Another Canadian who served in Afghanistan files discrimination lawsuit against feds

OTTAWA — The federal government is asking a judge to combine two separate lawsuits after another Canadian-Afghan has alleged Canada discriminated against Afghan refugees by treating them differently than they did Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.

A former Canadian language and culture adviser who served NATO in Afghanistan filed a lawsuit at the end of July alleging the government has not allowed his family in Afghanistan to seek refuge in Canada.

That followed a case file in May by two other former language and culture advisers who served in the Canadian military and similarly accuse the government of insisting their families don't qualify for programs bringing Afghan refugees to Canada.

They all accuse the government of offering advantages to Ukrainians that were not offered to Afghans hoping to escape the Taliban takeover in 2021.

Canada allowed an unlimited number of Ukrainians and their family members to come to Canada on an emergency visa for three years to work and study while they escape the Russian invasion of their home country.

The government has not yet filed a defence to the applications from the Canadian advisers, but in a similar case before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal the government argued that unique crises require a unique response.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 1, 2023.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press