'Empty promises': Parents of kids affected by no-fly list renew push for redress system

'Empty promises': Parents of kids affected by no-fly list renew push for redress system
From CBC - November 6, 2017

Frustrated parents of children affected by Canada's no-fly list were on Parliament Hill today, pushing for a redress system in the next federal budget.

Canada's no-fly list has been estimated to contain the names of as many as 2,000 people considered a threat, though government officials have not confirmed anumber.

Many people, including children, have been been delayed or prevented from boarding flights because their names are similar to those on the watchlist.

Yusuf Ahmed, a 19-year-old Canadian who says he has been on a no-fly list for most of his life, worries what could happen if he travels abroad.

"The extra waits, scrutiny and stigma that I feel while travelling in Canada, my birth country, are intimidating enough. But that's not what keeps me up at night," he said. "Almalki, El Maati,Nureddin, Arar. All of them are Canadian men detained and tortured by foreign governments based on flawed, inaccurate and false information."

The families appearing in Ottawa Monday want a system in place that will distinguish their children from people with similar names who may be legitimately on the watchlist.

Armed with a petition signed by 26 prominent Canadian advocates and supporters, the group has also collected letters from 177 MPs, including 17 cabinet ministers, backing their call for a redress system in the 2018 federal budget.

Waiting 8 years

"We have now waited eightyears for a solution. Nothing but empty promises,"Sulemaan Ahmed, whose son has beenon a no-fly list since he was a toddler, told CBC News in an email.

Critics say the system is flawed because it relies on names rather than on unique identifiers such as dates of birth or passport numbers, meaning Canadians who simply share the name of someone considered a threat are wrongly caught up in the system.

Pledge to make it clear who's on the list


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