Editorial: Azer case a massive fail by the federal government

Answers needed regarding Canada's refusal to act

A Courtenay mother is devastated, in the wake of what can only be described as a massive fail by our federal government.

Alison Azer received word recently that charges in Iran against her ex-husband, stemming from the alleged abduction of her four children, have been dropped.

According to Courtenay-Alberni Member of Parliament, Gord Johns, the reason for dropping the charges was Canada’s lack of action, when contacted by Iranian authorities.

Iran acted upon an Interpol red flag notice on Saren Azer, who now lives in the Middle Eastern country with the four Azer children. He is wanted in Canada for four counts of abduction in contravention of a custody order. Saren took the four Azer children from their home,  on a court-approved holiday, in August of 2015. They never returned.

Iranian authorities arrested and detained him in June, set a court date, and, according to Johns, alerted Canadian authorities.

Again, according to Johns, this is when the Canadian government stepped in – not to fly a lawyer out to Iran to represent the country and Alison in the case, but to “stop the RCMP from communicating further with the Iranian authorities.”

There is something fundamentally wrong about this action.

Clearly, there is information missing.

It is unfathomable that the federal government would veto any action on this case without just cause. We do know that Saren Azer had connections with the previous Canadian government, including ties with former defence minister Jason Kenney. However, when asked whether that plays a part in the current government’s perceived refusal to act on this case, Johns said he does not believe that has anything to do with it.

“I don’t think it’s political, in the sense of his (Saren’s) past history with the Conservatives; absolutely not,” said Johns.

So what is the reason?

“We don’t know. That is the question I am asking the government; why they are stalling; why they are failing to act.”

In the meanwhile, a mother waits in Courtenay, her entire world in shambles.

One thing we can say with some certainty: had the children involved been Justin Trudeau’s, this case would be closed already.

Every child should be treated with the same level of importance.

 

 

–Terry Farrell

 

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