Order Fixing November 4, 2020 as the Day on Which Certain Provisions of that Act Come into Force: SI/2020-71

Canada Gazette, Part II, Volume 154, Number 24

SI/2020-71 November 25, 2020


Order Fixing November 4, 2020 as the Day on Which Certain Provisions of that Act Come into Force

P.C. 2020-841 October 30, 2020

Her Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, pursuant to subsection 173(1) of the National Security Act, 2017, chapter 13 of the Statutes of Canada, 2019, fixes November 4, 2020 as the day on which sections 127, 130, 132, 133 and 136, subsections 137(1), (3) and (6) and section 138 of that Act come into force.


(This note is not part of the Order.)


Pursuant to subsection 173(1) of the National Security Act, 2017, this Order fixes November 4, 2020, as the day on which sections 127, 130, 132, 133 and 136, subsections 137(1), (3) and (6), and section 138 come into force.


The objective of this Order is to set the coming-into-force date for certain provisions in Part 6 (amendments to the Secure Air Travel Act) of the National Security Act, 2017, which received royal assent on June 21, 2019.

This Order supports the Government of Canada’s (GoC) ongoing commitment to ensuring effective, consistent and rigorous government-controlled screening of Canada’s Secure Air Travel Act (SATA) list, including addressing the issue of false name matches through a redress system known as the Canadian Travel Number (CTN).


The Passenger Protect Program (PPP) prevents people who could be a threat to national security from boarding a plane. Under the PPP’s enabling legislation (SATA), the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (the Minister) has the authority to establish a list of individuals (commonly known as the “No Fly list” or “SATA list”) if there are reasonable grounds to suspect that they will engage, or attempt to engage, in an act that would threaten transportation security, or travel by air to commit certain terrorism offences. To prevent a listed person from engaging in these acts, the Minister may issue a direction to air carriers to deny boarding or require additional screening. The Minister provides administrative recourse to those who have been denied boarding under the PPP. Everyone who is denied boarding because of the PPP receives a written notification from the Minister notifying them of their right to request recourse in response to their denial.

The National Security Act, 2017 constitutes a comprehensive review of Canada’s national security framework and implements a number of measures that will strengthen Canada’s ability to address new threats and safeguard rights and freedoms. Part 6 of the National Security Act, 2017 amends certain provisions of the SATA and enhances the PPP. These amendments transfer the responsibility for screening passengers against the SATA list from air carriers to the GoC, specifically to the Minister with assistance from Transport Canada (TC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). To fulfill this responsibility, the SATA will require air carriers to provide the Minister (in practice the CBSA, the centralized receiver of all electronic passenger manifests) with data, including names, dates of birth, gender, and, if provided, a unique identifier (known as a CTN) on each person who is on board or expected to be on board an aircraft for any flight captured under the Secure Air Travel Regulations (SATR) if that information is in the air carrier’s control, within a prescribed time and manner.

As part of these amendments, the GoC is also planning to launch the CTN, which will allow travellers who believe that they have the same or a similar name to an individual on the SATA list to apply for a unique identifier that will help distinguish them from listed individuals. This unique identifier, collected by air carriers at the time of reservation and/or at check-in, if provided, would help to distinguish them from listed individuals, should their name, date of birth, or gender be similar or the same as that of a listed person.

Amendments to the Secure Air Travel Act

There are two coming-into-force provisions in the National Security Act, 2017 to accommodate the scope of changes required to support a successful transition to the centralized screening model and the establishment of the CTN. Through this Order, the following amendments to the SATA under Part 6 of the National Security Act, 2017 will come into force:

On July 13, 2019, the first tranche of legislative amendments to the SATA came into force. footnote 1 They are as follows:


Following the royal assent of the National Security Act, 2017 in June 2019, time was needed to develop the enhancements to the PPP, including centralized screening and the CTN. The program changes and IT infrastructure need to support the enhanced PPP are expected to be ready for implementation in the fall 2020. To support this implementation plan, this Order would bring the required enabling legislative amendments into force on November 4, 2020. There are no costs associated with this Order above and beyond the investments the GoC has already made in the enhanced PPP initiative. The November 4 coming-into-force date was chosen to align the timing of the legislative amendments taking effect with the anticipated implementation timeline for the launch of the IT infrastructure that will support centralized screening and the CTN. The CTN online application portal will be launched ahead of centralized screening. This will allow individuals who are false positive matches to start realizing the benefits of the redress program as soon as centralized screening is in place.

Air carrier onboarding

Air carriers bound by the PPP will be onboarded footnote 2 to centralized screening in phases and are required to submit completed action plans, which are high-level readiness testing certification agreements between air carriers and the CBSA, outlining their timeline to begin onboarding. A phased approach was developed to facilitate the onboarding of over 100 air carriers to centralized screening. The first phase is intended to align with the November 4 coming-into-force date set by this Order and will begin with the major air carriers, i.e. those with the highest passenger volume and ability to leverage existing technologies and procedures. The remaining international carriers will be the next priority, which will result in the majority of carriers being onboarded by June 2021. The last phase will focus on domestic-only carriers to give them the most time to implement changes and adapt their systems. This strategy does not, however, preclude any air carrier from onboarding sooner. Once centralized screening is in place, air carriers will have two years to comply. The Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness will issue exemption orders under subsection 7.1(1) of the SATA as needed. These orders would serve as a temporary mitigation strategy to prevent against air carriers being found in non-compliance during the phased onboarding, and will be lifted once each air carrier is onboarded.

