Relief in sight for those falsely flagged on Canada's 'no-fly list'
Advocates lobbying for a redress system for those falsely flagged under Canada’s “no-fly list” – many of them as children -- say relief is in sight now that a long-awaited national security bill has passed.
Bill C-59 proposes changes to the Passenger Protection Program, including giving the Minister of Public Safety new oversight powers such as the ability to make certain amendments to the list.
Advocacy groups including “No Fly List Kids” have been lobbying the government to make changes to the program to protect innocent people, including children, who have been wrongly flagged and unfairly face difficulties when they travel.
“We are thrilled that this bill has passed, which will allow the legislation that’s needed to create a redress system,” Ruby Alvi, a member of No Fly List Kids, told CTV News Channel.
“It’s important for everyone to recognize that this is one hurdle that we’ve passed—a major hurdle… this legislation has ensured funding and ensured a process, and now the hard work needs to be start.”
The progress comes as welcome news to those who have faced years of difficulties and frightening encounters at airports for no reason other than the name on their passport.
“I’ve been on the list for as long as I can remember. I’ve been a no-fly-list child, teenager, and now young adult,” Adam Ahmed told CTV News Channel.
“My experience at each stage of my life has been real different and really frightening actually. Since I was a young child I can remember having to show up to the airport extra early, having to behave extra professional.”
Ahmed added that he has become increasingly concerned about traveling as an adult.
“It’s been a big fear in the back of my head—what if these people can really treat me like a threat that the previous no fly list has made me out to be,” he said.
Alvi said the group will continue to fight for those wrongly named on the list. Changes aren’t expected to take effect until 2020.