which makes Lilley’s percentages in the above far less “significant” than advertised.

Still, the best defense is a good offense, right Brian? Lock and load!

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The dangers of working for hacks (or not)

As we’ve said before, there are some good journos at Sun Media, and it must be hard for them trying to maintain their integrity, and their sanity, working for a news organization ran by a Conservative partisan committed to espousing an unapologetically conservative agenda.

We think David Akin is one of those good journalists who works hard and calls it as he sees it. But we also think, since he was a personal hire of Kory Teneycke, he knew exactly what he was signing-up for and so we find it hard to be too empathetic when sources won’t talk to him because his company has ran ridiculous editorials attacking their clients, or when headline writers put incredibly biased headlines on his news stories that, to the average reader, call his impartiality as a journalist into question:

If you’re wondering, guff can alternately be defined as ludicrously false statements, nonsensical talk or thinking or, our favourite as “slang for to break wind, anally.” While they probably didn’t mean the last one, their intent is still probably pretty clear.

Now, Akin doesn’t write the headlines for his stories. Most journalists don’t. The stories go on the QMI wire, where local editors write their own headlines for the stories they use. (The Edmonton Sun used the more neutral ‘Russian bombers turned away‘) But most  people don’t know that. They see a biased headline over a reporter byline, and for them it reflects on the reporter as well as the publication. And one would think the reporter, certainly aware of that, would take umbrage, and action. (They haven’t cared in the past. — ed)

It’s also interesting to look at the different way the Edmonton and Toronto Suns handled the same Akin story. Toronto puts on a tourqed headline and hacks the story down to one source: Stephen Harper. Edmonton puts on a neutral headline, as befits a news story, and uses much more (if not all) of what Akin filed, with Harper’s comments as well as comments from Liberal MP Larry Bagnell, bringing a little balance to the issue, and the story.

This is the impact editors with agendas can have on what the public sees, and on journalists that are just trying to do good work. And it certaintly lays bare QMI’s agenda. As an aside, we also find it ironic that it’s Toronto that went all Conservative while Edmonton took the balanced approach. (They do call it Redmonton, don’t forget. — ed)

UPDATE: We’re told on Twitter by Sheena Goodyear, whose twitter bio says she edits and writes news copy for QMI, that Akin wrote that headline himself. So perhaps we need to reassess our blame of Sun copy editors for bias in the Toronto Sun headline. If so, apologies to semi-anonymous copy editors. And questions for someone else. We’ve asked Akin about it on Twitter. We’ll update with any response.

UPDATE 2: It is pointed-out to us that, while we thought the Edmonton and Toronto stories were the same pieces, they’re not. While they’re quite similar in that they both report Harper’s comments on the bomber incident and both reference Bagnell, the longer and more indepth Edmonton story was filed yesterday, while the shorter Toronto story was filed today, with fresh Harper quotes on the issue.

So, our apologies for the confusion and our error on that point. It is still unfortunate that the context and balance of yesterday’s story didn’t make it over to today’s, and we’re still waiting to learn what’s up with that “guff” headline.

And, since we now know this is two stories over two days, since it seems like they got it done decently yesterday, just what news value does a new story with one-sided vitrol from Harper (and a torqued headline) serve anyways?

UPDATE 3: Akin let us know on Twitter that the Edmonton and Toronto stories were different, but he ignored our request for him to clarify whether or not he did indeed write the guff headline as we’ve been told. So it seems likely that he did.

And this, of courses, causes us to reflect on our earlier thesis of a good jurno working for hacks and instead ponder, just what the heck was Akin thinking. It also forces us to consider his Twitter exchange yesterday with Andrew Coyne of Maclean’s in this new context.

We thought he was saying “see, look, the original, full piece I filed was balanced.” Our mistake, and apologies for our misunderstanding. Was his real message “come on, the piece I filed yesterday was balanced, so what if today’s isn’t?”

One wonders.

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100 per cent of Canadians think QMI is horrible at reporting poll results

A new poll conducted exclusively for Keeping an eye on Fox News North indicates 100 per cent of Canadians believe Sun Media/QMI is horrible at reporting poll results. This is based on sample of one (ourselves) and has a margin of error of +/- 98 per cent, 19 times out of 20. (Which means its possible 198 per cent of Canadians think they’re horrible, right? — .ed)

Of course, we jest. But so does QMI with their poll-related polling. For reals, how could they not be jesting when they report a poll that’s three weeks old and pretend its new, as we discussed yesterday? And we must say, Kory Tenecyke is nothing if not frugal with Quebecor’s money, because they got no less than three stories out of that one Leger poll.