TC is responsible for ensuring compliance with aviation-related laws and regulations and may use enforcement mechanisms to address non-compliance once air carriers are successfully onboarded to centralized screening.

Amendments to the Secure Air Travel Regulations

Made under the SATA, the SATR prescribe additional requirements related to the PPP’s administration, operation and enforcement. On September 5, 2020, the Governor in Council made the Regulations Amending the Secure Air Travel Regulations footnote 3 to support the operationalization of the 2019 legislative amendments made to the SATA in the National Security Act, 2017.

Two coming-into-force dates were prescribed for these regulatory amendments. The first set of regulatory amendments (e.g. requirements related to the type of identification documents that can be presented at boarding gates for domestic or international flights, including the process air carriers must follow for the verification of identity at boarding gate) came into force on September 5, 2019. The corresponding legislative amendments to the SATA supporting these regulatory changes were brought into force in July 2019, as described above.

The second set of regulatory amendments (e.g. prescribing requirements related to the process to follow for centralized screening, the procedures for failure of the electronic communications system procedures, repeal of current requirements for air carriers with respect to the SATA list) will automatically come into force when their corresponding enabling legislative provisions in the SATA come into force. As a result, this Order will set November 4 as the date on which the legislative amendments referred to in subsection 173(1) of the National Security Act, 2017 take effect and, by extension, the second set of amendments to the SATR as well.


Public consultations

In the fall of 2016, the Government undertook extensive consultations with the general public through the National Security Consultations. The input received guided the development of the National Security Act, 2017.

Further to these broad consultations, Public Safety (PS), TC, and CBSA officials also met with advocacy groups and non-governmental organizations, including the Canadian Bar Association and the No Fly List Kids (NFLK), a prominent advocacy group made up of parents who have united due to their children experiencing travel delays, in August 2018. The feedback received during these sessions further supported the development, design, and implementation of the enhanced PPP model. Some of the topics that were raised included clarity on how the CTN system would work, how long it would take to implement, how different it is from what is currently in place, as well as how it would prevent children from being identified as potential matches.

The NFLK, a primary stakeholder for the PPP, has been supportive of the centralized screening and CTN model, as it will help to reduce false name matches to the SATA list. PS hosted two engagement sessions with the NFLK in December 2019 and February 2020 to provide updates on the implementation of the enhancements to the PPP. In April 2020, PS contacted the group to provide assurances that the enhancements are still on track despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In July 2020, PS engaged the group to provide a virtual walkthrough of the CTN online application portal.

While the NFLK is supportive of the enhancements, they may express criticisms regarding the overall timeline before full implementation of the enhanced PPP. Until centralized screening and the CTN are implemented and air carrier onboarding is complete, falsely matched individuals who have been issued a CTN, but are flying with air carriers that have not yet onboarded, may still experience inconveniences while travelling by air. To mitigate this risk, high volume air carriers will be onboarded first to decrease the likelihood of travel delays for individuals with an active CTN. PS has communicated the phased onboarding approach during engagement sessions in 2019 and 2020.

There may also be concerns that individuals with a CTN may still experience delays even once centralized screening is in place. PS has emphasized that a CTN will not be a solution for everyone because it will not assist in preventing delays if the airport delay is related to another country’s security list or a reason other than security screening for SATA list purposes (for example, immigration or airline customer service issues). To raise awareness, the information on PS’ website will be updated to clearly describe the scope and purpose of the CTN. Website content will also help travellers diagnose what type of delay they may be facing, as well as provide contact information on who may be able to help them.

Industry consultations

PS, TC and the CBSA have continuously engaged air carriers through an Air Industry Working Group (AIWG) and Air Industry Technical Working Group (AITWG) in advance of the coming into force of these legislative amendments to prepare their business and technical processes to accommodate the centralized screening and CTN model.

The centralized screening model is generally supported by air carriers, as it eliminates their responsibility for screening passenger manifests against the SATA list. In past consultations, air carriers expressed not wanting to be accountable for screening passengers under a Canadian national security program.

The AIWG and AITWG both met in July and October 2019. In May 2020, PS, TC, and the CBSA hosted a joint AIWG and AITWG meeting with air carriers. The discussion primarily focused on procedures in the event of an interruption to the centralized screening IT system (i.e. an outage), which was raised in early consultations as a primary concern among air carriers. During this meeting, partners communicated approved measures to reduce the impact of an outage on the GoC and air carriers by allowing air carriers to switch to a non-interactive method of providing data to the CBSA.

In November 2019 and July 2020, PS engaged travel booking industry representatives, including the Travel Council Industry of Ontario, Expedia, Booking.com, and the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies. The purpose of these information sessions was to provide an overview of the enhancements to Canada’s PPP; to explain the CTN in greater detail and its impact on the booking of flights to, from, and/or within Canada; as well as to provide an opportunity to ask questions to facilitate implementation of the CTN.


Steve Tharakan
Passenger Protect Office
National Security Policy Directorate
National and Cyber Security Branch
Telephone: 613‑949‑7360
Email: steve.tharakan@canada.ca