NCCM welcomes new redress office for Passenger Protect

-For Immediate Release-

(Ottawa – June 10, 2016) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent civil liberties & advocacy organization, welcomes the federal government’s announcement today of a new Passenger Protect Inquiries Office (PPIO).

The government says the new office will provide assistance to travelers who are experiencing difficulties related to aviation security lists. Human rights groups and legal experts have long called on the government to address serious gaps in Canada’s Secure Air Travel Act (SATA) list under the Passenger Protect Program (PPP). The issue gained public attention early this year when it was revealed that the names of dozens of children may be on these lists, resulting in major inconvenience and worry for the parents.

“This is an important step to assist all the families who have come forward since we shared our seven year-old son’s experience,” says Khadija Cajee, the mother of Adam Ahmed. Adam’s story gained national attention after he was delayed on a trip with his father to the Boston Winter Classic hockey game. “Not only has it been a major stress on our lives, but our experiences put a spotlight on the problems with these lists.”

“Since the moment Adam’s mom spoke out, there has been a constant effort to get this issue on the public’s radar,” says Mohammed Hashim, NCCM’s Stronger Together Chair. “This announcement is the result of the tireless efforts of the families, civil society, and various communities to raise awareness and call for action on this issue. The government has responded.”

“Wasting resources on innocent Canadians does not make anyone feel safer nor does it actually improve public safety,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee. “Robust and transparent oversight and redress mechanisms for all Canadian security agencies, as called for in the Arar Inquiry, are long overdue and we welcome the federal government’s first steps in this direction. We look forward to continuing our dialogue with the government on this and other related issues.”

Related site: No Fly List Kids Website

Related NCCM Commentary: The Globe & Mail & The Ottawa Citizen

Related NCCM Policy Brief: Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015: The Way Forward