Decision to revoke applicant’s security clearance was quashed

Federal court | Administrative Law

DUTY TO ACT FAIRLY

Decision to revoke applicant’s security clearance was quashed

Applicant had worked for ground handling company that operated out of Lester B. Pearson International Airport in Toronto for past 16 years. She also held part-time job from October 2012 to April 2014 as ramp agent. Both positions required applicant to hold valid transportation security clearance, which allowed her to access restricted areas at airport. On November 8, 2013, Chief of Security Screening Programs for Transport Canada wrote to applicant saying that she was being investigated for associating with leader of drug importation ring at airport and that she herself was suspect in criminal investigation for drug importation. Applicant denied involvement in any drug smuggling. On April 24, 2014, applicant was advised of decision to cancel her security clearance. Applicant was immediately terminated from her part-time job. Applicant applied for judicial review of decision to cancel her security clearance. Application granted. Respondent failed to discharge requirement of procedural fairness. Applicant had lost her employment on basis of allegations that sometime perhaps between 2007 and 2009, or perhaps subsequent to 2009 and 2013, she associated, in some unspecified way, with certain unspecified individual in major drug importation scheme at airport. Other than minor charge many years ago for theft of children’s Tylenol from drug store, applicant had no criminal record. She had never been interviewed in respect of alleged criminal activity relied on in decision letter. She had never been charged in respect of those matters. Applicant was unable to respond to case against her, as she knew neither time, date, nor precise activity which gave rise to revocation. Advisory Body’s conclusion from absence of transactions in applicant’s bank account consistent with drug trafficking that applicant was remunerated by cut of drugs themselves was, in absence of further information, neither transparent nor rational. Decision to revoke applicant’s security clearance was quashed.
Meyler v. Canada (Attorney General) (Mar. 20, 2015, F.C., Donald J. Rennie J., File No. T-1197-14) 250 A.C.W.S. (3d) 542.

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