Just like any other Canadian kid…My son is just like any Canadian kid, bright, bubbly, eager to learn. Except he’s not a kid anymore, and still on Canada’s No Fly list, or what the government calls the False Positive List. This means my son is not a criminal, but however shares a name with a person of interest. That’s all they share – a name, they are not the same age and have other distinct differences yet are on a list that is outdated and needs millions of dollars to fix. Till then, my son Adam Ahmed will remain on this list, and I will hyperventilate if he wants to fly without me by his side.
False Positive ListFlashback to 2015, we travelled to India as a family to visit my ailing mom. Adam was 17 at the time. He’s always had a bit more time at security than the rest of the family and we always joked that he was on a wanted list. This time it was not that funny – on our return home, we were told at the Bangalore airport that we were simply not allowed to fly back to Canada and that this order had come from our government. Of course this had to be a mistake, it’s preposterous to think that four law abiding, proud Canadian citizens would not be allowed to return to the only home they’ve known for the last 18 years. After a few hours of trying to resolve the issue, we were sent out to the Delhi airport where the Jet Airways staff were able to contact the Canadian officials to lift the ban.
Those few hours of not knowing what the future would hold were literally the worst hours of my life. The fear of the unknown, the worry for my children is excruciating. And we were by far the lucky ones, both my husband and myself are street smart and socially savvy and were able to use reasoning and the internet to our advantage. Many people on this list are not as lucky as us. At the latest count, more than 100 families have come forward and admitted similar experiences and every day we see new families join our list.
We do not want financial compensation or have any desire for litigation. We simply want a redress system for all Canadian children. We’re learning there are hundreds across Canada on the False Positive List, and we just want our government to fix this.
#NoFlyListKids is just a group of ordinary parents that want their children to be safe. We do not want our kids to be treated unfairly while crossing borders. This could affect your loved ones, join us and help us find a solution.