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

  • Meng Wanzhou back in court to argue U.S. misled Canada in extradition case

    Canada News CBC News
    Meng Wanzhou will appear in B.C. Supreme Court early Monday as her lawyers launch an attack on the underlying record of the U.S. case for extradition of the Huawei executive. According to documents filed ahead of this week's hearing, the defence team will argue that, in their attempts to convince a Canadian judge to render Meng to New York, American officials omitted facts that undermine charges of fraud and conspiracy against their client. Source
  • New homeowner 'freaked out' when stranger took control of her security system

    Canada News CBC News
    The message came out of the blue for Taylor Fornell. A stranger told her he had complete control over the home security system in her new house in Stony Plain, Alta., and could prove it. As she stood alone in her front hall, she watched in disbelief as the man unarmed the system, unlocked doors and windows and told her he could track when she left the house — all with a few clicks on the security company's app. Source
  • They promised us driverless cars: Don Pittis

    Canada News CBC News
    The name of the Scottish indie band We Were Promised Jetpacks alludes to disappointment that the future isn't all it was cracked up to be. Well, you can now buy a functioning jet pack if you have a spare $600,000. Source
  • Dress code raises concerns over sexism on polar research mission

    Canada News CBC News
    A prominent Arctic research mission is coming under fire for a dress code policy that has highlighted concerns about systemic sexism in the polar sciences. The MOSAiC expedition, an international research mission led by Germany's Alfred-Wegener-Institut, embedded polar researchers in Arctic sea ice for a full year to make groundbreaking observations about the Arctic climate. Source
  • Bengali community tries to tackle 'alarming' spike in youth suicides with study

    Canada News CBC News
    Sazia Rahman remembers Feb. 18, 2017, as an unusually warm winter day. It was above zero — in the double digits — and sunny. She also remembers it as the day a call from her mother changed the rest of her life. Source
  • Ontario's second wave of COVID-19 forecast to peak in October

    Canada News CBC News
    Fresh projections suggest that Ontario's second wave of COVID-19 will peak in mid- to late October and will likely send enough patients to intensive care that hospitals will need to scale back non-emergency surgeries. The forecasts come from the COVID-19 Modelling Collaborative, a joint effort of scientists and physicians from the University of Toronto, University Health Network and Sunnybrook Hospital. Source
  • COVID-19 may delay Liberal pledge to end long-term boil water advisories on First Nations

    Canada News CBC News
    The pandemic has put some of the Liberal government's key deadlines of its reconciliation agenda in jeopardy, including a promise to end all long-term boil-water advisories on First Nations by next March. Last week's throne speech indicated a shift in language around the commitment to eliminate the long-term advisories. Source
  • Carleton PhD student detained in Turkey, accused of inciting protests

    Canada News CBC News
    In the ten years they've been together, Ömer Ongun has not gone a day without hearing the voice of his partner, Cihan Erdal. It's now been three days since they've spoken. Their last conversation came on Friday, just moments before Erdal was detained in Istanbul's Besiktas neighbourhood. Source
  • Governor seeks review of police protest response in Oregon

    World News CTV News
    PORTLAND, ORE. -- Criticism of the law enforcement response to a protest in Portland, Oregon, late Saturday into early Sunday prompted Gov. Kate Brown to ask authorities to review "any alleged incidents" involving their officers. The governor said in a series of tweets Sunday evening that she was committed to building trust in the community. Source
  • Saudi Arabia: G-20 gathering of world leaders to be virtual

    World News CTV News
    DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES -- Saudi Arabia, which is presiding over the Group of 20 countries this year, said Monday that the upcoming November gathering of world leaders will be held virtually amid the coronavirus pandemic. Source