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"These passengers are often violently opposed to leaving Canada."Any relationship that once existed between the passenger and the airline — in many cases decades ago with a predecessor company — is long lost, says Air Canada. "The passenger is either unwilling or unable to pay. It is simply unfair to make airlines responsible for these costs, when the passenger had the required documents to travel to Canada and the passenger themselves tried to circumvent Canada's immigration programs." When a Canadian airline transports someone abroad who is ruled inadmissible in the destination country, the airline must return the passenger to Canada or to a place where the person is admissible, such as their home country. In cases where the person is immediately turned away, heads back to Canada and is denied entry, the Canada Border Services Agency issues a penalty of $3,200 to the air carrier. "The airline then also becomes responsible for all costs associated with returning the passenger to the country of his or her nationality," Air Canada says. The penalty can be appealed, but the process amounts to an administrative burden for airlines, the carrier says. In cases where passengers are turned away from Canada despite having valid travel documentation, the Canadian government should bear the cost of returning the passenger — subject to possible reimbursement from the traveller, Air Canada recommends to the panel. Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick said the airline had nothing to add to its submission. The National Airlines Council of Canada, which represents Air Canada and three other large Canadian carriers, said in a statement that in such cases "the airline should not be asked to pay for the removal of the passenger." The council added that implementation of this principle should be easier in future given pending modernization of the way passenger information will be transmitted, since it will involve the government giving an airline a green-light decision to board a traveller prior to departure. Canada Border Services Agency spokeswoman Esme Bailey declined to make anyone available for an interview.
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