He was heading home to Canada from Detroit in April 2017 after meeting with MI state Governor Rick Snyder and other officials, when security agents insisted he remove his turban for inspection, after he had already cleared the metal detector and secondary screening tests and was about to board his flight. He said no and asked them to re-do the test.
"I went through all the security checks without revealing my identity as a minister", he said.
He refused the agent's request to remove his turban: "I believed that it was an intrusion into my private life ..."
Bains was returning to Toronto after meetings with MI state leaders in April 2017 and had already passed through regular security checks, but because he was wearing a turban, a security agent told him that he would have to undergo additional checks, according to La Presse.
The incident came to light on Thursday from an article in the French-language La Presse news website, which Bains said resulted from them "asking about some of the challenges and issues that I faced and in that discussion my story emerged".
"He told me to take off my turban". He told the security personnel that he had cleared the security checks and the turban was not a threat. He then asked for my name and identification. It was only after he showed his diplomatic passport that they let him go. But, by knowing my diplomatic status, you tell me that everything is correct?
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The incident occurred a year ago.
He recounted his experience to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, who was in Washington for NAFTA talks Thursday.
Bains said he tried to stay calm and asked the agent if there was another option.
"We regret the screening experience did not meet the expectations of Bains", US Transportation Security Authority spokeswoman Michelle Negron told the BBC. "I will continue to promote diversity and inclusion across the country as our government has done since we took office".
In a statement to CNN, a spokesperson for the TSA said that they "determined that the officer conducting the screening did not follow standard operating procedures", adding that people wearing head coverings may be subject to additional security measures to ensure they are not carrying concealed weapons. This policy covers all headwear and is not directed at any one particular item or group, ' he said.