Torys’ pro bono work for No-Fly List Kids has helped secure $81.4 million in federal funding to fix and improve Canada’s no-fly list to better identify threats and no longer trap innocent Canadians in a flawed system.
Canada’s no-fly list (also known as the Passenger Protect Program) has been affecting Canadian children and other individuals for the last 11 years. Citizens who are incorrectly marked on the no-fly list are put at risk for everything from travel delays to being imprisoned by foreign jurisdictions.
On February 27, it was announced that the federal budget would include funding to various government agencies to improve the Passenger Protect Program over the next five years.
Partner Sheila Block worked on advocating for this initiative alongside partner Dany Assaf, who said the firm was more than happy to act for No-Fly List Kids on a pro bono basis.
“It was an easy decision for us to take this on, what these families are doing is so important to the broader national interest,” Dany said.
“Their leadership and determination on this crucial initiative is making our country more just and secure.”
The families of the children affected by problems with the Passenger Protect Program helped spearhead the campaign to fix the system.
Torys worked directly with parents Sulemaan Ahmed, Khadija Cajee, Zamir Khan, Dawn Matthews, Karen Ahmed, Amber Cammish, Ayesha Vahidy and many others as well as their long-time lead counsel Khalid Elgazzar who campaigned for two years before the funding was granted, after thousands of innocent Canadian children and adults had been wrongly flagged by the system over the last 11 years.
“If we didn’t have the support of Torys, we’re not sure this could have happened,” Sulemaan said.
At Torys we believe that we have a unique responsibility to provide legal advocacy and other support to our communities. You can learn more about our pro bono and other community initiatives here.