For the brave Afghan interpreters who served Canada with valour, I hate to break the bad news.
But we can’t offer false hope.
It’s not looking good for many of you who want to come to Canada since the Trudeau government says it has no plans to reinstate a special program for interpreters.
Or introduce anything new to replace it.
The e-mail from Ottawa was like a punch in the gut. Imagine how the interpreters are going to feel?
“The government recognizes that these brave and courageous Afghans who worked for us made a significant contribution to our mission, and saved Canadian lives,” said Remi Lariviere, of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
I just knew there was a “but” coming.
“The Afghan Special Immigration Measures began accepting applications in October 2009 and even though the program stopped receiving applications in September 2011, there was a review of files and the granting of permanent resident status to successful applicants which continued through to 2013,” he said. “Over 800 Afghan nationals, including eligible family members, were resettled to Canada under the initial policy and its successor.”
There are less than 100 still stuck there under incredible duress. I want them all out on one plane.
“Afghans who were ineligible under the Afghan Special Immigration Measures may apply to immigrate to Canada through existing provisions under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, such as the economic or family class,” said Lariviere.
Easy for them to say.
“Those not meeting immigration criteria under an existing immigration class can request humanitarian and compassionate consideration. Such applications would be considered on a case-by-case basis,” he added.
How about every case since the Taliban wants to kill anybody who wore a Canadian uniform!
We should not treat our warriors this way. And you can’t just walk into embassies there or go online at a wireless coffee shop.
I have a suggestion for the Liberal government, which seems to have endless resources for Syrian refugees and countries all over the world. Perhaps, they could appoint someone to shepherd through the final few heroic interpreters and their helpless and frightened families?
“Since the Afghan Special Immigration Measures have ended, no individual officer is assigned to review applications received from any Afghan national who may have worked to provide direct support to the Canadian government in Kandahar, and there are no plans to do so,” said Lariviere.
Hopefully, the Taliban won’t be offering a better deal.
The cost of one Trudeau family vacation could pay to get all of the people we are responsible for here! I would have traded that Canadian terrorist in Strathroy (I won’t say his name) for every one of those Afghans who served the Canadian Armed Forces.
What happens to those people left in limbo?
Ottawa may be closed on this summer weekend but over in Afghanistan, where there have been 100 innocent people killed in August, there’s no day off from terror.
Don’t blame Lariviere who is merely the messenger.
Instead, I am thinking of working to organize a protest on Parliament Hill. But I need some veterans to step up here.
Veterans who served with the interpreters. We got James Akam out of Germany and his family out of Afghanistan because Master Clp. Eric Kirkwood vouched for him and fought for him. Touched by the story, Immigration Minister John McCallum made it happen. We need to make it happen again.
Instead of bad news, we need more miracles.