Besides using it to belatedly trying to change the narrative on the Liberal Express, the same poll generated a story on hiring quotas by David Akin (just eight days after the polling period) and a Brian Lilley piece that claims that Canadians believe “by a margin of five to one” that all the Tamil refugees on the MV Sun Sea should be sent back to Sri Lanka.

Interestingly, not only was that story published 16 days after the polling period, the poll was conducted while the ship was still at sea, some nine or so days before the ship would arrive on Canada’s West Coast. That seems to be somewhat putting the cart before the horse. One wonders, what information were the respondents prompted with? The story does give us a hint:

Asked which statement best described their own opinion on what should be done with the ship, which may include members of the banned Tamil Tiger terrorist group, 60% agreed with the statement: “They should be turned away – the boat should be escorted back to Sri Lanka by the Canadian Navy.”

Just 17% agreed with the statement: “They should be accepted into Canada as political refugees.”

A significant number, 20%, said they did not know which answer to choose and 4% did not answer.

So when told a boatload of probable terrorists is on its way to Canada, 60 per cent of Canadians were concerned? Well colour us surprised. We’re surprised the number wasn’t higher, when you prompt them like that.  And before we move on…

“There is that worry that this is potentially people coming in, not just jumping the queue, but coming in and falsely representing where they are from,” said Scholz. “We don’t often hear about other refugee claims that are done on an individual or family basis, but when we see lots of them at the same time we tend to get a little nervous.”

… this whole “jumping the queue” thing is an oft-repeated talking-point, because it plays on our innate sense of fairness. A responsible journalist though would take the time to note there actually is no queue for refugees. It’s entirely different from immigration. Refugees are processed as they arrive, and they arrive every day by plane, train, automobile and yes, by boat. These Tamils aren’t jumping any queue. And speaking of other refugee claims as Lilley does, it would have been illuminating for his readers if he’d mentioned here that, since January, 85 per cent of refugee claims from Sri Lanka have been accepted by Canada, compared to 38 per cent from other countries.

Super-secret surveys…

Let’s move-on from that one Leger poll, though. Having squeezed all the “news” it could from it, QMI turned to another “poll” on the Tamil issue (we’re sensing a pattern here — ed.).  At least Leger is a known professional pollster (and they can’t help how QMI plays with their research). Lilley filed a piece today that claims polling information shows, shockingly, that some Sri Lankans go back to visit the country for the holidays.

A secret government survey reveals the majority of successful Tamil refugees travel back to Sri Lanka, raising questions about the legitimacy of their refugee status.

While government officials refused to release the controversial survey they did confirm the top-line figures to QMI Agency. The survey of Sri Lankan nationals was conducted in early August. A total of 50 people were surveyed, 31 of them had successfully obtained refugee status and 22 had returned to Sri Lanka.

And don’t miss the accompanying column from the always-entertaining Ezra.

First of all, just how “secret” is this “government survey” if we’re reading about it in the newspaper, and government officials are “confirming the top-line figures” for QMI? The answer is it’s not really secret at all, the government just wanted it reported as news and found a compliant news organization, run by their former communications director, to “leak” it to.

And just what do we know about this “poll” anyways? How was the sample selected? Was it weighted? What’s the margin of error for a poll of just 50 people? What questions were asked, and what were the findings below the top-line figures? How many of those surveyed just got here, and how many have been here for many years? When did these people go back, and what was the situation in Sri Lanka at the time? How many are refugees, and how many are immigrants?

These are all things a reputable media organization would want to know before reporting on a poll, because they’re central to knowing if those top-line figures should be taken with any seriousness or not. Yet, the story seems to make it clear QMI only had the information that the “leaker” wanted them to have. Which was good enough for Sun Media, apparently. (You’re not being played if you’re in on the game. — ed)

Kady O’Malley of the CBC obtained more details on the methodology of this “secret” survey from the government that Lilley didn’t report (she e-mailed them, and they e-mailed her back) and it provided some much-needed context that was missing from QMI’s story. Go give it a read. Here’s one key line though from the government:

Numbers were counted within the sample group and no statistical modeling or statistical process was applied. As such, CBSA has no ability to state that this sample is statistically representative of any pattern that may or may not exist beyond this sample. Rather, these numbers are solely indicative of an observed pattern within the small sample reviewed.

Since there has been no analysis beyond what was on the immigration file in Colombo, these findings should be considered as context only.

Additionally based on the size and statistical validity of this sample, it should be noted that no conclusions should be reached on the comments/observations made on this file.

