Canada remains committed to participating in a digital ID pilot program led by the World Economic Forum (WEF) which was previously reported as being stalled, a spokesman for Transport Canada confirmed.
“All partners remain committed to working together to close out the project and disseminate the knowledge gained through this initiative,” Transport Canada spokesperson Hicham Ayoun said to The Epoch Times in a recent interview.
Ayoun told the outlet that although there was a hiatus, aviation companies partnered with the WEF's Known Traveller Digital Identity (KTDI) project continued testing biometrics and digital ID technologies.
Partners in the WEF-led program include the governments of Canada and the Netherlands, along with major airlines (Air Canada and Royal Dutch Airlines) and airports (Toronto, Montreal and Amsterdam) in both countries as well as tech companies Accenture, Vision-Box and Idemia.
The Transport Canada spokesman directed Epoch to a 2021 White Paper published by the WEF, with the outlet noting the KTDI project was integral to the “lessons learned as outlined in the paper.”
“As the use of verifiable documents (e.g. government-issued identity vaccination certificates, proof of negative COVID-19 tests) becomes a requirement for safe crossborder movement, global demand for trusted digital credentials across sectors and borders has surged,” the document reads, Epoch reported.
Last September, Migration Minister Eric van der Burg said the Dutch government “has no concrete plans to implement the KTDI pilot,” Biometric Update noted.
Canada appeared to be following the same path, with the Financial Post reporting in October that the KTDI project “has been paused indefinitely,” describing it as “another fizzled cryptocurrency-adjacent program that started when bitcoin was sharply rising.”
At the time, a different Transport Canada spokesperson told FP the “KTDI Pilot Project partners have not initiated the restart of pilot activities due to significant challenges in the air travel industry,” adding that “the project team is continuing to work now on assessing potential use of similar technology for improving air travel services overall.”
Documents uncovered through an inquiry of ministry from Conservative MP Leslyn Lewis revealed the Trudeau government had spent nearly $700,000 on the project, all while failing to even finalize an official start date for the controversial new technology.
Lewis, an influential MP who finished third in the Conservative's leadership race in 2022, also blasted the Trudeau government for partnering with another digital ID scheme linked to the WEF, called the Agile Nations Charter.
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