The senator who chaired the standing committee on national security and defence says it’s not a question of whether a terrorist could get a bomb in the cargo hold of a plane at Pearson — it’s when.

In an interview, Liberal Senator Colin Kenny says there is a “huge” problem with the handling of outgoing cargo at Pearson International Airport, des­pite a $26-million training program paid for by Transport Canada.

That money went to train couriers at major airports across Canada to inspect their own company’s packages, which Kenny likens to “passengers screening their own luggage. The assumption is that they will do it right, that they are honest, and that they aren’t working for terrorists or are terrorists themselves,” he said.

Kenny, who chaired the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence through the tumultuous years after 9-11 until the Conservatives took power, thinks a third party, such as Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, which is responsible for passenger and baggage security, should be screening outgoing packages.