CALGARY — Nearly eight months to the day she last saw her four children, Alison Azer took her campaign to return them to Canada to Parliament Hill.
Her two daughters and two sons were allegedly abducted by their father last August. She believes they’re in northern Iraq.
“They deserve their mom, they deserve their grandparents and their aunties and uncles and their school friends and deserve to be thinking about birthday parties on the weekends,” Azer said in Ottawa Monday.
Last summer, her ex-husband, Dr. Saren Azer, had permission to take the young children from Comox, B.C. on a trip overseas. But, they never returned to Canada.
Frustrated with what she says is the lack of action by the Canadian government to help, Azer travelled to the Middle East last year to look for her children.
Back in Canada, four vigils were held across Canada to bring awareness to the issue Monday, with supporters gathering in Ottawa, Comox, Victoria and Calgary.
“There has been no tangible evidence that we’re any close to getting the children back then the day they were taken,” said Mimi Harris, who knew the family when they lived in Calgary.
Azer’s sister-in-law Tammy Jeffrey told Global News she’s comforted by the support they’re receiving.
“We want everybody, every Canadian, to know that these are Canadian children being held in a very terrifying situation,” Jeffrey said.
In Victoria, Lorraine McKendry travelled from Comox to lend her support.
“It may seem like this is one family, but it’s not really. It’s all of our families,” McKendry told Global News.
“It could happen to any of us.”
In Ottawa, NDP leader Tom Mulcair asked what action Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is taking to address the problem.
“I met with Alison here in Ottawa and she’s asking once again for the Canadian government to intervene and help bring her children home,” Mulcair asked during Question Period in the House of Commons.
“Consular officials are in regular contact with Ms. Azer as we pursue the safe return of her children,” Justin Trudeau told the House.
“Rest assured, that the safety of those children is a high priority for this government,” Trudeau responded
Trudeau’s pledge eases some of Azer’s fears, but she is demanding action.
“Mister prime minister, my request to you is to do nothing less than you would want done if they were your children,” Azer said.
Watch below: Global’s ongoing coverage of the Azer case
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