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Parents of 'no-fly list kids' upset at no funding for redress system

Federal government says it is using 'existing resources' to help children on no-fly lists

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Families with children whose names are falsely matched to No-Fly lists say they are getting no practical help from a new redress office established by the Liberal government. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

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Parents of children whose names are on Canada's no-fly lists are upset that no funding from the federal budget has been allocated towards a redress system. 

"By not funding the establishment of a redress system, the federal government continues to leave at risk the families of over 60 Canadian children of various races, religions, backgrounds and creeds who came forward and hundreds more still afraid to do so," a group called No-Fly List Kids said in a statement released on Twitter Thursday.

The group is made up of Canadian families advocating for changes to Canadian travel and safety regulations.

'Nothing has changed'

A redress office, called the Passenger Protect Inquiries Office (PPIO) was established last June by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to resolve the no-fly false positives that plague some Canadian travellers when trying to board airplanes.

By the beginning of this year, the office said it had "resolved" cases of 11 children so far. 

But some parents who registered with the office say that nothing has been done to help their kids, who keep getting stuck at airport check-ins for security reviews.

khadija cajee

Khadija Cajee, whose seven-year-old son has been falsely matched to a no-fly list, has heard from the families of 55 children facing the same frustrating dilemma. (CBC)

"When he flies, he still gets stopped," Khadija Cajee, of Markham, Ont., told CBC News in January about her seven-year-old son, Syed Adam Ahmed. "Nothing has changed."

Scott Bardsley, a spokesperson for Goodale confirmed to CBC News in an email statement Thursday that dedicated funding was never announced for a redress system. 

"The PPIO was created from existing resources and work continues on these issues using existing internal resources," he said. 

He added that regulatory and database changes will take time and that "long-term improvements to the system continue."

'We go on until the kids are taken off'

The No-Fly List Kids group said that their patience and work with the federal government so far feels unfounded. 

"Deciding to continue to leave these families without any recourse is a short-sighted decision that suggests the safety of unfairly targeted Canadian children is not a priority," the group said. 

The Public Safety Minister's office said that a review of the Passenger Protect Program was included in recent public consultations on Canada's national security and that a report on the review will be released in the near future. 

In the meantime, the No-Fly List Kids group says they will continue to fight for their children's rights. 

"We go on until the kids are taken off."

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