The father of a 17-year-old Alberta athlete who trains with the Canadian National 17U Men’s Water Polo Team is upset and demanding answers from security officials after he said he son was strip-searched without his parents’ knowledge at the Vancouver airport Sunday.
Bryant Joudrie, of Cochrane, plays on the Canadian men’s national team training roster out of Calgary’s Talisman Centre. Joudrie’s father said he was going through security for a domestic flight, and triggered the scanner at airport security. He said his son was put through the body scanner twice, and nothing was found. He said security then asked him if he was 18 years old, to which he said no.
“This is a young man who has travelled across the world representing his country, has never had a security issue in any country around the world,” Guy Jourdrie said. “And to be subjected to a strip search while travelling with a team without contacting his parents and legal guardians, and accusations he’s hiding something, when he has repeatedly been scanned … we’ve got to have a better understanding of the processes as Canadian citizens … of what our rights are and what we should and should not be subjected to.”
Bryant Joudrie playing water polo at a tournament in Vancouver. Provided to Global News
Bryant Joudrie playing water polo at a tournament in Vancouver.
Provided to Global News
Joudrie said security then asked a teammate who was 18 years old to stand in during the search, and both were taken to a back room for a pat-down.
After the pat down, RCMP were called, who allegedly accused the athlete of “hiding something,” Joudrie said, because of what security called a bulge in his pants. Joudrie said RCMP told the teen he would either need to be strip searched, or could not board the plane. A parent chaperone was called, who deferred to Bryant as to whether or not he wanted to go ahead with it, and Bryant consented.
“That’s the most frustrating part, is trying to find out what their policy and process is, with the different airports, etc.” Joudrie said. “There’s nothing there that says ‘if this is this then we move to this.’ Because he gave consent, it’s legal. I don’t know what the policies are because it’s impossible to find online.”
Joudrie has put in complaints with the RCMP and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), which is investigating the incident. He said the strip search found nothing and at no time was Bryant asked for his parents’ contact information.
“I totally feel that my son has been subjected to an unnecessary search and his rights have been violated.”
RCMP in British Columbia said Wednesday that they needed more time to respond.
For its part, the Alberta Civil Liberties Research Centre, out of the University of Calgary, said security was within their rights, as long as they were given informed consent from the teen.
A Global News request to the Vancouver Airport Authority was directed to CATSA.