Or, in other words, these numbers are essentially meaningless and probably shouldn’t be used to support flimsy conclusions to drive sensationalist media coverage.

Shooting polling blanks…

Moving-on to our third example of questionable “poll” reporting by QMI, we come to this story yesterday by Jeff Cummings that claims a new survey shows a majority of police officers oppose the gun registry. This would, of course, be newsworthy because it’s an odds with what most police chiefs and what most organizations that represent both management and front-line officers say, which is that the gun registry is an invaluable tool that helps them do their jobs.

So, what is the story’s thesis based on?

An Edmonton police officer believes an overwhelming number of law enforcement officials across the country are in favour of scrapping Canada’s long-gun registry through a survey in a national police magazine.

Kuntz, a 22-year EPS veteran, says 2,410 of the 2,631 officers from across the country he surveyed in Blue Line magazine since last spring believe “inaccurate” data from the registry is affecting police safety in every province and territory.

Well, that is about five-times the sample that Lilley and  Levant based their Tamil vacation story on, so that’s something at least. But just how seriously can we take a survey some random person put in a magazine, following no statistical methodologies, with an unknown and self-selecting sample of respondents?

The answer is, not seriously at all. Unless you’re Sun Media, apparently.

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Sun reports three-week old poll as news, hopes no one notices

Polls are already voodoo science to a large degree. A crutch for lazy media-types that don’t want to bother taking the effort to file more substantive coverage of issues. At best, they’re a snap-shot of the mood of the electorate valid for a very short period of time, and with a very short shelf-life. And after three weeks, they become so rancid the neighbours will be complaining to the building manager about the possible rotting corpse across the hall in 2B.

Speaking of which, Sun Media, under Bryn Weese’s byline, published a one-source story last night that used a Leger poll to conclude the Liberal Party’s summer bus tour with Michael Ignatieff has failed, the Conservatives are on the cusp of a majority and everyone should just go home and spend the rest of the summer watching Bachelor Pad.

The Liberal Express summer bus tour has been a flop, according to a new Leger Marketing poll.

“The issue with Michael Ignatieff, prior to the summer, was that people really did not know who he was or what he stood for,” said Dave Scholz with Leger Marketing. “Now near the end of the summer tour, we’re finding that only 8% of people know more about him now than they did before. That’s a pretty small number.”

The numbers reported are all kind of surprising, since every other recent poll has shown a substantial tightening of the race, and forward momentum in most categories for the still somewhat embattled (but slightly-less) Liberal leader. But hey, perhaps, things have changed. After all, as Weese and Scholz made clear, this is a “new” poll conducted exclusively for QMI Agency (meet another QMI Agency, the CPC War Room — .ed).

After all, according to our research, “new” means having recently come into existence. New is also a song released by No Doubt in 1999 and a television station in Perth, but we’re 91 per cent certain that’s not what they’re getting at here.

Then again, maybe QMI was talking about the 2004 Tamil-language film “New” starring S. J. Suryaah, because scroll down to the end of the story and we see this:

The online survey of 1,500 Canadians over the age of 18 was conducted between Aug. 2 and Aug. 4 and is accurate to ±2.5%.

And they finally got around to publishing this new poll when? August 20, or some 18 days after the polling period begin, and 16 days after it ended. Sure, that may not seem too new to you or I, but this is the first chance QMI has had to publish the story: there has been way too much breaking Victoria’s Secret supermodel news. Priorities, don’t you know.

Still, to report a poll nearly three weeks old as new/s and pretend its assumptions are still valid, AND to use it to draw conclusions on a summer tour that won’t even end for another few weeks, AND was only a few weeks old when this poll actually was taken … well, perhaps they should just stick with lingerie reporting.

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Lock and load, the Sun editors are going to war!

It’s only been a few months and already the crack new Sun regime that Kory Teneycke assembled has racked-up some impressive entries for this year’s Michener for worst editorial (whadya mean there’s no such category? — ed).

There was the one where they told Omar Khadr to screw himself (and then later expressed shock his lawyer wouldn’t talk to them anymore). There’s the one where they proclaimed how great it was the next Governor General isn’t a minority or a woman, classily headlined Hip Hip Horay for the white GG. And we’re tying to pretend this one never happened.

We can add one more to the list though with Tuesday’s effort, where they assure us that not one of the Tamils that came to Canada on the MV Sun Sea (what did it cost Mr. Paladeau for the naming rights? — ed) is a legitimate migrant or refugee because, well, because they said so, apparently. It seems their plan is to wage a terror war from within our borders, and they must be met with force.

