Mother points finger at Canadian government for daughter’s death

Samar Alkhdour doesn’t want her family in Gaza, including her sister, to suffer the same fate as her daughter whom she says was cleared to come to Canada but didn’t make it.

“I lost my daughter, Jana, who was 13 years old in January this year,” she said, “and that was due to the delays and inaction from the Canadian government and the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada).”

According to Alkhdour, the child, who was ill, had taken refuge in a church because of the fighting between Israel and Hamas, but there was little access to food and medicine where she was.

“That led to malnutrition, and as well, the lack of medication that she needed,” she explained.

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She believes that if the Canadian government had acted more quickly the child would’ve been able to leave earlier and avoid the conditions that she feels contributed to her death. Now, Alkhdour is worried because she hasn’t heard from the Canadian government about her sister, since January.

Last week, Alkhdour began hosting a vigil outside the Montreal riding office of Immigration Minister Marc Miller, to put pressure on the government to get her sister and other relatives into Canada. She applied in January but says she hasn’t heard anything from the IRCC.

“I’ve tried all other venues and channels to get things moving,” she pointed out.

In January, the Canadian government announced a temporary resident pathway for extended relatives of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. However, people like Haya Alsakka, with relatives in Gaza, complain that the process is too long. She has extended family who she is hoping will arrive soon.

“We are kind of sick of twiddling our thumbs. And so it’s time to take action,” she stressed.

According to Alsakka, communication from the IRCC is poor and that the process is fraught with problems.

“The ones who have heard back, the information is very disappointing,” she claimed. “We know some people have received incorrect codes to be able to pass the latest stage of the application.”

On top of that, others have been rejected without being told why, she added.

Global News contacted the IRCC on Monday and again on Tuesday, but did not hear back in time for deadline.

On Monday, Alkhdour was on the fifth day of her sit-in, which she says she plans to continue indefinitely.

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