Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl introduced a private member’s motion in the House of Commons to create a missing-person alert for adults on Monday (Nov. 27).
The motion supports the work of Alina Durham, mother of Shaelene Keeler Bell, a 23-year-old Chilliwack mom who went missing on Jan. 30, 2021. Bell was later found dead on June 2, 2021 in the Fraser River near Coquitlam.
“To honour Shaelene’s memory I’ve introduced a private member’s motion M-89 which calls on the government to work with the provinces and territories to expand protections for victims of crime over the age of 18 by amending the criteria for the activation of an Amber Alert for missing persons,” Strahl said in the House on Nov. 27.
Alina Durham has been working to honour her daughter Shaelene’s memory by advocating for changes to the way the AMBER Alert system works.— Mark Strahl, MP (@markstrahl) November 27, 2023
I highlighted my motion, M-89, in Parliament which calls for federal leadership to allow AMBER Alerts for missing adults in Canada. pic.twitter.com/2eMwE5xfSX
“I cried when I watched Mark. I am so grateful that this is being taken seriously. My biggest wish now is to see the Amber Alert expanded for all adults,” Durham said.
She has been trying for nearly two and a half years to get the criteria changed in the Amber Alert to include adults who go missing under suspicious circumstances and are at risk of imminent danger or death.
In January, she said she was “disheartened” that nothing had been done.
“Alina has used her personal tragedy to draw attention to a gap in Canada’s missing persons protocols. Right now, Amber Alerts are only issued if the victim is under the age of 18. There is no Amber Alert system for adults.”
Durham started collecting pen-on-paper signatures around Canada Day. People can also sign it electronically. To sign the e-petition, download the PDF form (below), sign it, save it, and then email it to Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon at email@example.com.
Additionally, hard copies of the petition are available to sign at the following locations in Chilliwack: Duke’s Country Pub (41582 Yale Rd.), Major League Taphouse (45768 Gaetz St.), Fabutan (104-45655 Tamihi Way), and Corky’s Irish Pub (3-45844 Yale Rd.).
“Thank you to everybody who helped and those who signed the petition we all made it to the House of Commons today,” Durham wrote in a social media post on Nov. 27.