We’ll let the National Post’s Chris Selley take a swing:

A brand new low
In which a prominent news outlet proposes turning Canada into a rogue nation.

The Sun Media editorialists don’t think anyone who arrived in Canada aboard the MV Sun Sea can be considered a legitimate refugee, because the UNHCR has opined that Tamils as a group are no longer imperiled in Sri Lanka … wait, hang on, that’s not why at all. Sorry, we foolishly assumed the editorial was going to make sense! None of the Tamils can be considered refugees, they say, because “many of Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority — especially the 300,000 ex-pats now residing here, primarily in Toronto — are financially or vocally supporting the Tamil Tigers.” They are, therefore, “queue-jumpers, scam artists, back-door home invaders, plus a terrorist or two.” Lovely.

What’s to be done? Glad you asked: “If the MV Sun Sea were carrying 500 ‘migrants’ from Afghanistan, home base for the Taliban and al-Qaeda, would we be allowing it to enter Canadian waters, or would we put firing a shot over the bow with a message that the next would be midships? Lock and load would be our approach. And this case is no exception.”

If Sun Media is not in fact calling for the deliberate murder of people approaching Canadian waters, we think they’d better clarify just what the hell they are calling for.

Actually, we think QMI is saying they’re going to give Ezra Levant a shotgun, a life jacket and a row boat and have him stand guard off Haida Gwaii keeping an eye out for any terrorist boats and/or Soviet bombers. (Ready, aye, ready! — ed)

As Selley said though, we’d welcome clarification though if that’s not the case.

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May god protect and bless Sun Media*

Having seemingly ran out of angles to unnecessarily scare Canadians about Muslims on planes, Sun Media and reporter Brian Lilley today turned to trying to find a Canadian angle to the election-season torqued story of the week down in the U.S.: the desire to build a mosque and community centre in New York City on the site of an old Burlington Coat Factory, a few blocks away from Ground Zero.

Here’s the angle Lilley found: a Canadian went to a meeting held by the developers in NYC, raised some issues, and when she got back to Canada she got a phone call she alleges is from one of the developers, who apparently wasn’t super-pleased with her intervention, and then used a phrase that is equivelent to good-bye. But in a threatening way…

On Monday, back in Toronto, Raza says she received a call on her cellphone from a man who identified as Sharif El Gamal. “His tone was intimidating,” said Raza. “He accused me of ‘jumping into’ the meeting he called and then said ‘May Allah protect you.’ I was shocked and hung up.”

Raza says she took the phone call as a clear threat against her.

“Why would I need Allah’s protection?” asked Raza.

As we said, and Lilley didn’t in his article, “May Allah protect you” or “Fi Amanillah” is equivalent in the Islamic faith to good-bye. It’s a very commonly-used phase in that context.

Fi Amanillah
by way of saying good-bye
Translation: May Allah protect you

Lilley said on Twitter he knows this, don’t be silly. It’s the tone, he stressed, in a spirited twitter back and forth with Paul Wells of Maclean’s.

Of course, you could say that with any words. For example, maybe Lilley’s entire article is meant to be a sarcastic joke that shouldn’t be taken seriously, and we just missed that because it’s ever so hard to portray tone effectively in print form. Still, let’s think twice next time someone sneezes and we say gesundheit or god bless you. Wouldn’t want to give them the wrong idea.

And if the caller did mean “may Allah protect you” as a threat and not in its common usage of good-bye, wouldn’t he be cancelling-out the alleged threat by wishing she be protected from it? I could see it if the person added “not!” or if the caller’s fingers were crossed, but that’s even harder to get over the phone than tone.

During a Roman Catholic service, during the break everyone shakes hands with those in neighbouring pews and says “peace be with you” to which the reply is “and also with you.” Next time you’re in mass, pay careful attention to tone. Might be a declaration of war masking as a blessing of peace.

But seriously, at the very least the background of the phrase deserved mention. And not only was QMI’s story missing the context around the alleged threat that is the sole reason d’etre for the article, it’s also missing the context around the issue itself. Such as that the right-wing is using this issue to stir-up the electorate in an election year with anti-Muslim sentiment; that it’s not confined to New York with protests against mosque construction across the United States and even a Koran-burning party by a church in Florida.

Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, should there be limits, what are the politics driving this issue, what are the risks of exploiting this issue, is there rising strife along religious lines in the U.S., what are the consequences of that, what about Canada; these would all be topics far more interesting of coverage than an allegedly-threatening good-bye.

