Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, who is Sikh, says airport security has behaved inappropriately when he visited Detroit last year.
They let him board after revealing his diplomatic passport, he said.
He urged Canada to complain to the US authorities, who apologized to him by phone.
“It was an experience that made me feel uncomfortable,” Bains told the Quebec newspaper La Presse.
He said the security officers at a Detroit airport were “very insistent and very difficult” when he told them he did not want to take off his turban.
The security guards asked him to undergo a special selection because of his turban, despite the passage of the metal detector without incident, he says.
Mr. Bains agreed, but the test went wrong, he said. It was then that the security officer asked him to remove his turban for inspection. He pushed back and asked them to repeat the test.
“I never told them who I was, because I wanted to know how things would go for people who are not ministers or legislators,” he told the newspaper.
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When the test worked a second time, he proceeded to his door. But at the door, he said a security guard had caught him and told him that he should re-check and take off his turban.
That’s when he took out his diplomatic passport, which identified him as a Canadian official.
The incident caused a minor diplomatic brawl, prompting Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland to contact US officials, who apologized over the phone, according to the CBC.
“We regret that the projection experience did not meet Mr. Bains’ expectations,” Michelle Negron, a spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Authority, told the BBC.
“After reviewing the closed-circuit video of the airport, we determined that the inspecting officer was not following standard operating procedures and therefore received additional training.”
Ms. Negron stated that additional security screening may be required of persons wearing headwear, and that it applies to all headgear and does not target any group.
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