OTTAWA — Federal security officials are resisting pressure to reveal how many people are on Canada’s no-fly list, arguing the information could help terrorists plot a violent attack on an airliner.
In newly filed court documents, the government also contends that divulging the figure could damage relations with key allies, especially the United States.
Information Commissioner Suzanne Legault is challenging the government’s refusal to disclose the data to a Montreal journalist who requested it under the Access to Information Act.
La Presse reporter Daphne Cameron filed two requests for figures from 2006 through 2010 — one for the total number of people on the list, the second for the number of Canadian citizens.
Legault’s office investigated Cameron’s complaint against Transport Canada and formally recommended last year that the agency release the figures.
Transport Canada refused to comply, prompting Legault to take the case to the Federal Court of Canada.