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Montreal woman says her father is missing in Spain, government not taking it seriously

Click to play video: 'A Montreal woman is frustrated at the lack of help from Global Affairs Canada tracking down her father, a kidney transplant recipient who’s missing in Spain'
A Montreal woman is frustrated at the lack of help from Global Affairs Canada tracking down her father, a kidney transplant recipient who’s missing in Spain
WATCH: 67-year-old Scott Graham has been missing since July 15 and his daughter is growing increasingly worried for his health. Georgia Graham says last she heard, he was without his important kidney medication and had turned up at the Canadian embassy in Madrid but never returned. As Global’s Dan Spector reports, she feels she’s not getting much help from Canadian authorities. – Aug 3, 2022

A Montreal woman’s father has been missing in Spain for nearly three weeks, and she’s accusing federal officials of not taking the situation seriously enough.

The missing man is Scott Graham, a 67-year-old Victoria, B.C., resident. His family’s concerns are growing because he might be without important medication.

Since mid-July, 35-year-old Georgia Graham has been spending almost all her time trying to find out where her father is.

“It’s horrible. I don’t think that any family should have to go through what my family is going through,” Graham told Global News.

Scott travelled to Europe on June 29th to meet up with some old friends in the Netherlands.

After that, he went to Spain on his own.

“I was excited for him because he loves travelling and he loves being on the go. He said he would keep in touch with us, so I really wasn’t that concerned,” Georgia said.

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She says his troubles began during a bus ride from Vigo to San Sebastian, Spain.

At a rest stop, the bus left without him. On it was his passport and medication he needs to take daily for his kidney.

“He had a successful transplant in 2014 and he has to take anti-rejection medication every day,” she explained.

Georgia says police in San Sebastian told him he’d need to go to the Canadian embassy in Madrid to get a new passport.

Embassy officials saw him there on July 15. Earlier that same day, he spent time at a Madrid hospital. Georgia says the hospital has refused to tell her if he obtained medication there, and that he was treated for minor injuries,

“He had fallen, possibly due to not feeling well, possibly due to the heat wave,” Georgia explained. “By the time he made it to the embassy, he had been without his medication for five days.

Her father paid to get a new passport, but never came back to pick it up. He’s not been seen since.

“There are so many times along the way where someone really could have stepped up and helped him and put us in touch, and that didn’t happen,” she said.

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His daughter says finding answers has been extremely difficult.

“I’ve received misinformation. I’ve received contradictory information. It’s just it’s honestly a total mess,” she said.

Georgia says it took 10 days of pestering Global Affairs Canada before getting any information at all.

“I have received some help, but I cannot believe how hard it’s been. It’s like I have to beg for it,” she said. It shouldn’t be this hard. I should be able to reach out to the people who are in place, and then they take it seriously. And then they follow up with us about what they’re doing.

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Global Affairs Canada tells Global News it is aware that an individual is missing in Spain.

“Consular officials are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information. Due to privacy consideration, no further information can be disclosed,” said Global Affairs Canada spokesperson James Emmanuel Wanki.

Graham feels officials are deflecting responsibility. She’s even reached out to a missing persons organization in Spain, which has posted flyers with Scott’s face on them in Madrid.

“It’s totally understandable that she would have that kind of reaction,” said Gar Pardy, the former director general of Canada’s consular affairs bureau. “I would have hoped that by now that there would be a level of communication.”

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Pardy told Global News embassy officials should be prioritizing such an urgent case, and making sure police in Madrid are on top of it.

“The embassy is absolutely crucial here to try to obtain the kind of information that the family requires here,” he said, adding Ottawa should be making sure the embassy understands the seriousness of the situation.

Pardy said members of parliament have the power to move such cases forward. Victoria, B.C., MP Laurel Collins says she’s been in touch with the family, and has sent a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly about the case.

“It’s so essential that in these times of crisis that people have the support they need. My heart breaks for their family right now,” Collins told Global News. “It is vital that we put pressure on Global Affairs and on the minister to respond to this case.”

Graham hasn’t ruled out going to Spain herself.

“If anyone has any information or any good contacts, particularly in Spain, any way that they think they can help, they can email FindScottGraham@gmail.com,” she said.

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