* Not meant as a threat or typed in a threatening tone.

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There’s what happened at committee, and then there’s the QMI version

Maybe it’s those short, short stories that Sun reporters are required to file (it’s because their readership has short attention-spans – ed.) but you could fill two more Sun stories with what was left out of Brian Lilley’s coverage of today’s meeting of the public safety and national security committee in Ottawa.

The meeting was ostensibly called by the Conservatives in response to a manufactured outrage resulting from a Lilley story we blogged about previously, about the highly questionable YouTube video that supposedly shows a veiled Muslim woman not being required to show her face as she boarded an Air Canada flight in Montreal.

Of course, you had to read other media coverage to learn pertinent facts Lilley omitted from his coverage. For example, from CanWest:

The authenticity of the clip has been called into question by numerous online commenters on YouTube. They say that because numerous jump cuts occur, it is not clear whether parts of the video were cut out.

One commenter wrote that the video “looks like it went through a Slap Chop machine.”

Hmm, that’s interesting, relevant to the story, and missing from Lilley’s story. Anything else he left out?

“In Canada, airline passenger screening is the responsibility of CATSA (Canadian Air Transport Security Authority) and passengers have already undergone multiple security checks before arriving at the gate,” she said.

In the slew of online comments about the video Monday afternoon on YouTube, viewers appeared divided. While many criticize the lax security measures putting travellers in danger, many others mention that the sole role of the agent at the gate is to make sure the name on the boarding pass matches the name on the piece of identification. They add that the initial security checks are much more rigorous.

Hmm, also interesting, and an indicator that this whole thing may be a pile of crap. But back to Lilley’s coverage of today’s meeting. Go and give it a read (don’t worry, it won’t take long): although you get the gist from the headline: Canadian opposition shuts down air review.  For comparison’s, here’s coverage of the same meeting from Canwest and the Globe and Mail.

So what wouldn’t you have learned from Lilley’s story?

Well, you wouldn’t have learned that, although the Conservatives called for this meeting and considered this a vitally important issue, the Conservative committee chair couldn’t be bothered to show up. Everyone else, though, was there. Somewhat relevant. Also relevant is that appeared to be a deliberate tactic by the Conservatives to gain a majority on the committee, a ploy the opposition parties refused to play along with.

You wouldn’t have read that this issue actually falls under the mandate of the transport committee, not the public safety committee, and that the Conservative decision not to call that committee back was no mistake.

You wouldn’t have read the Conservatives blew-up the meeting rather than agree to discuss the G8/G20 security response, which would seem to be an actual issue falling under the mandate of the public safety committee.

If you’re wondering, Lilley didn’t forget to include these things. He made clear on Twitter he deliberately decided not to, because he’s not writing a story on “procedural wrangling.” Which is odd, because he did include this line in his story:

Conservative MP Shelly Glover called the procedural wrangling that lead to the scrapping of the meeting “nonsense.”

Putting aside our procedural wrangling about Lilley’s alleged lack of focus on procedural wrangling, you’d have to read down to the very end for this line:

At the committee the Liberals circulated regulations from 2007 that do not mention any requirement for airlines to visually verify the identity of all passengers.

Which is an extremely soft-peddled, down-played way of saying that in fact the regulations written and put into place by this Conservative government actually don’t require the airline to match the face with the ID at the gate, meaning that in the video that QMI used to manufacture this entire melodrama and trigger this farce of a committee hearing, the Air Canada gate agent did absolutely nothing wrong.

Here’s the relevant regulation:

5. (1) An air carrier shall, at a boarding gate, screen any person who appears to be 12 years of age or older by asking the person for one piece of government-issued photo identification that shows his or her name, date of birth and gender or for two pieces of government-issued identification at least one of which shows his or her name, date of birth and gender.

(2) If the name on the identification is not the same as the name on the person’s boarding pass, the air carrier shall compare the name, date of birth and gender on the identification with those of persons specified to the air carrier by the Minister under paragraph 4.81(1)(b) of the Act.

(3) If the name, date of birth and gender on the identification are the same as those of a person specified to the air carrier, the air carrier shall immediately so inform the Minister.

So, as you can see, not only does the government not require a face to be matched with a piece of photo ID, if you show two pieces of government ID they don’t even require one of them to have a photo. Which would seem, if you’re travelling domestically (because you’d need a passport internationally) photo-ID isn’t even mandatory.

In journalism, they call Lilley’s last line burying the lede. Others call it “refusing to admit that this whole story we’ve been peddling is actually a load of crap.”

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