Afghan MP forced to flee homeland pleads with Canada to do more to help refugees

·1 min read

OTTAWA — A member of Afghanistan’s Parliament forced to flee her homeland after the Taliban takeover last year is pleading with Canada to do more to help bring Afghan refugees to safety.

Naheed Farid says Canada has done so much to help thousands of Afghans already but there remains a dire human rights and humanitarian situation facing millions of people that demands an even bigger response.

She says that includes efforts to make it easier for Afghans to get visas to come to Canada.

Farid joined a news conference in Ottawa with several Canadian senators who want the federal government to establish a high-level committee led by Immigration Minister Sean Fraser to tear down the barriers keeping applications from proceeding.

Ontario Sen. Ratna Omidvar says the protocols and processes Canada put in place to help have instead become an "impregnable fortress" of bureaucratic red tape that not even senators can break through.

Manitoba Sen. Marilou McPhedran says she cannot even get an answer from the government about who is making decisions about which Afghan applicants will be invited to resettle in Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 2, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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