Dozens of families with no-fly list stories contact Ontario boy's mother

OTTAWA - It turns out the little Ontario boy who's been having trouble boarding airplanes is far from alone.

The whirlwind of publicity about six-year-old Syed Adam Ahmed's difficulty at the airport has prompted dozens of other families with similar stories to contact Khadija Cajee, the boy's mother.

See Full Article

Twenty-one of them agreed to be mentioned in a letter that Cajee has sent to federal cabinet ministers involved in the high-profile issue.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale promised to investigate after Adam's father, Sulemaan Ahmed, tweeted a photo from Toronto's international airport that appeared to show the boy's name with a "DHP" or "deemed high profile" label and instructions on how to proceed before allowing the youngster to check in.

They were trying to board an Air Canada flight Dec. 31 to Boston to see the NHL Winter Classic.

Tales of other children with the same sorts of travel challenges soon emerged. And now Adam's mother has become an unofficial liaison with the Liberal government on behalf of many families.

"When they saw this in the media, they contacted us," said Cajee, who lives in Markham, Ont. "Because I guess they were surprised and happy to know they were not the only ones."

The 21 cases Cajee is sharing in confidence with Goodale and other ministers involve Canadian-born children ranging in age from six months to 17 years.

"They've never been denied boarding, but they've all had some level of delay and inconvenience," Cajee said.

"Some of them have actually missed flights because of this."

After Adam's case hit the headlines, Goodale said his officials had reminded airlines they don't need to vet children against Canada's no-fly list.

His department is also exploring possible changes to the Secure Air Travel Regulations that would help identify those who have similar or the same names as people on the no-fly list, but are not the intended targets.

In addition, Goodale indicated the no-fly regime - officially known as the Passenger Protect Program - would be examined during broad public consultations on Canada's overall security framework.

In a statement at the time, Adam's parents welcomed Goodale's announcement, saying he "addressed several key points that we asked for."

Since then, Cajee has sent followup queries to the family's MP - Health Minister Jane Philpott - and the ministers of public safety, transport and foreign affairs.

"Honestly, I think we have more questions now than we did before," Cajee said.

The family would like to know if Adam is no longer flagged in the system and, if not, when he will be removed.

However, it's difficult to understand exactly why he and the other young travellers have been stopped at the airport, in part due to the quiet use of U.S. air-security lists in Canada.

Other countries are at liberty to develop their own rules for their own purposes, Goodale said in a recent interview with The Canadian Press.

"But it can have a spillover effect that is very difficult to manage. We'll obviously look at that in the process of the consultation that we're going to undertake with the airlines and with the general public. It's just critically important to get this balance right."

Meantime, Adam is slated to fly to Edmonton in March, the boy's mother said. "So we'll see what happens."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Strong Indonesia earthquake damages buildings, at least 3 injured

    World News CTV News
    JAKARTA, Indonesia -- A strong, shallow earthquake rocked Indonesia's central Sulawesi province Monday evening, injuring at least three people and damaging some buildings and houses, but producing no tsunami warning. The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-6.8 quake was centred in a thinly populated area 79 kilometres (49 miles) southeast of the provincial capital, Palu, at a depth of 9.1 kilometres (6 miles). Source
  • Accused Portland stabber liked Nazis, comics and pot

    World News Toronto Sun
    Jeremy Joseph Christian was a man seething with rage. The 35-year-old Oregon man is accused of stabbing to death two good Samaritans who came to the rescue of two young women being harangued on a Portland commuter train. Source
  • Germany's Merkel says U.S. no longer a reliable partner for Europe

    World News CBC News
    German Chancellor Angela Merkel underlined her doubts about the reliability of the United States as an ally on Monday but said she was a "convinced trans-Atlanticist," fine-tuning her message after surprising Washington with her frankness a day earlier. Source
  • Ecuadorean president calls WikiLeaks founder a hacker

    World News CTV News
    QUITO, Ecuador -- Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno is calling WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange a hacker. But Moreno added Monday that even though he considers Assange a hacker, Ecuador's government will allow the Australian to remain at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Source
  • Popular vote numbers reveal wider margin of victory for Andrew Scheer

    Canada News CBC News
    Andrew Scheer defeated Maxime Bernier by 62,593 to 55,544 votes, according to figures provided by a spokesperson of the Conservative Party. The numbers also reveal that more than 23,000 members included neither candidate on their preferential ballot. Source
  • Tim Hortons worker lends minivan to stranded strangers for relay race

    Canada News CTV News
    A Nova Scotia Tim Hortons drive-thru worker became the MVP of a stranded relay race team when she offered up her minivan to a group of complete strangers with no other way to get to the start line. Source
  • Ontario to raise minimum wage and update labour laws, premier says

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The benefits of Ontario's renewed economic growth are not shared evenly across the province, Premier Kathleen Wynne said Monday as she planned to announce a raise to minimum wage as well as much anticipated changes to labour laws. Source
  • Sick, diabetic man says Greyhound bus driver left him stranded on highway

    Canada News CBC News
    A diabetic Manitoba man says he was left stranded at the side of a dark highway, hundreds of kilometres from home, by a Greyhound bus driver. Barry Spence, 41, travels from his home in Thompson, Man. Source
  • Calgary man charged in deaths of woman, young girl to stand trial

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- A provincial court judge has ordered a Calgary man to stand trial in the killing of a woman and her five-year-old daughter. Edward Downey is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Sara Baillie and her daughter Taliyah Marsman last summer. Source
  • Trudeau asks Pope to apologize for residential schools [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    VATICAN CITY — Canadians are anxious to reconcile with Indigenous Peoples, Justin Trudeau described telling Pope Francis on Monday as he asked the pontiff to apologize for the role the Catholic Church played in the tragedy of residential schools. Source