An organization advocating for Muslim Canadians has made a callout for people with similar experiences to that of a 6-year-old Markham boy, whose parents were told their son is on a government watch list.
The National Council for Canadian Muslims announced it was collecting data on Canadians who have been “unfairly targeted or placed on no-fly lists and for them to contact the organization and fill out an “incident report form” on its website, it said in a release.
The call came after a Markham family spoke out over repeated hassles at the airport because their son is on a government watch list.
Mother Khadija Cajee says the family has faced “continuous delays” during travel since their son’s birth, which appears to stem from the fact he shares a name with someone on the watch list.
Seven adults had contacted NCCM in 2015 about being on government watch lists, according to the council’s communications director, Amira Elghawaby.
Adam’s situation, Elghawaby told the Toronto Star, “showcases what these deep flaws are in the system,” noting the confidentiality of the lists makes it difficult for people to prove they simply have a similar name to the individual “deemed high profile.”
The council had already requested a meeting with Public Safety minister Ralph Goodale on “various topics” and is hoping to bring up the issue of government watch lists with him, though it welcomes the announcement that he would be looking into Adam’s case.
A Public Safety Canada statement sent to the Star on Monday said: “Delays may occur for passengers who have the same name as a person listed under the PPP, or another security-related list such as the U.S. no-fly list.”
It added that passengers who have experienced delays in the past “may want to contact the airline’s customer service representative to explain their situation and to see what steps can be taken prior to arriving at the airport.”